Matt’s Race for Recovery 5k was started almost 3 years ago by Holly Gifford, the wife of former patient Matt Gifford, who lost his battle to the disease of addiction in August of 2015. Matt was a loving and supportive husband and father of two. He loved his family and loved to help anyone and everyone however possible. He also loved the outdoors , especially hiking and fishing.
In June 2012, Matt lost his father and began to spiral out of control dealing with depression and addiction. After his 3rd attempt at inpatient treatment, Matt was finally able to make the journey to Ashley. From the moment Holly called Ashley to start the admissions process for Matt, things started to change. This was not a disease that just affected him but the whole family. With the help of the Family Wellness Program at Ashley, Holly and Matt had the opportunity to talk face to face in a sober and controlled environment. Matt’s mom and sister were able to join as well, bringing a combined effort between the three of them to Matt in his recovery.
At Ashley, Matt was able to connect with others in treatment as well as those in the recovery community.
“The effort at Ashley was to make the patients successful after the completion of treatment” Holly stated. “And for Matt, it was the after. What would happen next after treatment was addressed early on at Ashley.” Matt completed treatment and remained sober for several months, but then relapsed. After another attempt in treatment out of state, he succumbed to his disease.
Holly wanted a way to honor Matt’s legacy while giving back to the place that meant so much to them. Ashley was the only place that made a difference for Matt and their family during his treatment. She then reached out with the idea of starting a 5K, and thus the Matt’s Race for Recovery 5K was born.
This race allows those who knew him to honor him each year, and gives those who didn’t know Matt a way to give back and help provide a platform to educate the community. Holly never imagined that the disease of addiction would affect her family, but she finds comfort in sharing her story with others like her. “There is a comfort in knowing that you are not alone, and that you do not need to feel embarrassed,” said Holly.
All proceeds raised will afford people the help they need at Ashley Addiction Treatment, as well as provide opportunities to educate the community. Join us this September 16th to help break the stigma of addiction through the Matt’s Race for Recovery 5k Walk / 1 mile Run. We hope that you will make a difference and show your support for this wonderful family and all families or individuals who are suffering from or have been effected by this disease.