I live in Atlanta, GA and come from a huge family. The oldest sibling of 7. I can easily name at least 30 relatives that I consider close family. We all rely on each other when times are rough. I am very thankful to have all of them on my side. I have needed them to get me through some rough patches in my younger days.
I have always had a passion to help people. At 7 years old, my mother married my first step-father, the director of a local non-profit organization. I was introduced to helping others in need and was totally drawn to it. At 10 years old, I convinced my parents to foster children. I ended up with 2 beautiful adopted sisters as a result.
In my late teens and early 20’s I was lost in translation. No real reason other than rebellion led me down a path of drugs and criminal acts. I finally straightened up after years of self-destruction and turned my rebellion into a like-able character trait by changing my values. I think it was when I found out that I was going to be a father that did this.
My sweet little 5 year old, Brooke. A hilariously similar photo-copy of myself. A big thanks is required to my mother, who has helped me take care of her as I have been trying to settle into a simpler life.
On March 15th, 2014 my little sister passed away of a drug overdose. A shock and a huge blow to my entire family. Brittany was the closest person to me as we were a year and a half apart. We could read each other’s minds. No way could you beat us in Cranium. I was torn in half when that happened and have been trying to come back together ever since.
As I was preparing a eulogy for her, I knew then that I had to help others and try to save lives by sharing her story. That would be how I would honor her and help myself to get through the grief. I have since raised thousands of dollars for organizations that help with addiction and overdose prevention. I rappelled off the side of a downtown hotel, traveled all over the place, and talked to many people that I usually wouldn’t have trying to reach out and spread awareness that may help someone who is using drugs to know the facts about overdose.
On her one year death anniversary I realized that what I had done was not enough. I then spent weeks racking my brain for ideas to do something that mattered. I can’t remember the exact date that it hit me, but I remember the moment very well when the idea of walking across America came to me. I knew right then and there that I would do it.
Totally unprepared and ignorant of anything that has to do with long-distance foot travel, I began research and training. Every day was filled with a new excitement as I’d learn something new and/or reached a new peak distance. I have found that I absolutely love walking. I have saved up and collected gear piece by piece and would start going on overnight hikes to prepare me for elements that I wasn’t used to. I am reading books and blogs from others who have walked the country. It is something that fits me perfectly.
I am excited to be able to say that I walked across the country, but more so to say that I taught a lot of people about drug overdose prevention along the way.
Thank you for coming to my website and taking the time to read about me.