Kathryn’s Story: Everyone is deserving of healing

In 2003, Kathryn and her Dad embarked on a trip that she will cherish forever; one that was only possible because of his recovery.

“The summer after Dad completed treatment, I decided to become a visiting student at a university out West. Dad drove me there and it was the first adventure we had where alcoholism wasn’t involved,” Kathryn shares. “We had a lot of fun together. He was in a really good place and it’s a great memory to have.”

Kathryn’s Dad attended treatment at Renascent Paul J. Sullivan Centre after many years of heavy alcohol use. His treatment, Kathryn says, was a launch pad for her to seek help of her own, so she entered Renascent’s Family Program. Other members of Kathryn’s immediate family attended as well.

The Program – which is funded by the generosity of Renascent Foundation donors – helps the family members and loved ones of people who are struggling with addiction through group and individual counselling. Attendees like Kathryn, have the opportunity to share about their experiences and learn about the impact of addiction from expert counsellors. It is an experience that Kathryn found to be very beneficial. 

“I attended the Program feeling quite frustrated and angry, but at the same time incredibly proud and excited about what was happening,” says Kathryn. “On the one hand, I knew I was proud of what my Dad was doing and excited that the world would get to see the best of him, but I also had strong feelings about what I had experienced due to his addiction.”

The life-changing healing that Kathryn and her father experienced at Renascent are but a few of the reasons why this year, Kathryn is participating in Renascent’s Road to Recovery Walk/Run.

“I’m happy to participate because of the difference Renascent made in our family’s life,” says Kathryn. “I am also motivated to help because I see how many people in my community are struggling. Not everyone has the same kinds of support that we had, but everyone is deserving of healing,” she adds.

Kathryn will join Renascent alumni and their family members, as well as donors, and staff on June 10 for the five kilometre walk along Toronto’s Waterfront. This year’s Road to Recovery fundraiser will be the fourth for Renascent. Funds raised will be used to support Renascent’s Programs, including its live-in treatment and Family Program.

Photo Caption: Photos of the provincial signs taken by Kathryn during a road trip with her Dad, after he completed addiction treatment at Renascent. Kathryn says,
“it was the first adventure we had where alcoholism wasn’t involved.”

Although Kathryn’s Dad is now passed, she fondly remembers the ten or so years where he remained in recovery after leaving from Renascent. She is grateful for the lessons that his experience taught her.

“Someone my Dad met at Renascent was having a difficult time and phoned him for help. My Father and his wife picked him up moved him in, helped him find a job and provided some stability during that difficult time. That bond lasted until my Dad died,” shares Kathryn. “I think that’s a beautiful example of the type of fellowship that comes out of Renascent. To watch my Dad be able to pay it forward in that way was really beautiful.”

Proudly, Kathryn adds, “I’m actually very grateful to my Dad and his journey for many reasons. He taught me what it meant to have compassion for others and to be empathetic. Watching what he went through gave me a window into what other people may be experiencing. It has helped me to grow into the kind of person I want to be and to not be judgmental of other people and their situation.”

About the Authors

Renascent Staff
The staff at Renascent is passionate about helping people with substance addictions so they can reach their full recovery – with compassion, respect, empathy and understanding. Our staff includes our counsellors, all of whom have lived experience of addiction and recovery.