Ending The Stigma – Ace Heartware Stories

In this Heartware Story we see how Michelle Leopold, an Ace Hardware owner, is bringing awareness of NARCAN® to the community. See how the passing of her son Trevor gave her a new mission to save others.

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My son Trevor he was the joy of our life He was extremely curious He always was the one to go out and look For caterpillars or raise tadpoles into Frogs catch lizards he loves nature Unfortunately he was experimenting with Drugs Trevor bought some prescription Pills and unfortunately Trevor died from Fentanyl poisoning in I was really grateful that my son and I Always had a great relationship and we Always ended every single conversation With I love you when Trevor died I was In the middle of chemotherapy and I Already was talking to a therapist about This is not the life that I thought I Would have in the future to always be a Cancer patient and then Trevor died in The middle of chemo it's not easy Somehow you got to find a reason to wake Up every day you have to be able to find The things that keep you First when Michelle got cancer there was Definitely an understanding among the Stores and okay this is what it is This is how we move forward but then When Trevor passed it definitely sent a Paul over everything and everybody Everyone really just kind of you know Banded together we made sure we sent our You know our love and support from the Minute Trevor passed away Michelle has Taken on a huge task if you will trying To make people were a fentanyl the night

That Trevor died I immediately started Speaking out I have been very vocal About Trevor's disease since he passed Away And I advocate to whoever will listen I Talk about how the awareness of fentanyl In the drug Supply is so important and The fact that I knew most people didn't Know That one pill could kill I decided that Needed to be part of what I talk about Last year I told the managers of our six Stores I have this crazy idea What do you think if I teach our Employees how to be First Responders to Overtose and teach them how to use Narcan so Narcan is amazing miracle drug You can have somebody down who looks Like they are gone and then you put it Up their nose and then they come back to Life at that point you've got a chance To be able to help them survive and get Through it my thinking is you know if we Can save one or two lives or maybe even More by the awareness and or the Narcan It's great so we started tabling events Then I reached out to Community Partners And I said would you be willing to Provide Narcan and they were over the Moon they said yes let's do this Immediately overdose zest in the Bay Area happen every day and a parent for East Bay moms are making it their Mission to save other families the grief

They've endured with the deaths of their Sons show fights every day by trying to Light up Minds about saving people in The middle of an overdose I'm going to Take the show on the road start with Where I work Train my team members And the community where they live the Outpouring from the stores and the Support around it has been huge we've Heard you know whether it's the Employees whether it's the community Everyone's been very supportive of it I'm really grateful that all six stores Are on board with this it's awkward it's Part of the stigma and not everybody's Comfortable talking about addiction not Everybody's talking about fentanyl there Isn't any community in the United States That isn't impacted by the fentanyl Overdose epidemic this last year we lost Over 107 000 people to overdose the Stigma that surrounds substance use Disorder is such a big problem that we Are trying to do everything we can to Break down so how we can best combat the Stigma and I do it all the time it's Really by speaking out to being willing To share our story and also education When Trevor died I thought okay this is It I'm gonna be a whole different person I talked about being in a cocoon and I Didn't know how I was going to come out Through the metamorphosis of these two

Huge tragic events and what I think Happened is I came out as a moth my World is darker then the butterfly life I used to live but I still see flowers And I still can help the world even Though my world is darker than it was And I hope that by being a moth and Sharing my darker story That I can help other people from Becoming a moth and stay a butterfly Thank you

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