Dear Brad,

After reading the story in the tribune paper I felt compelled to write this letter. I am a recovering alcoholic and drug addict. My name is — — and I’m a member of Alcoholics Annonomus and Narcotics Annonymos.

When I red the part about your sister dieing and not able to recover my heart ached for you and your loss. I to have lost family members to this disese. My father died in “89” at 49 to alcoholism. He was at one time a bright, handsome, funny man, but alcohol distroyed him and our family too. He died a fairly young man in a flop house motel on 3rd and Flanders. He had been in and out of treatment centers and was well versed in A.A. He was never able to “surrender” to the disese and the program. It is one of my issues. I still grabel with the abandonment and trust issues with not having a father in my life. I don’t understand why some people get it and some don’t.

My brother also died in “94” at twenty six, for him I am really saddened I feel he was robbed of his life due to drugs and alcohol and feel his absence and loss almost every day. He would have been thirty seven if only he hadent died of AIDS brought on by drug addiction. I know I’m not the only one to have suffered the loss of a loved one, but I know they are not suffering any more. I also know that by getting loaded it doesn’t bring them back or change the past. I can only hope they are looking down on me knowing I found a solution and have been given Gods grace and mercy to stay clean and sober another day.

You see Brad we do recover and its people like you who have the love and compassion not to give up on a suffering addict. I believe if more people who have also lost or been affected by this disese gave a little we could begin to help more people. Treatment is a start thats where we can clear our head long enough to possible grab hold of this gift called recovery. A person has got to want it and – unfortunatly as the fear driven people we are we often feel it easier to go back to the old familure then try the new “scary” way of life. Obviously jails and institutions are not the answer. Its people who care that do. I am sorry for my misspelled words and sloppy handwriting. but I just wanted to let you know your sister loved you and is looking down so proud of your selfless acts.

God bless you and yours. May you find comfort in knowing although you could not save your sister every person you help is someones sister, mother, brother or father.

Your truly,