City Of Angels founder Kevin Meara addresses the White House on addiction
President Biden is issuing a proclamation marking the week of Aug. 28-Sept. 3 "Overdose Awareness Week" and Wednesday, Aug. 31 is "International Overdose Awareness Day."
For Kevin and Maryann Meara who lost their son KC to an overdose on June 30, 2008, at the age of 24, EVERY DAY is Overdose Awareness Day.
The Mearas were invited to the White House to join in the conversation.
Kevin is the founder and Chairman of City Of Angels, which works with anyone dealing with addiction regardless of insurance, who said in a press release;
“It’s not lost on Maryann and I that we sit here before Americas Drug Czar an arms reach from the White House, but we are called “City” for a reason, and it's to all our volunteers, parents, and board members that we dedicate this opportunity, for without them we are but parents who lost their son to an overdose.”
I've seen up close and personal how Kevin and City of Angels comes to the aid of the addicted anytime, anywhere. Many times he's been in my studio hanging out, playing Trevia or Jersey's Opening Lines when the call comes in and he's on the phone during the commercial break, organizing someone's journey from the depths to a facility. I'll never forget the night he pulled 23 holy cards out of his pocket from the funerals he attended that month.
Among the many Kevin has helped include comedian Artie Lange who continues to fight.
Here's the full context of the statement Meara delivered at the White House.
"Our son, Kevin KC Meara died from a heroin overdose on June 30, 2008 at the age of twenty-four."
"KC was our oldest of three children and was the sole object of our affection for many years before a younger brother and sister came. His mom, Maryann, was his best friend. He was funny, loved music and was a self-taught drummer and writer. He loved vacationing in Florida with his family and doting on his siblings and cousins."
“Mr. Kevin, worked with developmentally disabled students in our local Special Services School District. He cared about his kids and they cared about Mr. Kevin. We are told that if one is in an active drug or alcohol support program that you are protected from discrimination by the ADA. This wasn’t the case for us, for even in a County Agency such as our Special Services District when it was discovered KC was in a morning IOP program, he was forced to go in front of the County School Board to argue for his job and disclose that he received his MAT each morning. Yet, the district moved him out of the classroom and onto a maintenance crew shoveling out drainage ditches."
"It wasn’t long before he was being cited for infractions such as missing cobwebs on the ceiling. The writing was on the wall and he left the job he loved!"
"This began what we call his 'downward spiral'…within six months KC would die of an overdose. On June 30, 2008 KC's journey ended, but our new journey in the form of the non-profit City of Angels began."
"From KC's bedroom to the WH East Room, in 2008 we could never have fathomed the extent of our work. Our most recent endeavor was an MLB first as we partnered with MLB's minor league affiliate and our State of NJ for a Narcan giveaway at the Trenton Thunder vs West Virginia Black Bears game on Aug 13, 2022."
"Fourteen years later, still serving our community as an all-volunteer non-profit we are here grateful that the White House ONDCP has never forgotten the parents!"
Opinions expressed in the post above are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Steve Trevelise only. Follow him on Twitter @realstevetrev.
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