My name is Gee Vigna and Nicky Vigna is my daughter. In the course of our lives, we have no idea what unexpected journeys we will travel. On February 4, 2010 our family's journey took a turn into the unknown. That unknown was heroin. Over the course of the next three years, we rode a roller coaster of frustration, anger, sadness, chaos and yes, many periods of happiness. On January 3, 2013 that ride came to a screeching halt when our 20 year old daughter, Nicky, overdosed on heroin. Education and awareness about the lethal effects of heroin were so desperately lacking that we decided it was time to stir the pot and get people talking about something society wanted to turn a blind eye to. Walking for Wellness Stop Heroin was created. Please join our efforts and break the silence in your community. The face of heroin is changing. Don’t let that face be your loved one. STOP HEROIN! I miss you Nicky. Love Mom.
My name is Kyle Baxter and I am a recovering addict. Currently, I have 2 and 1/2 years clean. I love Walking for Wellness because it gives me hope and strength. I love how we put it out there that heroin is a problem, and we are here to help. Yes, I've been to prison, and yes, I've been to treatment facilities. I am a member of a 12-step program. I keep my recovery by helping the still suffering addict because I've been there, and I can relate. Today, I am a family man and I truly love life.
Our family is here for you. To contact anyone with questions, concerns, or just to talk, click on their name.
My name is Brittney Vigna. My mom and I founded this group after we lost my sister, Nicky, to a heroin overdose. After my sister died, we weren't quite sure of anything...much less of what to do. One thing we were sure of is that we had to stop this from happening. We had to make this known. I was always so scared to say that my sister had died of a heroin overdose. How would people react? But what I've learned on this journey is that the most important statements are rarely shouted. Stopping heroin needs to be heard. I don't think I could have gotten this far through "the grieving process" without the people I've met through this organization. They have truly become a part of my family. I miss my sister every day, so every day I will fight to stop heroin.
Hi my name is Cathy Windes, I am a mother of one (Steven Jr., age 25) that is now with the angels. Before he left us, he gave us one beautiful granddaughter named Kenna Mae. Without her and my husband Steve, I don't think I would have survived this. We have met the most amazing people at the Walking for Wellness group, even through this terrible journey. Walking with this group helps: they can listen, they understand. Others in the group are walking in the same shoes as my husband and myself. We have been touched by so many loving and caring people. It's with their love and God's strength that is getting us through this. I still break down daily, but God will see me through one step at a time, one moment at a time.
I am a teacher, a wife, a daughter, a sister, a friend, a Christian, a history lover, concert enthusiast, dancer, and on January 3, 2013, I added stop heroin activist to my list. On that Thursday, we lost a family friend, Nicky Vigna, to a heroin overdose, and life hasn't been the same. Since the Vignas started Walking for Wellness: Stop Heroin, my eyes have opened. I used to think heroin was a drug that strung out 80s rockers, models who want to stay skinny, and people with no ambitions did. Now I know the face of heroin can be a mother, father, son, daughter, or friend. This group has allowed me to learn first hand the truths about this drug that is taking precious lives of beautiful, caring, and intelligent people. This group has allowed us to spread the message to stop heroin and educate the public about this epidemic that is taking too many lives everyday.
My name is Samantha. My life has been blessed by two amazing souls, but unfortunately I wear both their names on my shirt. I walk in their honor, for I know they did not want the life of addiction. No one wakes up and says "today, I want to be a heroin addict". I walk to spread awareness, to educate those on the truths of this drug, for support for myself, for others, and recovering addicts. I believe we all have gifts and dreams, and I'm tired of seeing so many beautiful faces, hopes and desires taken from the world by the roller coaster of heroin.
I am married with two children and two grandchildren. My niece is/was a heroin addict. I say "was" because she is currently in prison for 10 years. At least she's alive. Unfortunately, addiction is not a spectator sport; eventually the entire family gets to play. I walk because it matters and we DO make a difference.
I am Nicky’s Dad. For over twenty years I have lived in a house with three women. As you can imagine, you pretty much let them take the reins. Everyone used to say Nicky was just like me. We liked the same things. We both loved to play games on our phone, going out to eat and hanging out in the garage having a smoke and watching Big Bang Theory. Her mom and sister would not be happy about me saying this but that was our time together to laugh and watch our favorite shows. Nicky had a great sense of humor that made all of us laugh. While my job doesn’t allow me to be as active as I would like, I wear, and hand out, Stop Heroin bracelets all over the country while I am on tour. This drug has impacted more lives than any of us can ever imagine. Save Lives. Stop Heroin.
My name is Helena Embry. I am a nursing student in Louisville Kentucky. In October 2013 my best friend, Jonathan Trauth lost his battle with heroin. I wanted to bring this walk here to raise awareness and change at least one life. In this area, heroin is such a huge epidemic, but it's also very taboo to talk about. This is where the silence ends! Nobody wants to be an addict. We need to love the addict and help fight the addiction.
I have been a Police Officer for the St. Charles Police Department for six years. I have also served as a Police Service Technician for two and a half years with the department prior to being sworn in as a Police Officer. I am currently assigned as a Detective to the St. Charles County Regional Drug Task Force and a Task Force Officer with the Drug Enforcement Administration, St. Louis Division. One of the primary areas of emphasis of my investigations includes death investigations where heroin or other illicit narcotics are involved. There has been a stigma placed on addiction and many have lost grandparents, parents, siblings, and close friends to addiction. My dedication to stopping heroin is to facilitate a change in the stigma of heroin. I also work to prevent the continued losses of life to addiction that so many families are left to bare.
I walk because having once been addicted to heroin and I want to try to do anything I can to stop the spread of this epidemic. The last thing I want to see in this world is someone give up everything (including their soul) for a drug. I don't want another parent to lose their child or hear another child lose their parents. Heroin addiction is something no person/family should ever have to experience. When I started walking, it was nice to find friends that I could relate to but since then, the group has changed to become family. As long as there is a heroin problem, I will never stop doing what we do to help our communities. I will not remain anonymous because i like to think my story will help give people hope that there is life after heroin.