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Grieving Out Loud: 3 Children, 2 Mothers, and 1 Shared Goal

Denise Roberts is an active member in her community fighting to stop overdose by destigmatizing addiction, supporting families affected by SUD, and raising awareness to this growing epidemic. She played a role in the expansion of addiction medications covered by SoonerCare (Oklahoma’s Medicaid), and today she is advocating for lowering flags to half-mast on August 31st, International Overdose Awareness Day. Denise is frequently asked by those around her how she is able to remain so strong and engaged; she herself has lost both her sons to overdose, only a few years after losing her husband to a heart attack. “What is the alternative?” She responds on Angela Kennecke’s podcast, “we’re not going to stand by and just let it continue to happen. If anything, we have our voice, and it will help somewhere, someone down the line.”

Angela Kennecke, too, faces similar questions in her daily life. She has also lost her daughter to overdose, and has decided to share her story publicly to prevent the same from happening to others. “I can let this loss, this devastation, destroy me, or I can do something about it,” the news reporter shared on a CBS interview, “we need so much more awareness, so much more - instead of judgment - compassion, and I’m trying to do what I can to help.” Her efforts have led to the creation of ‘Emily’s Hope’, a charity named after her daughter. In less than 3 years, the charity has already provided treatment scholarships for over 230 people, while developing educational curricula for K-12 students. It additionally includes Angela’s podcast, ‘Grieving out Loud’, where she discusses SUD with parents like Denise, doctors, and people who have struggled with SUD themselves.


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