My name is Sharon Harkless. We lost my son Cody, to a Heroin/ Fentanyl Overdose on August 1, 2016. Since then I have been out there helping to make a difference and help people. We formed a nonprofit called Cody’s Crusaders and last year I founded a project here in Peoria, Illinois called Peoria Recovery Project. It has taken off huge! BBC News came here in early August and filmed our community for a news series they are creating about the Opioid Epidemic and locally a CW- Peoria/ Bloomington Producer is working on a 4 part series starting with Cody’s story and moving on to what we are doing with the Peoria Recovery Project. You can look us up on our Facebook page – Peoria Recovery Project.
Cody was a very loving soul who cared deeply about people and animals. He was very kind and gentle and had a great sense of humor. He was the kind of person who you couldn’t help but love. He was great with his nephews and niece and they adored him. He could get on their level and have fun with them. They still remember and perform some “magic” tricks he taught them. He is missed dearly! We had put together a video tribute to show that those struggling with addiction aren’t who you think and judge them to be. They are loving everyday family people. I’ve actually been thinking about Cody’s story and my struggle ( not to mention the rest of the family), which is how a mother went through the struggle of her son’s addiction and lost him, and how I went inward and found myself. I rose from my grief by truly finding myself. I found helpful tools that I now want to share with others who can’t seem to find relief from their deep grief. Also, there are mental tools that those struggling with addiction can use to help stay focused mentally and stay away from the mind chatter that goes on.
Story by Sharon Harkless