Mourning mother brings ‘Dope to Hope’ speaker to Monticello

Marisa and her family in summer sunflowers portraitIf you’ve only heard or read about the devastating effects of drug use and addiction, you’re lucky. People who’ve seen them firsthand and know them all too well will help others cope and take action at a host of events this month in Piatt County.

Tim Ryan will present “A Man in Recovery, from Dope to Hope” to parents and the community at 1 p.m. March 29 at the Livingston Center in Monticello, 7 p.m. March 29 at Bement High School and at 7 p.m. March 30 at Monticello High School. Child care will be provided at both evening events.

Former addict turned drug abuse educator will bring message to schools, first responders, community

“It’s easy to think something like this will never happen to us, and if it does, we end up trying to deny the situation or become embarrassed of the circumstances,” Gyorr said on the GoFundMe page that raised more than $10,000, part of which pays for Ryan’s appearances.

“The truth is, the drugs kids are now abusing today are extremely dangerous and easily accessible, leaving them feeling dependent on the drug and feeling helpless.”

Tim Ryan dark portrait with In addition to the public presentations, Ryan will speak to area first responders and students at Monticello High School, Monticello Middle School, Bement High School, Bement Middle School, Cerro Gordo High School, Cerro Gordo Middle School and Arthur Lovington Atwood Hammond High School.

Ryan’s organization, A Man In Recovery, strives to save the lives of opiate addicts then provide alternatives so they don’t relapse. A recovering drug addict and sober coach from Naperville, Ryan runs addiction recovery groups for addicts and families.

He’s also experienced what the Gyorr family has.

His 20-year-old son Nick died from a heroin overdose.

“I truly believe that his experience and depth of knowledge will help educate families, and I am hopeful it will decrease substance abuse activity in our area,” Gyorr said, adding, “Marisa may not be here on earth, but her memory will forever be eternal, and I’m hoping to live out her purpose through the Marisa's Purpose: Faith, Hope & Love charity.

“My hope in creating this charity is that we can help as many people as possible struggling with drug abuse in our local and surrounding communities.”