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Fonder Ponders
Thursday, Oct. 22, 2015 -- 12:00 AM

Fonder Ponders column by Jackson Fonder

As an avid long-distance runner, this is by far my favorite time of the year to run.

On most early mornings, I can be found on the trails of the many parks around south central Wisconsin.

Through the years, I have had many opportunities to run in some unique and stunning landscapes around the world. For me, running is not just physical, but helps keep me grounded mentally and spiritually.

Running across Grand Canyon

Next week, I'm heading to Arizona for my next running adventure. The Rim-to-Rim-to-Rim run/hike is an amazing 48-mile trek across the Grand Canyon and back.

The double-crossing, as it is also called, is a do-it-yourself, bucket-list adventure for people who love trail running. It includes high altitude, 10,000 feet in elevation change, temperature swings, and unstable conditions.

When you're on the trails for that many miles, you have a lot of time to think. Often I reflect on my own life and the people I work with every day.

A journey to recovery

One reoccurring thought for me is our clients that we serve at Hope Haven who struggle with addiction. Each one of those men and women are on their own journey.

Some have the support of family and friends, but many do not. For others, this is not their first step on the road to recovery. In fact, more than half of people who go through the recovery process go through it a second or third time, or more.

Catholic Charities has operated Hope Haven for more than 40 years. We have helped thousands of people restore their lives and get back on the road to recovery. Visit Hope Haven's website and you'll meet people like Andrew, who will tell you how drug addiction cost him his job, his family, and his self-esteem.

Millions need help

It is estimated that more than 20 million people currently need alcohol or drug treatment -- and only three percent get it! It is a disease that is chronic, fatal, underdiagnosed, underfunded, and present somewhere in almost every American family.

Anyone in recovery will tell you that they will battle this disease for the rest of their lives. With addiction there is no "finish line" where you are suddenly all better.

When the full moon arrives on October 26, please keep me in your thoughts and prayers as I total more than 100,000 steps across the Grand Canyon and back.

More importantly, please say a prayer for our clients at Hope Haven. Although my journey will include some fear, a few unexpected obstacles, and a desire to want to give up, my journey pales in comparison to theirs. Ninety-five percent of untreated addicts die of their addiction.

If you know someone who is struggling with addiction, call us.

Jackson Fonder is president and CEO of Catholic Charities Madison. Contact Hope Haven at 608-251-8881 or visit www.HopeHavenHelps.org