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Changing Lives

Changing Lives

President’s list, Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, 4.0 grade point average for three straight semesters. Looking at Cassandra Wade’s life now, you would never guess that just two short years ago she was addicted to drugs and alcohol. Cassandra’s battle with addiction began 25 years ago.

“It was a gradual process from my early days,” she said. “From me drinking beer as a child, to rebelling, smoking cigarettes, smoking weed, and from weed on to hard drugs.”

Eventually, her life began to fall apart. Cassandra was arrested, lost her home and most of her belongings. She was also in and out of rehab five times. It took the threat of jail for Cassandra to finally begin to turn her life around. Two years ago she was arrested, but instead of jail the judge in her case sent her to Hoover Treatment Center. The Hoover Treatment Center is one of the programs of BCD, Inc., which is supported by your generous gifts to the Human Relations Day Sunday offering.

“Once I got to Hoover I knew that if I messed up, this time I was going to the penitentiary,” Cassandra remembers. Her first month in treatment was tough. “I had to pray constantly, say the Lord’s Prayer over and over nightly to get any kind of peace of mind because I was still with that shame, guilt, remorse, resentment,” she said. So Cassandra continued to pray, continued to go to meetings, and followed the direction and advice of her counselors--especially Deborah Bledsoe. “Ms. Bledsoe is my biggest encourager,” said Cassandra. “She encouraged me to set my goal for a Doctorate.”

Today, Cassandra has been sober for two years and hopes to become a therapist after finishing school. “It’s about helping that next person that’s sick and suffering.”


Laura Duarte also knows something about helping the next person. She works at not one, but two addiction treatment facilities, including Hoover Treatment Center. Laura is also a former Hoover client. Two-and-a-half years ago, Laura was addicted to methadone and made a decision that would change her life forever. “One morning I woke up and said ‘This is it God. This is it, I’m ready,’” she remembers.

Laura then called 30 addiction treatment centers-- last on her list was Hoover. Laura becomes teary-eyed when she remembers the kindness of the Hoover staff. “They’re awesome,” she said. “They loved me when I didn’t even love me.”

Today, Laura describes herself as independent, responsible, and humble. And what does she think about her job at Hoover? “I’m grateful. It’s like my full circle moment.”

— a story from the BCD, Inc. website

To learn more about the Human Relations Day Sunday offering click here. To give to the Human Relations Day Sunday offering to help programs like this one click here.

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