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Participants run over heroin

By John Estridge, Editor

It was a quintessential early June morning, Saturday, June 9, as the Run Over Heroin participants readied themselves for a 5K run/walk.

People milled about on North Market Street just past its intersection with Union Street. Some ran on the sidewalks of the different streets around preparing for the 3.1-mile run/walk ahead.

Many were there because they wanted to run or walk with friends and relatives. Some wanted to help out with funding for the Union County Opiate Clinic.

But for some, the race held extra meaning. Rebecca Catron’s son, Brian Mathews, had succumbed to an overdose. She was there with her grandson, Brian’s young son, Axel Mathews.

Axel and Catron were walking the course. Another person pushed a stroller in case Axel needed a lift.

They were making the walk in Brian’s memory.

A few others were there as former patients now living a whole new life, in large part to the Bridge device.

According to co-founder of the Opiate Clinic, Jeff Mathews, the Bridge device fits behind a patient’s ear. And in most cases, it makes an almost instantaneous change in the lives of those who choose to put it on.

Their terrible physical reaction to not putting anymore opiates in their bodies, just seems to dissipate.

Mathews said there are times he has walked into the process after the Bridge device has been applied and everyone in the room is crying.

But those are good tears.

Mathews talked about one young lady who had been homeless in Richmond before her successful attempt to quit opiates.

Her physical sickness from doing away with opiates in her life was one of the worst the clinic has ever encountered.

However, after applying the device, she was almost instantaneously sitting up and conversing with those around her, with many of them being family members.

She is now a manager of a restaurant in a nearby small city.

That is but one story and Mathews, as well as the other co-founder, Alvin Day, have many more.

Eighteen-year-old Union County resident Ravi Dare won the race in an impressive 18:19.

On the female side of the ledger, Union County resident Carly McCashland, 13, took the female title in a very impressive 27:04.

As the runners and walkers crossed the finish line a few yards onto North Market from the Union Street side, they talked, went for cold water, had their timing devices snipped off.

All were winners that day on finishing the course.

But the clinic which benefitted from the participants’ largesse, were also the clear winner.

And young, smiling Axel, walked the course in an impressive 1:05:10.