Below are the current members helping to serve the community. If you would like to request a specific individual based on their background please let us know and we will do our best to accomodate.
Over 20 years ago, when my oldest son started to have problems, I knew quickly, it was a result of mental health issues. In spite of all my efforts he started abusing drugs. He found what he thought was a better solution for his depression and anxiety. There were few resources in 1999 for me as a parent or my son. I felt lonely, isolated, desperate and the stigma associated with this disease was huge. I would never want anyone to feel the way I did if there was something I could do to help. I do not believe you have to wait for a person to "hit bottom." I also don't believe you have to work harder than the person with the disease to help them succeed. Nothing changes, if nothing changes. I made changes to be sure I was always there to support my son's recovery and to stop being part of his problem. Healthy boundaries, limits and changed behaviors can assist recovery. Doing the same things over, that don't yield a positive outcome for the addict, can only lead to pain for everyone.
Jenn is a Registered Nurse (RN) who obtained her Bachelors of Science in Nursing (BSN) from Immaculata University (2006) following her Associate's Degree in Nursing (ADN) from Wesley College (2002). Her previous experience includes 11 years with Christiana Care (med/surg, transport, step-down and CVICU nursing). For the last 8 years, she has worked at Kirkwood Detox, recently promoted to the Director of Nursing. Jenn has supported the Hero Help Program since 2016; she became the part-time case Manager Dec 2019. Jenn spends her off-hours with her husband and their 3 children.
I am a parent of three sons, all who are in active recovery. When I started this journey in 2011 there were very few resources for myself and my family. I had no one to share this with. I felt lonely and isolated. This wasn’t something I would share with my “girlfriends”.
I would never want another mom or family member to experience that feeling of isolation and loneliness if there was a way I could help them and let them know they are not alone. Eventually I found support through atTAcK addiction and now volunteer for them and as a board member and also am a member of the PEP team.
MaryBeth Cichocki is a retired registered nurse living in the state of Delaware. She lost her youngest son, Matt, to an overdose of prescription drugs on January 3rd, 2015. After his death, she was unable to return to her world of taking care of critically ill babies in the N.I.C.U.
She now spends her time advocating and writing about the disease of addiction. She started a blog shortly after Matt died titled Mothers Heart Break, ( mothersheartbreak.com ) which tells the story of Matt’s addiction and continues into the present as she deals with complicated grief. MaryBeth also facilitates a support group for those suffering the loss of a loved one due to the disease of addiction. (Support After Addiction Death).
For the past 5 years she has done community outreach. She started A Hug From Matt distributing backpacks filled with essentials for those living on the street throughout the state of Delaware and Kensington in Philadelphia.
MaryBeth is passionate about saving other mothers from her grief. She is a wife, mother, grandmother and dog rescuer.
When my son was arrested at 18 years old and spent Christmas in jail, my life came crashing down. Little did I know this was just the beginning of an eleven-year process before he would begin his recovery. I have learned a great deal over the years about mental health and addiction problems. I reached out for what few resources that were available. I’m grateful to say, he recently celebrated two years in recovery. I am also grateful that I realize this is a lifelong disease, that one day at a time, can be put into remission. My son will never be cured. It can be a very slow and painful process to learn how to be part of the solution, and not continue to support the problem. I joined the team to give back and, hopefully, help others learn the things that I have.
My name is Bernie Lovenvirth and I’m the son of an alcoholic and dad of an addict. I grew up having no one to discuss what I was going through including my mother or brother. You didn’t speak of this dirty little secret. My son’s addiction caused my wife and me to search for a place where we would have people to talk to and help us with the heartbreak we were living with.
We found the support we needed in Nar-Anon and then at atTAcK addiction. I recognize the importance of being with folks who understand. Now it’s my turn to “give back” and I’m able to do this as a member of the PEP team.
In February 2013, Dave and several others who had lost loved ones were led to the doorstep of atTAcK addiction founders, Jeanne and Don Keister. They were to be an action group seeking solutions to “The Public Health Crisis of the 21st Century” – opioid addiction and overdose deaths. Dave found a role in helping with public policy. He also remembered the words of the detective that investigated his son, Greg’s, overdose death, “If we had a 911 Good Samaritan Law or Narcan Law your son might be alive today.” Dave is passionate as a trainer getting the life-saving medication, naloxone, in the hands of the community. He is also passionate about helping people with the disease of addiction find the better life that they deserve. "First save the life. Where there is life there is hope". Dave is a person in long term recovery.
The disease of addiction is not, and should not be a secret. As a registered nurse with more than 40 years of experience, including that in Critical Care, Emergency Department, and School Nursing, I have sadly seen the negative impact this disease has on family and friends. I have also been inspired by the power of one’s story. It’s my belief that where there’s LIFE, there’s HOPE!
I’m also the proud mother of 4 beautiful children, 2 daughters and 2 sons. My sons are both living with recovery today. Their road and journey have been quite different. The connection between mental illness and addiction is evidence based. We must treat those in need with understanding, meaningful resources, and love.
Along with a group of compassionate and empathetic fellow nurses, both in the clinical and community setting, we have worked tirelessly to offer and provide prevention education to all Delaware school aged children from grades Kn-College.
As a member of the PEP Team, it is my goal to support families and loved ones in need by building a network of passionate and caring supports as well as advocating for those who may not have a voice!
My name is Megan Deery. I am a treatment advocate for Banyan Treatment Centers. It is my passion to help people that are struggling with substance abuse as well as mental health. I work with getting people placed in a facility that is best suited for them. I have had personal experience dealing with loved ones struggling with SUD as well as mental health disorders so I know how it feels to be on the other end of this. I enjoy helping the whole family as this disease does not just effect the patient. I am available 24/7 to help and can be reached at 302-332-2599 or firstname.lastname@example.org. If you know someone struggling please reach out even if it’s just to have someone to talk to.