‘Run Against Drugs’ this Saturday

5K Color Run at Washington Park is in remembrance of Gage Wright

By Jennifer Woods - [email protected]

The third-annual “Wright Run Against Drugs” is scheduled for this weekend with a child and pet friendly course.

The event is a 5K Color Run held in Washington Park, which is off Eyman Park Drive in Washington C.H. It will be held Saturday, Sept. 4 from approximately 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Participants may walk, jog or run.

As a Color Run, colored cornstarch will be tossed on participants during the run. Colors for this year’s event will be: green, pink, blue, purple and yellow.

Local Jennifer Huseby is in charge of the event. As previously reported and according to Huseby, on Feb. 2 of 2017, her 21-year-old son, Gage Wright, passed away from a fentanyl overdose. This event is held in remembrance of Gage and to assist others in the community as, when she first found out he was using, one of the most difficult aspects of helping him was finding help for him.

The event is to help raise funds for a local supporting organization as well as to assist others with having access to information. Proceeds from the event will go to the Fayette County Prevention Coalition to assist with continued drug education for local youth. Pathways to Recovery will be at the event to provide Narcan training.

There will be a speaker who is originally from Washington Court House as well as a DJ. Free water, bananas and granola bars will be provided to participants after the run. Various organizations will be present to provide information.

During the event, the following will be available for purchase: tutus for $10, color powder packets for $2, window decals for $5, and raffle tickets for $1 each or six for $5.

Pre-registration has already ended, but same-day event registration will be available for $20.

For more information or to follow the event, visit the Facebook event page, “The ‘Wright’ Run Against Drugs,” at www.fb.com/wrightrun.

Gage’s story, according to the event page, is as follows:

“Gage Alexander Wright, July 8, 1995 to Feb. 2, 2017, Forever 21.

“Gage was always a very high energy, stubborn and unique person. He had a heart of gold and would do just about anything for anyone. Throughout all of his years, he never knew a stranger. He started using marijuana as a young teen, which did cause a lot of trouble for him.

“We went through times of him being on probation, house arrest, spending time in a juvenile detention center and a juvenile rehabilitation center. As he got older, he started having migraine headaches. They were so severe that he would vomit and cry from the pain. With the headaches and nauseousness getting worse each time, we had to start going to the ER for treatment. They began giving him strong pain medications. At one point, they even gave him morphine.

“Soon after is when I believe he started abusing prescription pain pills. In 2013, at the age of 18, he was in a very bad car accident with one of his older brothers. Luckily, Gage was able to heal completely from his physical injuries. However, the emotional ones never healed. In fact, they were still open and bleeding.

“Fast forward to March 23, 2016. His younger, and only sister, Kehte, passed away as the result of a car accident. She was only 17 but knew exactly what she wanted to do with her life. Gage was devastated. He could not fathom why he was spared, and yet she was not.

“A few months after this, Gage found a job remodeling stores and traveling. The following September is when I started really noticing changes in him. He was either irritable and sick (vomiting), or falling asleep and zoned out. A week before he passed is when it all started making sense.

“He was still on the road with work, and my husband happened to notice something strange in his bedroom. After investigating further, we knew what was going on. He was using heroin. We found out when he was coming home, called off from work so we could be there to confront him. He told us that it wasn’t his, even went so far as to blame it on a friend and create a very elaborate lie. He was given the choice to go to a treatment center or leave. He chose to leave, telling us that we were wrong about the accusations.

“I spent that entire week in a living hell. I talked to him everyday as he told me what a horrible mother I was being, while trying to find a treatment center for him just in case he changed his mind. All I could find was alcohol treatment centers, women only centers or centers with limited beds and none available. I felt so lost.

“On Feb. 1st, Gage said he would go to treatment, so I let him come home. I didn’t know where we would take him, but I was ecstatic that he had finally agreed to go. Less than 24 hours later, he was gone.

“This is my reason for starting this memorial run. For trying to bring together people and organizations that have information about rehabilitation facilities. For raising and donating money to the Fayette County Prevention Coalition. We cannot force anyone who is in active addiction to seek treatment until they are ready to do so. If we can ensure that their loved ones have the information available when needed, then perhaps we can save those lives. If we can reach out to our youth before they ever begin to use substances, maybe we can stop this cycle. If I can help to prevent even one person, one family, from feeling and going through the pain that I am, then it is worth it.”

Reach journalist Jennifer Woods at 740-313-0355.

5K Color Run at Washington Park is in remembrance of Gage Wright

By Jennifer Woods

[email protected]