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Walk held to raise awareness to overdose epidemic

The group started off their walk at the Arthur Street Walmart parking lot and headed east towards the Kam river heritage park

THUNDER BAY – A spring walk was held to raise awareness of substance abuse and overdose on Saturday and despite the rainy weather, dozens of dedicated residents came out to walk to raise awareness of the overdose epidemic.

Many were seen wearing purple shirts to show their support for those who struggle with substance abuse and in remembrance of their loved ones who were lost to overdoses.

The group started off their walk at the Arthur Street Walmart parking lot and headed east towards the Kam river heritage park.

The walk ended at a memorial tree that was decorated with purple ribbons, ornaments, and balloons.

Walk organizer Carolyn Karle lost her daughter to a drug overdose and wants to see a change in the city.

"We have all come together, and we are working hard at seeing change in the city, we need resources,” she said “We have a very broken system, there's lots of people falling through the gaps that aren't getting the services that they so deserve. There's not anywhere to go after they do the Balmoral Centre, lots of long waits. We're dedicated to improving the services here in Thunder Bay."

Many of those walking were affected by loved ones experiencing substance abuse and overdose, including Janine Desmoulin who was grateful to see how many people came out to show their support.

"I have lost a brother to addictions who overdosed a few years ago and so I stand with these mothers including my mother who couldn't be here today, to walk and sing and drum for continued healing,” said Desmoulin.

“I think that's really what we’re all gathered here for today. Some of us are recovering addicts like myself. I'm really grateful and honored to see so many come out.”

Carolyn Karle will be planning another walk next Saturday with the hopes of better weather. Everyone is encouraged to come out and walk.

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