Shawna Taylor took a personal hardship and turned it into something that helps others in similar situations.
“When my daughter started struggling with her addiction to fentanyl. I was lost, my family was lost, embarrassed, shameful and so confused,” says Taylor.
“We had nowhere to turn and no one who seemed to know what we were going through and no one to give us advice on how to maneuver through the criminal justice and health care system.”
In January 2019, Taylor created Here Together, a support group for families of addicts in Airdrie.
She says it is meant to bring addictions into the light and let families of addicts know they are not alone.
“I realized the more I normalized it the better I felt and was able to deal with this horrific thing that was taking my daughter away and tearing our family apart,” she says, adding that she is now raising her granddaughter.
“The more that we talk about addiction and what we are going through, the more we can educate others to try to end the stigma and create a sense of community for those who feel like they are losing everything.”
Christina Sackett nominated Taylor for the Amazing Determination Award.
“Shawna has selflessly committed herself to helping her family, her community and she is determined to lead the way for compassionate addiction supports and awareness,” says Sackett.