Shatterproof 5K walk held at Soldier Field aims to save lives from addiction crisis

CHICAGO (CBS) – Think for a minute about conditions like heart disease or breast cancer — illnesses with a lot of activism around them and conversation, so much so there are months dedicated to education and fundraising for them specifically.

There is also a national organization aiming to raise that level of attention to another condition: the disease of addiction.

On Saturday, the Shatterproof group welcomed hundreds to a 5K walk with the goal of ending the addiction crisis in the US The Rise Up Against Addiction walk began at Soldier Field, heading north to the Loop and then back south to the Museum Campus for the final stretch.

The walk was open to those currently fighting for their sobriety, those who love them, and anyone whose life has been impacted by addiction.

Shatterproof 5K walk to end addiction crisis happening at Soldier Field


The name Shatterproof references giving people and families the support they need so that drugs, alcohol, or other substances don’t shatter their lives.

It’s something the group’s founder and CEO Gary Mendell knows intimately. He lost his son Brian to addiction in 2011 and he told CBS 2’s Marie Saavedra about the magic of having so many people gathered in one place with the same goal.

“Not only are we here to honor those in recovery, or struggling with a disease, a chronic illness, we’re here to also say for those we’ve lost, in their memory and in their honor, like I am there for my son, ‘We are here to help others. Doesn’t that feel good?'” he said.

“Personally, I’ve been sober and clean for 21 years, and I’m very grateful for that. But for years of my life, I was miserable – and I didn’t know it was a disease. I thought I was a looser,” said Kimmy Haynes. “Like, we need people to stop shaming people with addiction – because shame kills.”

CBS 2 is a proud media sponsor of the walk. Our own Jackie Kostek emceed the event, and Joe Donlon was there to show support for this very important cause.

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Marie Saavedra



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