Hello, my name is Chris. I am 38 years old and a father of three beautiful children. I was born in upstate NY. My family moved to NC when I was 5.
When I was a kid, I was never very good at school. When I was 10, I was diagnosed with ADD. Back then it was still a pretty new diagnoses. Medication didn’t really help much. I struggled all through school. I tried to figure out how to overcome my ADD while growing up.
My freshman year of high school, I had given up. I had made friends with some of the wrong people. I started using drugs and skipping school. By the end of freshman year I had run away from home for 10 days. They found us living in the attack of a abandoned house in the middle of the woods. Needless to say my parents weren’t happy.
At that point my behavior only got worse. I was taking LSD on almost a daily basis. I was using other drugs quite heavily. Then when I was 16, I was arrested. I was charged with 6 counts of misdemeanor damage to personal property. I was put on probation.
The next year, my parents got divorced. This only made my problems worse. I moved in with my father. My older sister moved in with my mother. My father had a girlfriend at the time. He was never home. At this point I had dropped out of school. And managed to get my father evicted. We then moved to Chapel Hill, NC.
My father was still never home. I had constant parties and the drug use was pretty much all day. It didn’t matter if it was pot, LSD, Coke, crystal, K, ecstasy. This is when my drug addiction was at its worst. And the damage to my teeth truly began.
By 17 I had violated my probation. I spent the next 3 months in jail. The very first night I was there. I was jumped and needed 13 stitches in my lip. I was released from jail and immediately started where I had left off.
Now I was not only using, I was also selling drugs. I had started robbing vehicles and homes as well. I had become completely on my addiction to get me through the day. My health was suffering both physical and emotionally. Then it finally happened. I overdosed while at a rave one night. I went to the doctor the next day. I was in a lot of physical pain. I was told that I had strained muscles in my back and chest. I was also told that I had broken or cracked 70% of my teeth during the trauma. With this all happening, I immediately stopped going to raves and stealing from people. My drug use slowed down and I started working again.
When I was 19, I moved to New Mexico. I worked and stayed pretty low key. I got into management training program through Dominos pizza. In this time, I had also beaten my addiction. When I was 21, I moved back to NC because of my grandfathers death.
I married my first wife whom I had my first child with. A beautiful baby girl named Jillian. By 23 I had been working hard and had become a general manager for Dominos. I hadn’t had a relapse in 4 years. My father had started a balloon decorating business. I worked for him whenever he may have needed me.
Unfortunately my marriage had already fallen apart, we got a divorce. I continued to work and dated a woman for the next four years. In this time I had returned to drug use. It was starting to show physically again. Pieces of my teeth had started coming out. Because of the effects of our addictions we eventually went our separate ways.
A year later I had met my second wife. I was also clean again. Within three months we got married and found out she was pregnant. We couldn’t have been happier. Casper was born! I had left my job of 13 years and started working at a local dry cleaners. I had also taken on a partnership role with my fathers business.
3 months after Casper was born. We found out that my wife was pregnant again. We were a little surprised, but yet still happy. Several months into the pregnancy we found out that Cypress was not developing properly. By June that year, Cypress had arrived. Cypress was born with a cleft palate, Pierre Robin sequence, and very low muscle tone. He also has a partial deletion of is 12th chromosome. Because the doctors hadn’t seen this combination before. They really had no idea what to expect.
Within 6 days, cypress had several surgeries. He was in the hospital for several months. Eventually we were able to bring him home. He needed constant care and was tube fed for the first year of his life. At 1 he was able to have surgery to fix his cleft pallet. He was now able to drink on his own. Because of his condition, he had a primarily liquid diet for several years to come. At 1 was also the first time he had smiled since he was born. At the age of 3 he began to walk. He had been in therapy for a while at this point. At 4 he began to talk. By 5 he was able to eat regular meals and food. He also started school. Therapy’s continued and cypress continues to make leaps and bounds. Although potty training has never worked and he still wears pull-ups. He also still needs constant supervision and interactions.
Needless to say this took a toll on my marriage. We worked on things for years. We almost separated several times. About two years ago I bought the family business and house from my father. My wife was staying home and going to school. I was working full time and running my business.
We talked and decided to work things out. In April we found out that she had gotten into med school abroad. We decided to take the chance and she would go to med school so we could have a brighter future. She left in August of 2017. I invested several thousands of dollars into getting her to school. I continued to try and fix our marriage. Shortly after she left our a/c broke. Then in September my van for my business broke down and took four months and several thousands of dollars to fix.
With all the stress. My anxiety and depression had blossomed. Fortunately I was able to find medication that helped quickly. She came home for Christmas. Everything was wonderful. She returned to school in the beginning of January. We had been talking for several weeks. Then the unimaginable happened. My wife of ten years asked me for a divorce.
After many emotional conversations she has decided to continue school abroad for the next 9 years. I will be raising my two boys and my daughter. I will also continue my business and trying to grow it. I have worked hard and been through hell and back. I have done horrible things and worked hard to escape that life. I have also been free of addiction for over 10 years. I am worried it will all come crumbling down because of these things happening.
I continue to hold my head up. I have always worked hard. And despite all the obstacles in my life, I have made it farther than I ever imagined.
Although my life has been falling down around me, I have the love and compassion of my children.
This brings us to why I am here. I have fought the odds my entire life. I have made mistakes and I have paid the consequences. I have never made excuses. And for the first time in my life, I need help.
For the first time in twenty years I was able to afford health insurance. I was able to start seeing a doctor regularly again. In fortunately it was not all good news. I was told that with the damage from my addiction and the improper care of my teeth, I would need to have them extracted and replaced with dentures. I had known for a long time that they had gotten bad. My doctor fears that with the state my teeth are in, I am taking 20 years off my life.
I am raising money to literally save my life. I just can’t afford to do it on my own. I would love to be able to smile at my children again. I have worked so hard my entire life and faced demons head on. The future I had been working towards and supported with my wife is now gone. I have 3 wonderful children that I feel that I’m failing. I just want to be given a chance, nothing more.
I thank all of you that have taken the time to read this. Even if you are unable to donate to my cause, please share and spread my story. I will continue to work towards success and happiness. Any support or donation that you can give will be appreciated beyond explanation.