CNQ Classmates, it is with heavy heart that I feel obligated to send this note to our entire class. After the recent passing of several classmates, there were some postings on the WP86 Facebook page where many of you stated that you wished you knew more about some of the dire situations of some of our distressed classmates so you could have done something about it before it was too late. That got me thinking that just a small few of us should not be trying to handle this current situation all alone, anymore. While I struggled with the pride and privacy of one of our dear classmates given this public disclosure, I ultimately decided this should be brought into the open so we can all “grip hands” and work together to help a deeply struggling classmate and friend.
I am talking about Joe Gleeson. About 10 years ago, Joe’s alcohol addiction came visibly to the surface, where he lost his job, wife, relations with his 4 beautiful children, essentially everything. Over the years he has been in and out of rehab programs and hospitals, and has had the corresponding legal issues that come with relapse after relapse. Most recently, the last 3 year or so, he’s been living in a very dangerous suburb of Chicago, keeping hard-labor jobs for brief stints at a time, being burglarized, being mugged and beaten at times, and continuing to relapse after short successful runs at sobriety. He has tried so hard, over and over, to no avail, and it’s killing him, literally and emotionally.
For the last ten years, steadily, John Noble and I have played a central and heavily engaged role in helping Joe through this very difficult situation (with jobs, advice, motivation, money, etc.). It started with an intervention about a decade ago where nearly a dozen of our classmates got actively involved to help. But with continued relapses, for the last 8 years or so (and with Joe going off the grid a lot and losing touch with everyone), it’s been just John and I dealing with Joe (weekly, often daily). We felt it was time to bring the power of CNQ86 to bear on this situation.
The bottom line is that we felt the situation has degraded in recent months, and Joe was nearing a likely catastrophic outcome. We hired a professional addiction counselor to travel to Chicago and convince Joe to enter an extended 90+-day program in Florida that is designed for long-term alcoholics who cannot beat the disease.
I am extremely pleased to report to you all that we worked with the counselor, Joe’s family, and the new program to transport him down to Florida on June 18 where he officially started this new long-term recovery program. For now, he is out of Chicago and in safe hands, ideally recovering for good.
I am writing to ask all of you for your help. We hope Joe will be in Florida for years to come, but no way to know for sure. If you are in Florida and can visit him, please make time to go see him. If you have a company that can hire him after his 3-6 month program, please try to do that (he is an MIT grad MBA and a star-man after all!) Plus we’ve got about $55K of known expenses related to this program. But we also want to provide him post-program monitoring, counseling, career options, and financial support in order to give him an out-sized chance at a sustained recovery this time. All-in, we’d like to raise a minimum of $55K to cover the program, with a target of $100K to provide an extended timeline of care and support.
CNQ, this is a rare opportunity where we all have a chance to significantly help a dear classmate and friend before you receive that dreaded graduate death notice in your inbox. Please donate what you can to help, and check back….if we have not raised our target, please keep giving. And we ask that you don’t be anonymous, add a note to Joe and show your name and $ amount, large or small, so all can see how we came together as a class to help a friend. Thank you all for your consideration. Go Army, CNQ86 rules.