Saving Claire- her recovery journey

Our family has been experiencing every family’s worst nightmare over the course of the past year. The opioid epidemic is all over the news, and you never think it will affect you or your family. Until it does.

It is heartbreaking for us to share this news with our family and friends. Late last year our 19 year old middle daughter (we will call her Claire for internet privacy reasons) came to us, desperate for help with an addiction to opiates. Our sweet, amazing, vivacious, college-bound, hard working child found herself in the grips of addiction. Our world has been shattered, and our only focus at this time is to hold our family together, and to get her the help, support and guidance that she so desperately needs. Our entire family is deeply affected by this, from her younger brother who is in high school, to her sister in college, and her oldest sister and her spouse, who all love Claire dearly, this has been earth-shattering. Not to mention the impact it has had on me and Charlie, her parents.

Upon learning of Claire’s addiction, we immediately sought guidance and treatment through our insurance. Unfortunately, it only covered a 21 day treatment program, which was not long enough for Claire to maintain her newfound sobriety. (In addition, the program was less than effective: mixed gender, institutional setting with high census, no follow up planning). At the time we did not know any different. We were devastated when Claire relapsed, further and deeper into addiction. We then sent her to another similar program, again through insurance, but with the same drawbacks and flaws. Again, the addiction took an even worse turn, terrifying Claire and the whole family. We now believe we have one chance left to save our beloved daughter, but cannot do it without financial help.

Research shows that the longer someone stays in active treatment, the less likely they are to relapse and the more likely they are to achieve lifetime sobriety.  We now know that the only way to save our daughter’s life is for her to complete a long term, intensive rehabilitation program with extensive aftercare planning. Through much research, Claire found a highly rated wilderness program at Four Circles Recovery Center in North Carolina. Their  program is  gender specific, small group, and grounded in the traditional 12 steps, combined with a blend of traditional and holistic therapies. It utilizes the transformative power of the wilderness to help individuals reconnect with themselves and find healing, learning survival techniques, relearning how to trust others, and most importantly learning how to rely on, trust and love oneself.

Claire is now 6 weeks into her treatment program and is making amazing progress. She has been allowed two calls home and writes weekly. For the first time in over a year we can hear the essence of Claire shining through. Her thought processes are mature and well grounded as she discusses the impact her addiction had on her cognition, choices and behaviors, as well as the impact those had on the family, her friends and loved ones. The remorse and the hope she expresses are highly encouraging. Reports from her therapist speak of Claire successfully progressing through the program’s objectives, on track to complete the inpatient program around the beginning of the new year. Feel free to visit the Four Circles website to learn more about their program:

Out of pocket expenses  have mounted quickly, as will her aftercare and sober living costs. Unfortunately, none of this is covered by insurance.  As her parents, there is nothing we won’t do to help ensure that Claire has access to quality treatment, to give her the highest probability of a chance for lifelong sobriety, health and happiness. We successfully negotiated a price at less than 25% of the normal cost, but it is still a  backbreaking $1,000 per week. The aftercare portion, to include sober living housing and outpatient therapy, as well as reintegration into the community and job placement services, will have a continued estimated cost of approx $4,000 per month for up to 1 full year.

Claire is committed to her new life of sobriety, and we humbly ask our family and friends to help if you can.  It is of utmost urgency that we help ensure that Claire is successful in her journey. Those who know Claire know her as a bright, graceful and selfless young woman full of warmth, compassion, and the desire to help others.  She will make a positive difference in the world if you help give her the opportunity. We are so proud of her progress thus far, and are full of hope for her recovery.

We cannot thank you enough for your consideration.

Claire's flowers.
  • Erin Mueller 
    • $100 
    • 35 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $20 
    • 44 mos
  • Shawn Cowdin 
    • $50 
    • 44 mos
  • Shannon Dyer 
    • $100 
    • 44 mos
  • Lisa Grueneberg 
    • $20 
    • 44 mos
See all


Julie Duvall Tenney 
Cedarburg, WI
  • #1 fundraising platform

    More people start fundraisers on GoFundMe than on any other platform. Learn more

  • GoFundMe Guarantee

    In the rare case something isn’t right, we will work with you to determine if misuse occurred. Learn more

  • Expert advice, 24/7

    Contact us with your questions and we’ll answer, day or night. Learn more