A special thank you to this year’s Leave a Legacy Dinner chairs, Kathi & Scott Shuford and family. We are fortunate to announce that the event has sold out. View event information.
By Kathi Shuford
My family had the gut-wrenching experience of realizing that our youngest daughter, Mary, was addicted to alcohol when she landed in the hospital days before Christmas at age 17. Her journey and ours brought us to a new understanding of the disease of alcoholism and the sad fact that most Americans choose to turn their head and pretend this problem does not exist.
But it does exist in terrifying proportions. The statistics are staggering. The death toll alone, that of the alcoholic and those lost by the actions of the alcoholic, should garner everyone’s attention. Mary’s journey was unique. As an adolescent, she had no choice but to enter treatment. We were fortunate enough to provide that treatment with savings as it was not covered under our insurance policy. The cost of her treatment was equal to that of a four-year college education. The critical fact here is that the kind of support we were able to offer Mary is available to less than 1% of those needing it.
Alcoholism is an overlooked epidemic that is on the rise, especially in women. It is estimated that one in eight American adults suffers from alcoholism, and over 251,364 women in the Dallas area are alcohol-dependent. As families are at last recognizing the validity of alcoholism as a disease in need of treatment, the demand for treatment at all levels has increased. Unfortunately, most families cannot afford the costs involved and many insurance carriers still do not cover this treatment. Aside from financial barriers, women face more stigmatization, shame, family responsibilities, and socioeconomic barriers than their male counterparts.
When Mary returned home from treatment, she began to serve daily at The Magdalen House (Maggie’s). Her service included leading meetings, sponsoring women both in the house and within the recovery community, helping with meals and so forth. While working as a program director at a for-profit agency in the addiction treatment industry, Mary’s most common referral for families that could not afford treatment was The Magdalen House.
The Magdalen House is a non-profit organization helping women achieve sobriety and sustain recovery from alcoholism at no cost and based on 12-Step spiritual principles. Founded in Dallas, Texas in 1987, The Magdalen House continues to be the only agency in the area to offer crisis intervention through a free, two-week, in-house Social Detox Program combined with continued care through a free Peer Recovery Program. Together these programs create a recovery community grounded in the idea that together we can accomplish what we cannot do alone.
I have toured Maggie’s House and have met each of the dedicated staff members, most of whom are in recovery themselves and have directly benefited from the services and solution provided at The Magdalen House. One of the most unique aspects of Maggie’s, however, is the service element. Alumnae feel called by the gratitude in their hearts for the new life they have been given to return to Maggie’s and serve as they were served.
It is so imperative that our community supports the efforts of this organization to give our mothers, wives, sisters, daughters and friends a chance to live, a chance to be sober and a chance to be free. Today, our family is grateful to witness Mary on staff at The Magdalen House dedicating herself to helping other women achieve sobriety and sustain recovery.
The Magdalen House Leave a Legacy Dinner
On October 3rd, friends of The Magdalen House, new and old, will come together for an incredible night to support the mission to help women achieve sobriety and sustain recovery from alcoholism at no cost and based on 12-Step spiritual principles. The Leave a Legacy Dinner allows The Magdalen House to provide alcoholic women the opportunity to obtain long-term sobriety and a renewed quality of life, at any stage of her recovery.
Our family is chairing this year’s Leave a Legacy Dinner, and we are honored to have Former First Lady, Mrs. Laura Bush as our keynote speaker. The impact Mrs. Bush has made on not only the greater Dallas community but throughout the world is remarkable. The Magdalen House, like Mrs. Bush, believes in the importance of strengthening our communities through improving women’s lives. We believe this event will be met with much enthusiasm and are excited to be able to share this special night, raising awareness and funds for such a worthy cause, with you.