Emily’s Hope: Turning heartbreak into action

By Kate Matthes and Reese Duncan

Even when grief threatened to take over her life, Kennecke used her experience as motivation to help those suffering from addiction. Treatment does not always seem feasible for those seeking help with substance abuse; Emily’s Hope seeks to help eliminate the barriers that may prevent people from getting the care they need. Kennecke finds that navigating the intricate web of healthcare and treatment options poses a daunting task. In addition, many rehabilitation facilities do not provide rates adjusted to income, accept Medicare or offer free treatment for those who cannot pay. Some facilities can cost $30,000 per month, creating a challenge for families. 

“In the wake of Emily’s loss, I was driven by a deep need to prevent other families from experiencing the same kind of pain. I wanted to do something that would honor Emily’s memory while providing tangible assistance to those struggling with substance use disorder,” said Kennecke. “Emily’s Hope aims to remove the financial and social barriers that often prevent individuals from seeking help.” 

“I want people to know that substance use disorder is a medical condition, not a moral failing,” said Kennecke. “Raising funds and awareness has always been a challenge, given the stigma associated with substance use disorder.”