Mark Conti: Daughter’s addiction battle inspires mother to organize bike ride – Sports –

About a year-and-a-half ago Donna Severson of Spencer learned her daughter was in trouble.

She received a call from her daughter, Christine, who had been living in Maine since she graduated from college. Christine confided in her mother that she had been arrested for driving under the influence.

Christine told her mother she had a drinking problem, and Donna was stunned. Her daughter had graduated from college with honors, had been working in her field of study, and had appeared to be functioning fine — although four hours away in Maine.

Donna and her ex-husband entered Christine in a rehabilitation program. But the extent of Christine’s troubles had not yet been disclosed.

While enrolled in the program, Christine told her mother she was an addict, addicted to many substances, and not just alcohol. Christine wanted it all out in the open.

Christine completed the rehab program and then continued to live in Maine. However, it was not long before Christine relapsed.

Donna packed up Christine’s belongings at her apartment and brought her home. Christine then entered a detoxification program at a halfway house in Central Massachusetts.

“It has been tremendous for her. I have learned that addiction is not something that can be cured in a 30-day program,” Donna said. “You needed a lot more time.”

Christine is making progress, Donna said. She is working but remains at the halfway house. She is participating in programs, attending meetings and sharing her story with others — which is part of the rehabilitation process.

“Before the halfway house, it was always one step forward and two steps back,” Donna said.

“Before that it was hard to see her that way and it was hard to see how she could ever get out of it.”

Inspired by her daughter, Donna has organized a bike ride, run and walk in the fight against addiction.

Christine’s Journey will be held Sunday, Sept. 10, at Paxton Center School, 19 West St., Paxton. The ride options are 30 and…

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