News Item: Angela Kennecke to bring Emily’s Hope to Presho
(Category: News)
Posted by Lucy
Wednesday February 27, 2019

Angela Kennecke to bring Emily’s Hope to Presho
  Angela Kennecke tried to save her daughter from heroin addiction. As soon as the family became aware of Emily’s addiction, they set up a intervention to take place the following Saturday. But they would not get the chance. On Wednesday, May 16, 2018, Angela’s beautiful 21 year-old daughter would die from a lethal dose of fentanyl-laced heroin, just three days before she was due to be checked in to a treatment center. Anger, tears, and processing dreadful emotions of grief brought Angela to a life choice. Would she become one of those who ‘splatter’, or would she be a ‘bouncer’? Angela chose the latter, and decided to meet her grief head-on. You can’t control what happens to you, but you can control your response to it,” she said. “I’m not shying away from what happened, and I will not be shamed.” Emily’s Hope’ is a non-profit organization Angela formed through the Avera McKennan Foundation in response to her grief, a way of turning her daughter’s tragic death into something productive that can offer support to others in similar situations, “I just care about that one mother that I can stop from experiencing the pain I have.” A dark abyss of confusion reigns when addiction strikes a family. Suddenly your loved one turns into a stranger, doing and saying things that are not them, and you are left wondering why they cannot stop hurting themselves and their loved ones. A family’s denial and a lack of understanding can waste precious time. I feel I’m the right person at the right time to bring the education needed into communities and reach people on a personal level with a one-on-one connection.” Angela has been an investigative reporter/anchor at KELO-TV for 30 years, and the very day her daughter died, was working on an in-depth story covering the growing opioid epidemic. We are at a tipping point in this crisis, every eight minutes someone is dying from a drug overdose, and South Dakota is not insulated,” said Angela. “We need to take a different approach and have better systems in place. We need to reach kids earlier and let them know that drugs are a game of Russian roulette.” Angela will be sharing her daughter’s story at the Presho Community Opioid Epidemic Awareness Event being held at Lyman Gardens at 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, February 27. Lyman Co. Ambulance, Mike Sprenger, Carol Birgen, Medicine Creek Lions Club, and the Thrift Store are sponsoring the event. Lyman cheerleaders will be providing a meal from 5-6:30 p.m. for $7.50. A portion of the proceeds will go to “Emily’s Hope,” and will be used to help offset the cost of treatment and allow more people struggling with addiction to get the help they need.

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