ST. PETERS, MO (KTVI)– A St. Peters group is walking to raise awareness about today`s heroin epidemic. With every step they take, memories of loved ones go through the minds of Gee Vigna and others who want to expose the horrors of heroin and how it`s affected their lives.
Gee lost her 20-year-old daughter Nicky to an overdose 8 months ago. Nicky`s father Vance found her unresponsive in her bedroom, since then their lives have been turned upside down, but they`ve found a way to heal. The group walked more than two miles along Jungermann Road with drivers honking and waving in support of their efforts.
“If we can help one kid it would mean everything to us. No family should have to go through this,” said Vance.
“We`ve providing a source for people to say just let me tell you my story to and it lightens your heart,” said Gee.
Gee started Walk for Wellness, a group dedicated to exposing the epidemic. They walk and wear t-shirts to make their message clear. Suddenly the Tuesday/Thursday regimen is a way to remember those lost and others going through recovery. Brittney Vigna says losing her sister was painful she also stressed how important it is to speak out about how deadly heroin can be.
“If you want something to ruin your life never ever try it. It`s a real issue, it happens and it needs to be addressed,” Brittney said.
More than 30 people hit the streets of St. Peters to spread the word. The family also created a Facebook page and website to connect with others. Organizers say they won`t stop until they win the battle against a drug epidemic that can be deadly after one try.
“It`s here in your neighborhood back yard in Ladue, Webster Groves, St. Louis and St. Charles County we are not exempt,” Gee said.
Organizers plan to extend the walk to South County later this month.