North County team participates in Shatterproof virtual challenge

Gena Wilson and her husband Scott participated in Shatterproof's virtual challenge.

Carlsbad resident Gena Wilson and her family were among the participants in a virtual Stronger Than Addiction Challenge Day to raise awareness of those who have struggled with addiction.

Wilson, along with her husband Scott and son Chase, formed a team and completed their own 5K for the event, held each year by the nonprofit Shatterproof. They also donated to the organization.

“There is a lot of shame and stigma for the person with substance use disorder, as well as family members,” Wilson said. “But for people even to go get help, they might be concerned about their job or what the family will think if they’re discovered with a substance use disorder. So a lot of it has to do with the stigma and shame that accompanies it and trying to change that perspective over time.”

Wilson's son Chase and his friend Grace also participated in the challenge.

She first heard about Shatterproof from her son, and then saw a video that describes their mission.

“We decided we would do that, and we would call the team Our Team, and for the future, everyone is welcome,” Wilson said of the challenge.

According to Shatterproof, more than 2,200 participants nationwide, in addition to Canada and the United Kingdom, raised over $1 million for the Stronger Than Addiction Challenge this year. Some of them ran, others biked, wrote music, got tattoos or created works of art.

The nonprofit’s founder and CEO is Gary Mendell, whose son died in 2011 after struggling with addiction. He started Shatterproof with the goal of preventing other families from having to endure a similar tragedy and to make sure those who are struggling with addiction receive the compassion and understanding to persevere.

“When I was introduced to Shatterproof, I thought it just looks very first-rate and it’s doing a lot of fabulous things in the area of substance use disorder,” Wilson said.

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