Tracy Masters is organizing a walk on Aug. 31 for International Overdose Awareness Day. Her daughter, Elann Christine Masters, died of an intentional overdose in early March. Since her daughter’s death, Masters has become an advocate for overdose awareness in the community. The Aug. 31 event will be her second time taking part in a walk to promote awareness of overdose. ‘It helps me keep her memory alive,’ she says. Photo by Marissa Tiel/Campbell River Mirror

Campbell River walk organized for International Overdose Awareness Day

Event coordinator keeping daughter’s memory alive

A Campbell River woman is hoping to bring more awareness to drug overdoses in the community.

Tracy Masters has organized a walk on Aug. 31 for International Overdose Awareness Day.

The walk will begin at the Robert Ostler Park longhouse at 11 a.m. The route will follow the waterfront to the Dogwood Street and Island Highway intersection before going through downtown and ending back at the longhouse.

The event is being hosted by Masters of Hope, a group that Masters and her sister Kristy launched earlier this year following the death of Masters’ daughter.

Elann Christine Masters died of an intentional overdose in early March. She was 30 years old.

Masters says she lost her daughter after a long struggle.

She is hoping that by raising awareness about drug overdoses, that the stigma may lessen and more funds could be put toward helping those in the community that are struggling.

RELATED: North Island saw five overdose deaths in two months, according to BC Coroner

“I’m definitely passionate about it,” she says. “We’re a small town with some big city problems.”

According to the latest figures from the BC Coroners Service, there have been 19 illicit drug overdose deaths so far this year (to June 30).

“Statistics show it is here and it is happening,” says Masters. “When they reach out and there isn’t enough help and resources, they feel hopeless.”

Masters of Hope, a peer support group, meets Tuesday evenings from 6 to 7 at the longhouse. Their Facebook group has grown to include more than 200 members in the few months it has been online.

Next weekend’s walk will be only the second time Masters has participated in an event to raise awareness of overdoses.

She walked in the Canada Day parade this year with a large photo of Elann.

“I felt I was honouring my daughter,” she says. “I felt positive in taking a stand.”

RELATED: ‘Two Campbell Rivers’: new report sheds light on history of drug use in a boom-and-bust city

Now, as part of the Community Action Team, Masters is using her lived experience to bring positive change to Campbell River.

She will be handing out purple ribbons, information sheets and Naloxone kits as part of Saturday’s awareness event.

“I just feel really honoured to be part of the Community Action Team,” she says. “It helps me keep her memory alive.”

RELATED:Tragedy leads to hope for Masters family


@marissatiel
marissa.tiel@campbellrivermirror.com

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