Mom runs marathon across B.C. to raise awareness about toxic drug supply

Click to play video: 'BC mom runs to end toxic drug crisis'
BC mom runs to end toxic drug crisis
A proud mom is running across the province of B.C. to end toxic drug poisoning. As Mackenzie Mazankowski reports, her stop in Kelowna is only the beginning. – Jun 6, 2023

A B.C. mother ran 850 kilometres in 36 days across the province to raise awareness about toxic drugs, a problem that took her son’s life.

“Last year at this time, I was just an ordinary person. I was not running across the province, I didn’t need to run across the province because my son was still alive,” said Jessica Michalofsky.

Michalofsky’s run started in Nelson, where her son Aubrey was born and tragically died.

On Tuesday, the marathon made its way to Kelowna, a couple of weeks before it was scheduled to finish.

After losing her son to toxic drug poisoning, Michalofsky made it her mission to help people understand just how dangerous toxic drugs can be.

Click to play video: 'Grieving Kelowna moms call for public to demand change to reduce drug overdose deaths'
Grieving Kelowna moms call for public to demand change to reduce drug overdose deaths

“Kids died because they couldn’t evaluate the content or potency of a drug that they happened to be taking that particular day,” said Michalofsky.

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Michalofsky is also part of a well-known organization called Moms Stop the Harm – a network of Canadian families impacted by substance use-related harms and deaths.

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Another member, Helen Jennens, watched and cheered as Michalofsky made her way through Kelowna.

“I was the 12th member to join in 2016 after I lost my youngest boy, Tyler. And there are 3,700 members currently working to end this failed war on drugs, which is no longer an opioid crisis but a toxic drug supply (crisis),” said Jennens.

Michalofsky started her marathon for her son Aubrey, but along the way shifted her focus to welcoming all those whose lives have been impacted by drug toxicity.

“For us to see each other here, it helps us a lot because we’re building and were growing in numbers, as well as in strength and courage,” said Michalofsky.

Her marathon will conclude her in hometown of Victoria on June 25.

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