APPLETON, WI --It's a story of second chances. Two local men who are recovering addicts, are spreading their message across northeast Wisconsin. They're heading the movement "Rise Together," hoping to save lives.
Douglas Darby and Anthony Alvarado created the movement "Rise Together" this September. They speak at high schools, rehab clinics, even police departments, highlighting a heroin problem they say is rampant among local teens.
The needle marks are a constant reminder for Douglas Darby of the decade he spent as a junkie.
"I wanted to be encompassed in drugs whether it was dealing, being the life of the party," said Darby.
Darby, who is from Suamico, got out of prison a year ago and later met Anthony Alvarado of Appleton. The two recovering addicts immediately bonded and formed "Rise Together," deciding to share with others how they went from rock bottom to recovery.
"I'm saying it happened to me why in the world would you take that chance, that risk," said Darby.
"Rise Together's" Facebook page is filled with grateful comments. The two say they know their story is making a difference.
"We've seen people smile we've seen people cry we've seen ourselves come out of those experiences more than happy to be a part of it, because they keep us sober as well," said Alvarado.
They're sending a message to Wisconsin's youth not to follow in their footsteps.
"As long as you're not getting put in the ground like so many of my friends did, you get a second chance, you get a half a chance at life," said Darby.
Darby and Alvarado are in the process of establishing "Rise Together" as a non profit organization, and plan to donate funds to schools or treatment centers. Their next speaking engagement is scheduled at Northeast Wisconsin Technical College on November 12th.