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Families, Friends Aim To Erase Stigma From Addiction With Shatterproof 5k

By Joel Hillan

DENVER (CBS4) - Coloradans came together in the fight against addiction. CBS4's Jim Benemann emceed the Shatterproof 5K at Great Lawn Park in Denver Saturday.

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CBS4's Jim Benemann emcees the 2018 Shatterproof 5k. (credit: CBS)

John and Karla Tartz also shared the story of their daughter, Morgan Tartz.

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John and Karla Tartz (credit: CBS)

Morgan was an aspiring fashion designer with a bright future and a secret -- she was addicted to heroin.


Despite her family's best attempts, July 7, 2017 Morgan lost her battle with addiction.

John Mathieson is a long-time friend of the Tartz family.

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(credit: CBS)

"They are an affluent family in an affluent area with all the resources anybody could ever ask for, and addiction still touched their family in the most tragic way."

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(credit: CBS)

Mathieson participated in the Shatterproof 5k not only to show his support to the family, but also to help end the shame surrounding addiction.

"If we can bring addiction out of the darkness that it's in and remove the stigma then we can get these people more help. We can get legislature to help with funding to get them more help," he said.

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(credit: CBS)

Morgan's twin brother, Dylan, wants to end the stigma too.

"It happens. Life happens. Life is hard. Embrace it and get help."

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As he was walking in Morgan's honor, he was once again reminded of the outpouring of support he and his family have received.

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(credit: CBS)

"They don't even have family members that are addicted, and the fact that they're here supporting it and aware of what's going on with other families is awesome," he said.

PHOTO GALLERY: 2018 Shatterproof 5K Walk/Run

But, weighing on all their minds, the memory of their Morgan Rose.

"I love you, I miss you.  I wish you had more things available to you to help you get through this so you could be here today," said Mathieson.

Dylan added, "I miss you. Wish she was here and that she means so much to a lot of people and everyone loves her."

LINKS: Colorado Crisis Services | Shatterproof 5k

Joel Hillan anchors CBS4 This Morning on weekends as well as reports stories for CBS4 News at 5 and 6 p.m. Follow Joel on Twitter @joelhillan.

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