Group walking the east coast for opioid awareness is in Wilmington

FORT FISHER, NC (WECT) - Brett Bramble lost his sister, Brittany, to a heroin overdose in March 2014, and now he is taking steps to ensure that no other family experiences the same pain.

"My sister loved. She was special. She was a great person, and heroin killed her," said Bramble, who is 75 days into a 2,400-mile trek from Key West, Fla., to Fort Kent, Maine. He calls it the East Coast Overdose Awareness Walk.

"We are 1,000 miles in," said Bramble, who crossed the ferry to arrive in Fort Fisher just after noon on Friday.

The mission behind the steps is to educate people about overdose prevention, addiction, and recovery.

Along the way, the group is listening to solutions that communities have devised to fight the opioid epidemic.

"Happening right here in Brunswick County, we just came through and Sheriff John Ingram…talked about his Anchor program, which really just helps people get into recovery and stay in recovery," said Bramble.

The Anchor Initiative provides a process for deputies to connect someone facing addiction to treatment.

Bramble is joined on his east coast awareness walk by John Azerolo, who supports his cause and hopes to provide "smiles along the miles."

To illustrate the scope of the opioid problem, Bramble is taking a visual approach.

"We have a sharps box and we have filled this up every day that we have walked through North Carolina," said Bramble. "That's not just here. I'm not calling them out. It's everywhere but the problem is here."

The group plans to spend the next few days in Wilmington to check the status of its gear before continuing the journey north.

You can follow Bramble and the crew, connect with him, and donate to the charity he supports through his website.

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