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"I’m still sober 45 years later, is the biggest story.”

Rob* came from a family filled with alcoholics. He started drinking at a young age and first became drunk at the age of 10. “I thought, boy, I’m going to do that again when I get a chance.”

In high school and college in the 1970’s, Rob was a shy student and a good athlete, but was always drinking. Rob’s dad went through treatment at Heartview in 1967. Rob was in college when his oldest brother went into Heartview in 1978. In January 1979, Rob visited his brother for family week and he jokingly told staff, “you captured me.” The director of Heartview at the time, Al Gillette, said to Rob, “how about you?” And Rob responded that he was just there to help his brother. Al replied, “how are you going to help your brother when you are sicker than he is?”

Rob enrolled in treatment that week. "My sobriety date is the day I walked into Heartview 45 years ago." He was shy and had trouble opening up, so his stay at Heartview was extended to more than eight weeks. His counselor, Lois, told him, “you are so much sicker than I thought you would be.”

“When I got out, I wasn’t sure about it,” Rob said, “but my obsession with drinking was gone. I’m still sober 45 years later, is the biggest story.”

Rob credits Heartview with introducing him to the AA community, which he has been involved with for the past 45 years. “I am really grateful for Heartview. My dad died sober with 33 years and my oldest brother is still sober, he has about a month longer than me. Heartview was a huge part of that.”

After graduating Heartview, Rob finally completed college and went on to become a teacher and coach. After a few years, he got married and has five kids who he is still close with.

“It’s been a hopeful life all the way through.”

This Giving Hearts Day, you can provide hope to people like Rob. Early giving is open using the links below:

*Name has been changed to protect confidentiality