Get to know the people leading change and support
Cheryl is the proud mom of three sons: Robert, Sean and Corey. In 2011, at the beginning of the opioid epidemic, Corey died of an overdose at age 23. At the time, Cheryl didn’t know anyone with a child who had died, let alone from an overdose. And for the next two and a half years, she and her family grieved alone. Then one night, she received an invitation to meet other mothers who had lost a child from an overdose. It was then that she knew how much grieving parents, parents whose child had died from SUD, needed one another.
In 2015, Cheryl founded Team Sharing – MA, a support group within her own state where parents meet and support one another and has since started chapters in 8 other states that do the same, including the national chapter TEAM SHARING.
In 2017, six years after Corey’s death, Team Sharing, Inc became a 501(c)3, nationwide support network for families who have lost a loved one through addiction. Cheryl’s grief, though it does not define her, has inspired her to reach every family, in all 50 states, that are grieving from the loss of their child through addiction, as well as those children that were left behind.
Cheryl has worked closely with Jim Wahlberg from the Mark Wahlberg Youth Foundation with his Summits on Opioid awareness across the country, and was in the short film “If Only” that was produced by Jim as well. Cheryl co-lead a drop-in outreach center in Hudson, MA called “MetroWest HOPE” (Help, Outreach, Prevention, Education) and in July 2017 Cheryl was awarded the Hometown Hero Award from Boston 25 News Zip Trip for her work in the community. Most recently, in October 2018 Cheryl was the recipient of the Teen Challenge “Woman of the Year award.”
Cheryl and her husband, Peter, live in Central Massachusetts. They are the proud grandparents of Faith, Corey’s daughter, and 6 other grandchildren.
Kay is the proud mom of two children Joseph and Kelly. Joseph served in the US Marine Corp from 2007 to 2011 including a one year tour in Afghanistan. A combination of PTSD and opioid use lead to his death in 2015. Kay grieved the loss of her son in silence as she did not know of any other mom who suffered the loss of their child from overdose. Seven months later someone reached out to her to tell her there was group of mom’s known as Team Sharing MA. Kay contacted the founder, Cheryl Juaire and the two met on Mother’s Day for a 5K walk to end addiction. Kay and Cheryl quickly formed a friendship and it felt like they had known each other all their lives. She had finally met another mom who understood her grief which helped her deal with the loss of her son.
Since meeting Cheryl in 2016, Kay was instrumental in helping Cheryl start a new chapter, Team Sharing NH. Kay is an Administrator of both Team Sharing MA and Team Sharing NH.
Kay has appeared several times on WMUR’s “State of Addiction” news specials and also participated in the Opioid Summits in both Massachusetts and NH sponsored by the Wahlberg Foundation.
Kay is a sponsor of Teen Challenge, and assisted with the Town of Derry, NH, proclamation naming August 31st as National Overdose Awareness Day. The names of all those who passed where read at a town Vigil as well as the reading of the Proclamation.
She has also traveled to Washington DC to meet with the Interim Director of the Drug Enforcement Administration to share her concerns about what needs to be done regards to further education for our youth.
Kay and her Husband, Jim reside in Kingston, NH
Gary and Tracy Carter
Gary and Tracy are the proud parents of 2 children, Bryant and Morgan. Bryant fought addiction all alone before asking for help in August 2011. Years of constant doctor appointments, mental health intervention, including a 2 week day program didn’t help Bryant out of his depression. One night in 2015, Bryant attended an outreach program called Metrowest Hope at Grace Baptist Church. From this, Bryant started attending Celebrate Recovery. Finally, he took a friend’s advice to make it to a church service and was so welcomed that he stayed. Eventually he was baptized and was participating with the church 4 times a week. Bryant lost his struggle with addiction in February of 2018.
Throughout Bryant’s struggle, Gary and Tracy were also actively fighting for his recovery. Fighting to get him medical attention in 2011 was a horrible experience. An active suffering addict can’t wait weeks for assistance. It was a very dark time. Hours of phone calls and begging and fighting finally got Bryant a referral for help. He would struggle with his recovery in a broken system for years. This experience is what has inspired Gary and Tracy to get involved.
Through his 7 year battle, Gary and Tracy attended AA and NA with Bryant. Over the past 2 years Tracy has been active with the Maynard Elks Drug Awareness program and many community events.
Gary and Tracy attended the March at Purdue in CT and helped facilitate getting parents of children lost to SUD to the Fed Up Rally in DC in October 2018.
Tony Piccolo has been married to his wife Maureen for 43 years. They have no children of their own but have a deep concern and commitment to the addiction problem that plagues our young adults today.
Even though Tony’s professional background has been in the medical field for the past 25 years, he knows that there is only so much that can be done for children and young adults that are born with diseases. So he sought to focus on afflictions that are preventable, which bought him to the realization that addiction is preventable.
As a longtime member of the Elks fraternal organization, Tony has been aware of the need for Drug Awareness through the Elks Drug Awareness Program and has become very active with this committee over the past few years. When Tony was the Massachusetts State President of the Elks, he personally funded a raffle at his installation that raised over $2,000 for the Drug Awareness Program.
Additionally, as State President Tony was allotted funds from a charity account which he earmarked for Team Sharing to purchase The Hope Trailer.
The Elks Organization is also how Tony came to know about Team Sharing. And, now as a new Team Sharing Board Member, Tony is anxious to get more involved in educating to help with change in the direction of eliminating the stigma of addiction.