The Importance of Donating: One Family’s Story

by Kerin Miller | August 13, 2015

Alex Krawczyk Keefe

Alex Krawczyk Keefe

There are a myriad of reasons that can compel someone to donate to an organization. Ms. Joanne Krawczyk and Mr. Bill Keefe were not motivated to donate to the Ruth Fox Memorial Endowment because they are members of ASAM, or even because they are in the field, but they did so to honor their late son, Alex.

Their son lost his battle of addiction to a heroin overdose on April 24, 2012 at the age of 27. Over the past three years, Joanne and Bill have raised more than $5,000 for the endowment from their family and friends.

“During the ten years that Alex struggled with addiction, he participated in many treatment programs which weren’t based on research and many of them did not follow through on their protocols resulting in repeated relapse and death. When Alex died, we wanted donations to go to ASAM because of the education programs and research for treatment programs. It offered us hope for other families,” Mr. Keefe said after explaining why he and his wife felt the need to collect donations.

The goal of the endowment is to provide a sustainable source of funding for ASAM to educate providers and the public about addiction and its treatment; advocate about access to quality addiction treatment; treat patients based on evidence-informed practices; and connect members and key stakeholders for optimal collaboration and collegiality. ASAM continues to significantly expand highly valued educational content across specialties and to increase initiatives that directly contribute to better patient access.

“We are so proud of what Alex accomplished in his short life. He graduated from the University of Massachusetts Amherst with honors, traveled across the country several times as an accomplished drummer, and was working six days a week when he died. We regret that we weren’t able to get him the help he wanted and deserved, but we hope other families will benefit from the efforts that come out of ASAM,” Ms. Joanne Krawczyk noted in her thank you note after receiving the bronze medallion in recognition for their contribution to the Endowment at the 2015 Ruth Fox and Donors Reception in Austin.

Joanne and Bill are not alone; many families can empathize with losing a loved one to addiction. They add a personal touch to the endowment that encourages and affirms the mission of ASAM and motivates our members to keep striving to increase access and improve the quality of addiction medicine.

Act now by making a pledge or contribution to the Ruth Fox Memorial Endowment at

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