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Sunday, September 28, 2003
Strawberry attends awareness walk

Associated Press

TAMPA, Fla. -- Darryl Strawberry believes his new purpose in life is to bring the message of recovery from alcohol and drug abuse to as many people as possible.

"A lot of people don't understand recovery and the nature of the disease and how powerfully it affects families," Strawberry said Sunday. "More people need to look at it face to face. Some people have to know that there's a light at the end of the tunnel."

The 41-year-old Strawberry appeared with his wife Charisse at the "Stepping to Recovery" three-mile walk in Tampa's Lowry Park on Sunday to support her as president of the Tampa chapter of the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence.

The eight-time All-Star, who won World Series titles with the New York Mets and New York Yankees, was released from a Florida prison in April after serving 11 months of an 18-month sentence for violating probation on cocaine possession charges.

"Being through everything from addiction through incarceration, you see that it not only affects you," he said. "Your family suffers through your addiction."

The couple, who live in Lutz, have three children.

About 50 people attended the event, which was also sponsored by the Road 2 Recovery Ministries of the Without Walls International Church, an organization that Strawberry said he was now deeply involved in.

Charisse Strawberry said many times people won't face addiction until it creates problems for families or friends.

"This disease, addiction and alcoholism, is a family disease," she said. "It affects everyone, not just the addicted person. I'm living proof of that."