Kayla Koller (right) posing with family and friends at the HeroInMe Ride rest stop.
In 2008, Kayla Koller’s older sister, Jenna, died from an opioid overdose. She was 22. Kayla, along with family and close friends, chose to cycle 18 miles at Pedal4Life’s HeroInMe Ride on Sunday, May 2, 2017, to honor Jenna’s life.
Riding in remembrance of her sister, Kayla said it was nice to give some support to those struggling with addiction. “It’s important to recognize that [addiction] is a disease. I think there’s a lot of stereotypes around people who do it, but they’re really just normal, everyday people. It’s a choice to try drugs at first, but [addiction] is a disease.” With a wry smile, Kayla added that Jenna’s birthday would’ve been the Tuesday after the HeroInMe Ride, so participating was a special way for her to remember Jenna’s life.
To learn more about what you can do to support people like Kayla and her family, visit Pedal4Life’s website and please consider donating to its mission. Events like the HeroInMe Ride show people like Kayla – left in the aftermath of grief after losing a loved one to opioid overdose – that they’re not alone and people care about them.
[Blog post and photo by Katelyn Smith, Pedal4Life]