Press Releases

Trahan Announces Cheryl Juaire, Substance Use Disorder Advocate, as State of the Union Guest

Washington, January 30, 2020

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congresswoman Lori Trahan (D-MA-03) announced that Cheryl Juaire, from Marlborough, Massachusetts would be her guest to the State of the Union Address on Tuesday, February 4th. Cheryl’s son, Corey, died of an opioid overdose at the age of 23. In the wake of his death, Cheryl turned her grief into activism and has worked tirelessly to break down the stigma surrounding substance use disorder (SUD) that often prevents individuals from seeking care, and to support families who suffer from the impact of SUD.

“Substance use disorder is a public health crisis. Since coming to Congress, I’ve advocated for an all hands on deck approach to make sure individuals and communities afflicted by this disease are able to access the resources they need to recover and thrive,” said Congresswoman Trahan. “Elected officials should be doing everything we can to alleviate the pain and suffering surrounding substance use disorder in our community, and I’m committed to that effort. In addition to legislation I’m working on in Washington, I’m proud that Cheryl will join me as my guest to the State of the Union Address. Since the loss of her son in 2011, Cheryl has worked tirelessly to break down stigma and support other mothers and families combatting substance use disorders across the United States. I am honored she is joining me to represent her son, and all the sons and daughters who need our help today.” 

“I am committed to the fight to end the stigma surrounding substance use disorder. For too long, it has prevented those suffering from seeking out treatment as they would for any other disease. I am honored to join Congresswoman Trahan as her guest for the State of the Union Address to represent all those who are suffering or who have been lost to SUD – including my Son, Corey. I will continue to do whatever it takes to end this public health crisis, and support those individuals and families who have been impacted by it,” said Cheryl Juaire, Founder, Team Sharing Inc.  


From left to right: Lynn Wencus, Cheryl Juaire, Rep. Lori Trahan, and Kay Scarpone during a meeting earlier this year in Washington, DC

 Cheryl is the proud mom of three sons: Robert, Sean and Corey. In 2011, 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, Inc., a support group within her own state where parents meet and support one another and has since started 16 chapters – including one for siblings -- that do the same, including the national chapter.   

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. 

Congresswoman Trahan is currently working across the aisle on federal efforts to dismantle stigma surrounding addiction and equip the medical community with the tools necessary to fight the epidemic. Here’s a look at how:

  • Authored the Medication Access and Training Expansion (MATE) Act and the Safer Prescribing of Controlled Substances Act, which would strengthen the infrastructure around addiction treatment by equipping medical professionals across our health care system with the tools to recognize and treat addiction as a chronic, treatable disease. 
  • Introduced and secured passage of two additional bills to support families that have been torn apart by the opioid epidemic – the Stronger Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act and the National Family Caregiver Support Program Cap Elimination Act.  
  • Introduced the Comprehensive Addiction Resources Emergency (CARE) Actwith Senator Elizabeth Warren. This will provide $100 billion for our local clinics and community organizations that are focused on prevention as well as treatment and recovery. 
  • Supported passage of a budget that provides robust new resources, including $3 billion for prevention efforts. This budget provides funding for increased access to medication-assisted treatment, supports long-term care in recovery centers, and training for more first-responders in overdose reversal drugs. 
  • Helped establish the Freshman Working Group on Addiction in a bipartisan effort to promote policies to end the addiction crisis across the United States.

 

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