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Western Pennsylvania has a strong tradition of neighborhood, personal and community commitment. Our pride in pulling together goes far beyond supporting our deep-rooted sports teams. 90.5 WESA Celebrates People Making a Difference honors the individuals that are making a difference in people's lives on the ground level and reminding us we are all truly a part of each other's lives.This special series, supported by UPMC, will highlight, honor and celebrate Western Pennsylvanians who are unsung heroes daring to make a difference to others in our community.00000176-e6f7-dce8-adff-f6f770c8000000000176-e6f7-dce8-adff-f6f770ca000000000176-e6f7-dce8-adff-f6f770cc000090.5 WESA PA listening area counties:Allegheny, Beaver, Washington, Westmoreland, Butler, Armstrong, Cambria, Somerset, Bedford, Fayette, Indiana00000176-e6f7-dce8-adff-f6f770cd0000This project is made possible by a generous contribution from UPMC.

A Mother Turns Loss Of Sons Into Opportunity To Help Those Affected By Addiction

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Mark Nootbaar
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90.5 WESA

In 2012, Lynda Carr lost her son Charles to a heroin addiction. Three years later, her stepson was killed in a drug-related car accident.

“Most people probably would not recover from that, but in spite of her loss, Lynda has chosen to give back,” said one person, whom Lynda sponsors as part of Nar-Anon, which relies on the anonymity of its members.  “She gives back by helping people like me every day.”

Carr attended Nar-Anon meetings when her son and stepson were still alive, but she has become much more involved with the organization in recent years.

“My life has become Nar-Anon,” said Carr, who sponsors other members, attends numerous Nar-Anon meetings, speaks at public events and has become the region’s delegate to the Nar-Anon national organization and its treasurer. “Because I know what I went through, and I know that my son would want me to continue this work and not just give up and quit because he is not here.”

Carr is at meetings and speaking engagements at least twice a week, and usually four or more times a week.  In between, she continues to reach out to the community. Carr hands out meeting schedules and literature to the friends and family of addicts and leaves stacks of information in judicial offices, or anywhere else that people with loved ones battling addiction might find themselves.

“Once we learn that we can love our addict, as an addict, it makes life a lot easier,” said Carr.

Carr is known to sit all day at funerals to support families in their times of loss, and has, more than once, offered help to a stranger who she thinks is struggling.

“I’m looking forward to joining my son, but I’m not doing it real soon," Carr said. "Time is of no essence to him, but it is to me, so I plan on making the very best of this that I can and becoming more and more involved with Nar-Anon as I move along."