By Tim Kalinowski on March 6, 2021.
With the sun shining down on Galt Gardens, Cody Fox, wearing the jacket of the Sage Clan, plays with his kids who run around him asking unanswerable questions as just a few feet away fellow Sage Clan members and Kindness to Others founder Alvin Mills work together to hand out a special meal to those among the local homeless community. It’s a special treat today in place of the usual sandwiches: bannock, ham and cheese wraps. Cody is looking fit and healthy.
It is a far better place for Fox today than where he found himself back in December: out on the street and hopelessly addicted.
Grief and trauma had driven Fox to the edge after the tragic loss of his father, grandfather and cousin in a short span last year, and he turned increasingly to alcohol and opioids to cope. But when his brother, R.J. Heavy Shields, passed away on Dec. 4 suddenly Fox knew he was faced with a simple choice: get sober or die.
“Last year in December I wasn’t in a good place,” he admits. “I was going through a lot of issues. I met Alvin Mills through Bringing the Spirit Home detox in Standoff, Alberta. I was able to get clean from alcohol and opioids.”
After getting out of detox and treatment, Fox was able to return home and reconnect with his two young children, Callie and Connor.
“I have two loving kids who are my pride and joy,” he says. “I am able to connect with my kids and family in a different way than before. I was selfish, and kept to myself with my bottle. I find (sobriety) is a new chapter in my life, and it is very humbling to be here sharing my story.”
After reconnecting with his family, Fox felt he wanted to do more to help those still struggling with drug addiction on the street.
“I got hold of Mark Brave Rock, the founder of Sage Clan, and I was able to tell him my story,” he explains. “He is a great friend and mentor, and now I am able to help out with people in the community. I am able to give back.”
Fox said Sage Clan has given him new purpose and a new mission in life.
“I want to make my people proud, my family proud, and I want to give back to Sage Clan and the people out there (on the streets),” he says. “Being able to talk with them, sharing their stories, and being able to help out. They are human beings too. Some of them are brave and tough because they have been out here for so long, and I have that feeling for them of compassion and love. I am thankful to be part of my new family (the Sage Clan), and I am thankful to be alive and be out here giving back.”
Mills said it is astonishing to see how far Fox has come in the past three months.
“It brings a warm feeling to be able to see the progress he has made,” says Mills. “I am hoping to see more of that. For some people in recovery it only enforces their sobriety that they can give back like this.”
Follow @TimKalHerald on Twitter