By Hailey René SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News) — The Endy’s are taking the words “tag team” to a whole new level. Dr. Timothy Endy and Darlene Endy have three adult children together, and one common goal: to help individuals beat their opioid addictions.
Dr. Endy is a Professor and Chair of microbiology and immunology at Upstate University Hospital, and is working to develop a vaccine that could save addicts from overdosing.
“What it does is it prevents the heroin molecule to go across the very tight blood brain barrier…” Dr. Endy said. “The heroin can’t affect the opioid centers in the brain, a person can’t get high from heroin, and the person can’t overdose.”
The vaccine would be administered to recovering addicts who are post-treatment, but want to prevent relapsing. This is the most vulnerable and dangerous time for addicts, according to Endy, and when doctors see the most overdoses.
Darlene Endy, on the other hand, is the CEO of a non-profit organization called “Road 2 Recovery CNY.” This organization funds recovering addicts to be sent to Austin, Texas for a unique rehabilitation program. Endy and her colleagues started the organization just over a year ago, and have helped almost 15 people.
What inspires their work? Their son, Justin. The Endys’ son Justin is celebrating two and a half years of sobriety after battling his heroin addiction for years. When the program in Austin was able to help Justin, Dr. Endy and Darlene wanted to raise awareness for others.
” We didn’t think he was gonna make it… and when he did, we wanted to share that good news,” Darlene Endy said.
At the end of the day, the Endys hope to keep addicts and their families hopeful that there’s a way out of opioid addiction.
” Don’t give up on your loved one,” Darlene Endy said. “There’s a way to get sober and here’s one that we found, and we want to share that with other people.”