Kurt Diana of Chicago is a lifelong runner who will be operating the Christie Clinic Illinois 50 % Marathon for the 3rd time on April 30. He enjoys the customized bibs, the spectators calling out his identify as he runs past and the end in Memorial Stadium.

“The support is just superb along the route,” Diana said.

All through this year’s 50 percent marathon, although, Diana’s aim will be on his late son, Mike.

Mike died in February 2021 from fentanyl poisoning at age 28. He was not a runner, but he was a large faculty hockey player who wore variety 28 on his jersey. Kurt Diana will use bib No. 28 through the race. As a result of his run, Diana hopes to get Mike’s tale out and continue to keep his memory alive.

“I’m hoping to get the concept out, in some tiny strategies, about the hazards of fentanyl and how it can take place to any individual and how terrible it is in this region,” he reported.

Mike and his girlfriend experienced a 3-12 months-aged son, Alex, and they experienced been conversing about acquiring married. But he experienced dependancy problems, and he died after using Xanax that was laced with fentanyl, Diana claimed.

“He had some melancholy and panic difficulties, and he self-medicated. It came about so innocently, it seemed. All of a sudden, you come across you with addiction difficulties. Men and women are seeking for some form of relief, and when they find it, one thing sales opportunities to another pretty quickly. With fentanyl in the blend, it’s likely to kill a ton of people today, and it is these types of a shame,” Diana stated.

“Fentanyl will get combined with opioids, Xanax and cannabis, and it has a fantastic likelihood of being fatal. Drug overdose is the leading induce of loss of life for 18- to 45-12 months-olds, and 42 p.c of deadly overdoses are fentanyl,” he explained.

Diana has begun offering presentations to college teams about the dangers of fentanyl, performing with other parents he satisfied in a grief team for men and women who have shed little ones to a drug overdose. He’s now building his have shows, with guidance from the Facilities for Sickness Control and Prevention.

Diana’s wife, Patty, a person of their two twin daughters, Katie, and Mike’s girlfriend, Mireya, will be in Champaign-Urbana observing the race.

Managing assists Diana cope with Mike’s death.

“I’m likely working extra now than I have in a extended time. It’s a whole lot of strain relief. I absolutely do depend on jogging to get me via difficult instances,” Diana claimed.

“I imagine about Mike a large amount when I operate. I operate together the lake. I travel a ton, and I run along beaches in Florida. It is a great time to just chat to him.”