GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) – Chris Farley died in 1997 at the age of 33 after a long battle with addiction and now his brother Tom works to battle the stigma surrounding the disease.
“You can’t love Chris and his work and find him funny and not care about the disease that killed him,” said Tom Farley. “Not care about people like him that are struggling with addiction. You can’t have stigma and not care about people that need treatment. If you love Chris you have to understand a disease killed him.”
Tom Farley said he uses his platform not only to talk about his brother’s journey but his own.
“I would have loved to have been in recovery with Chris. I would have loved to have been able to be up here the two of us, talking about this,” said Farley. “I would have loved to have been able to have those conversations with Chris probably about some of the same things that fed into our drinking.”
Tom said he has gone through phases of sobriety but only felt he was truly in recovery when he addressed his mental health.
“I brought it all together. I’m helping people get into treatment, I’m spreading the word messaging,” said Farley. “Doing the speaking as I’ve always done so it all feels like it comes together.”
Farley got the chance to speak in Green Bay when “Be Soul Good” asked him to speak at an event.
Meredith Bieri, the Be Soul Good Founder and CEO said, “I was really inspired by going through my own journey as the child of an alcoholic and I lived through domestic violence and I was a teen mom. I just know how fellow human beings treated me along the way and I just thought there’s got to be a way to make this charge. And at least I can change people’s mentality and how they think about their neighbors and other community members.”
Farley asks everyone to remember their humanity when it comes to addiction, “There’s another human being in pain. That should be enough to be concerned about.”