Garry Ruvoli

I was sitting in prison after getting my third felony possession charge and thinking back; how did I get here?  Where did I go wrong?  Why was I so stubborn?  Why didn’t I listen to my family and friends?

Every time I was in trouble with the law or really down and out, I would find myself crying out to God.  I would say how sorry I was, apologize for everything I had done and vow that if I could get out of this situation, I would not let it happen again.  But, every time I would go right back to doing the same things.  I was stuck in a vicious circle (cycle?) called addiction with no way out, or so I thought.

The summer before my sophomore year at college, my dad bought a new bass boat, a 21-foot stratus with a 250 horsepower mercury engine.  He wanted to take the new boat and go on a weekend long outing so he planned a fishing trip to Lake Shelbyville for Labor Day weekend 2004.

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Grace Brown

I was born in Blue Island and lived in Richton Park with my mother, father and brother.  My aunt, uncle, and three cousins lived a block away from our house and I was the baby of the family.  I was constantly being carried around to the point where my feet barely touched the ground.  My life was very good until I was five years old when my mother passed away.  She had been an alcoholic and she died from esophageal cancer.  My brother Michael, who was born with fetal alcohol syndrome, was 15 at the time.

 After my mom died, my dad started taking Michael and me to a Catholic church three to four times a week.  Michael was an altar boy and I went to bible school.  I never understood the concept of God at that age, but I really enjoyed the bible stories. After my mom died, my life was fairly normal thanks to my family making sure that not much had changed for us in our day-to-day lives.  However, when I was eight, my dad remarried.  We moved to Gurnee to live with my stepmother and her two daughters.

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Restoring Lives, Rebuilding Communities

Jessica Grassel


Hi my name is Jessica Grassel, I’m 24 years old, I was born and raised in Mansfield Ohio, Here’s my story……

Growing up, my family consisted of my mother, stepfather and my older brother. I grew up in a household that had no concept of stability. My house was full of chaos, abuse and fear and confusion. Our home was always a party house. My parents would frequently throw parties. My stepfather was also a drug dealer, so I was exposed to drugs and alcohol at a very young age. Filled with drugs and alcohol my parents would fight. The fights would turn into my stepfather physically abusing my mother. My brother and I witnessed my mom being abused a number of times. This chaos continued until I was about nine. My parents decided to separate. During the separation I was introduced to my biological father Todd. This was extremely confusing to me. I had always thought my stepfather was my real dad.

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Kate Waddle


Hello Everyone! My name is Kate and I am a graduate of Restoration Ministries Tabitha House. Notice that  I did not start my introduction by saying "Hello my name is Kate and I'm an addict" but realistically I’ve probably said that phrase in some form or another thousands of times in my life. At every Narcotics Anonymous meeting, at every counseling session, at every rehab, clinic, institution and jail I’ve been through--Hello my name is Kate and I am an addict.

When I first got help, I was just a scared kid. I knew that what I was doing was so wrong and that physically I was addicted to a substance. However, I didn't think that it defined who I was. It was encouraged, if not mandatory, to introduce myself as an addict in most of the facilities I committed myself to.


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Renee Siekierzynski


Three years ago, I begged and pleaded with God for help. I didn’t know what to expect. What I received was the open doors of Restoration Ministries and Tabitha House.


Let me give you a brief background. I was raised in a Christian reformed home and went to Christian schools. I am forever grateful for this and believe this formed a backbone within me. My father was a deacon in our church; my mother did everything from a coffee break leader to secretary. My home and friends were filled with God centered people. The reason I am telling you this is because addiction can seep in anywhere.

When I was 16, I was hospitalized for the first time for bulimia, depression and alcoholism. My family was forced to deal with the fact that we needed outside help. After a few weeks in the hospital, I came home and life seemed to be “normal”.


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Cyndi DeAngelis


My name is Cyndi DeAngelis, I entered Tabitha House in January of 2009. I’d like to share with you what led me there.


I grew up in a back woods area of central Ohio. Some would think “the country is a wonderful place to raise a child” but when that child’s memory banks are littered with visions of watering the marijuana plants that were strategically placed in the garden among the tomatoes, or stealing bottles of Uncle Porky’s homemade wine, or worse yet, the sexual molestations, well, that makes for a very rough start. Even though I was raised in a family of six kids, I still felt so alone and ashamed of the things that were happening to me. In 4th grade, I was told I was adopted, which only multiplied my feelings of displacement.


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Elizabeth Roldan


My name is Elizabeth Roldan and I graduated from Tabitha House in March of this year.


I arrived at Tabitha House in September of 2008 after 30 years of addiction. I started using drugs when I was 11. By the time I was 15 I was freebasing cocaine. During those years, I tried to stay clean. I was in and out of many treatment programs and actually overcame a heroin addiction only to become addicted to alcohol six years later. As an alcoholic, I was not able to function without waking up and taking a drink.

My life was typical of an addict. I had a series of abusive relationships throughout my addictions. I’d get clean and then start using again. It just was a vicious cycle.


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Hollie White


My name is Hollie White and I was born on August 3rd 1951 delivered by midwife to Erbby and Eddie White Sr. in Joliet Il. I am a 3rd born of 5 siblings When I was 3 months old, my parents gave me to Mrs. Ruth Perry as a godchild.


As far back as I can remember I was a slave to this woman's rearing. See Mrs. Perry was a madam and ran a brothel in the red-light district located at the north end of town. I was exposed to every kind of evil you could imagine; drugs, alcohol, prostitution, pedophiles and you name it. Most of my childhood was spent cleaning up behind the prostitutes and other people who came through this place of transit.


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