Paul's Race in memory of man who died of heroin overdose

October 16, 2018 07:20 PM

TROY -- Nancy Thomas talked about her son's easy smile and love for music and reading. 

Paul Connors struggled for years with addiction. 


"He was clean for almost two years before the final overdose," said Thomas.  "But he was back to being Paul again. He attended all family events, he was with us, he was with his kids, he was very active."

And then he relapsed and died from a heroin overdose. 

His addiction was a constant presence in his family's lives. 

"Every day. Every day. Every time I'd hear anything in Troy, I would be afraid that it was Paul who got shot or Paul who got knifed or Paul who got beat up," said Thomas. "They found a body and I'd be afraid it was him. Yes, constant terror."

Now, in his memory, they're holding Paul's Race for Recovery on Saturday in Troy to help others find the resources they need.  

"To find out where they can go because it is a complicated process when you know you have a loved one who has a problem like this, there's not an easy answer to finding the treatment that's going to work best for that individual," said Edward Kiernan. 

You might remember Kiernan from a story NewsChannel 13 did last year.  He had been adopted, and tracked down a living brother using DNA through  

His joy at finding family was followed by the loss of his son. 

For Paul's Race for Recovery, they are partnering with the Troy Drug-Free Community Coalition. 

"We saw this as an opportunity to raise awareness to bring education, to pull community organizations together so that people can sort of like a one-stop kind of information-gathering event," said Davia Collington with the Troy Drug-Free Community Coalition. 

"If we can help one person to get into recovery, and to get out of the drug addiction situation, we feel we've accomplished something," said Kiernan. 

Paul's Race for Recovery is Saturday, October 20, 2018 at Oakwood Cemetery.  Arrive at 9:30 a.m. at 79 102nd Street, Ross Tech Park, Troy.  Shuttle provided to race starting point.  Race starts at 11 a.m. 

Register at:

Troy Drug-Free Community Coalition (email


Kumi Tucker

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