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In Joel’s Steps

In Joel’s Steps is a father’s cross-country journey symbolizing his son Joel’s long journey from substance addiction toward long-term recovery.

Clay and Beth completed the cross-country portion of this project on September 4, 2021 at Sullivan’s Island, SC. In Joel's Steps continues as a story collection and video project to further Joel Sanders’ passion to help those struggling with and impacted by substance addiction.

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Addiction is a treatable brain disease that disables decision-making, and its stigma handicaps its treatment and prevention.

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About Joel

Joel Sanders faced the challenges of addiction for 11 years. He worked hard to stay clean and help free others from the snare of substance abuse, finally succumbing to an opioid overdose at age 28 after 2-1/2 years clean.

About Clay

Clay Sanders, Joel’s father, seeks to address the national crisis of addiction in a way that honors Joel’s efforts. Clay’s history of endurance sports influenced this nationwide endeavor, reflecting Joel's work as a long-distance trucker who crossed the U.S. regularly. Clay hopes to create community among those who are affected by addiction, increase awareness of the condition and its treatment, and raise funds for organizations fighting in this arena.

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Almost 21 million Americans have at least one addiction, yet only 10% of them receive treatment.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Isn't Addiction a Choice?

Learn More About Addiction

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Tell a story

If you have some personal experience - yourself, family, or close friend - and feel free to tell your story, Clay would like to know. If video story collection by Clay is not possible, writing your story or sending an audio file to him would be highly valued by him. He will use the stories he collects to create a video documentary after the completion of the crossing to extend the impact beyond the event itself. Similarly, a book is possible if it seems like it would have effective additional impact.

To share your story, use the contact form or send an email to injoelssteps@gmail.com