Strawberry attends awareness walk

TAMPA, Fla. -- Darryl Strawberry believes his new purpose in
life is to bring the message of recovery from alcohol and drug
abuse to as many people as possible.

"A lot of people don't understand recovery and the nature of
the disease and how powerfully it affects families," Strawberry
said Sunday. "More people need to look at it face to face. Some
people have to know that there's a light at the end of the

The 41-year-old Strawberry appeared with his wife Charisse at
the "Stepping to Recovery" three-mile walk in Tampa's Lowry Park
on Sunday to support her as president of the Tampa chapter of the
National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence.

The eight-time All-Star, who won World Series titles with the
New York Mets and New York Yankees, was released from a Florida
prison in April after serving 11 months of an 18-month sentence for
violating probation on cocaine possession charges.

"Being through everything from addiction through incarceration,
you see that it not only affects you," he said. "Your family
suffers through your addiction."

The couple, who live in Lutz, have three children.

About 50 people attended the event, which was also sponsored by
the Road 2 Recovery Ministries of the Without Walls International
Church, an organization that Strawberry said he was now deeply
involved in.

Charisse Strawberry said many times people won't face addiction
until it creates problems for families or friends.

"This disease, addiction and alcoholism, is a family disease,"
she said. "It affects everyone, not just the addicted person. I'm
living proof of that."