Meet Kathy O’Keefe! She was raised in Chicago, graduated from architectural school and then accepted a job in Dallas. She was quickly transferred to Los Angeles continuing her work in Architecture and it was there she met her husband Ben. They married, had 2 sons and a few pets and left California in 1996 to move to Dallas.
March 20, 2010, their 18-year-old son, Brett, died from an accidental drug overdose. This was a life altering event for all the people who loved him so dearly. It changed the course of their lives forever. With time they knew that God was calling them to help other families walk through this very difficult journey of substance abuse and all the chaos that comes with addiction. The idea for (WTF) Winning The Fight was born.
Kathy has experienced everything from realizing police were monitoring her home to isolating because of the ugly aspects drug addiction brings to families. Today, Kathy and her team provide needed resources and services to the community and intimate, confidential and actionable help for neighbors on a similar journey. She has helped hundreds of local families figure out what the next steps are and has supported them on a journey to recovery. Her love for Brett and his story has become her life’s work. Difficult work for sure but she is helping families win the fight one step at a time! A friend once told her that she is still an architect, she just makes families better now instead of spaces.
Thank you, Kathy, for sharing your story with us. WTF is doing some amazing work with many great families all around us that have a secret battle they are fighting. Visit Kathy’s website if you are needing some resources and help. Winning the Fight will help you find your first step. You don’t have to do this alone.
Enjoy Kathy’s interview below!
Q: Please tell us a little bit about your family.
I have been married to my husband Ben for 30 years. Our son Kyle, is 30 years old, a mechanical engineer and lives in Houston. Brett would be 28 years old if he did not die due to his disease.
Q: Please tell us about your current career. What led to it? What do you love most about it?
Brett’s journey led me to WTF—Winning The Fight. I love seeing families heal, getting people to agree and check into treatment, sober living and moving on with their now healthy life. The journey can have a happy ending.
Q: Where do you see yourself in 5 to 10 years?
It would be so great if everyone got healthy and no one resorted to substances. Then I would be out of a job and could retire.
Q: Are you involved in anything, such as community groups or hobbies, that you really enjoy outside of work and family life?
I am a member of Cross Timbers Rotary, I’m very active in our community and have my own addiction to home improvements. This keeps us busy as we do the majority of the work ourselves.
Q: Who is the most interesting person you’ve met here in our community?
Wow, that is really hard. We have so many interesting and talented people here. Everyone one I meet is interesting to me. Everyone has special gifts and a special heart.
Q: What book and/or TV show have you enjoyed the most during the last year?
Like you, we power watch series in the evening! We just finished, Killing Eve.
Q: What advice would you give your younger self? Do you have a favorite quote or saying?
I would say, be kind to yourself. You are enough. You are beautiful. Don’t underestimate your value.
Q: Has anything interesting/challenging/unusual happened in your life that has shaped you into who you are today?
The loss of Brett forever changed me. I have learned to slow down and be more present. I’m not always successful, but I try.
Q: What is something on your bucket list?
I would love to learn how to sail.
Q: If you could have a super power, what would it be?
To be able to visit Heaven (while I was alive).
Q: What is your go to band when you can’t decide what to listen to?
Paul Simon, Graceland. I love all the African musicians that worked on that album.
Q: If you could choose anyone, past or present, who would you want to have lunch with? Where would you want to eat?
Brett. I would let him pick. Hopefully he would pick somewhere quiet so I could hear every word he says.
Q: What is something interesting that most people don’t know about you?
I worked at a funeral home in Chicago for a bit.
Q: What would you rate a 10 out of 10?
My son Kyle. He is such an awesome person in so many ways. A 10 for sure.
Q: Who inspires you to be better?
My husband Ben.