A Little Good News: Wes Wildberger

By KBJR News 1

February 1, 2011 Updated Feb 1, 2011 at 9:58 AM CST


For Wes Wildberger life was a struggle.

He became an alcoholic when he was just a kid and lived much of his life on the streets.

"I was drinking around 12 years old and I drank all my life," says Wes.

Wes' addiction took him down a path of self destruction and at his lowest point he found himself in critical condition in the hospital.

"I tripped for no reason I tripped and I fell and I hit the corner of my TV stand and luckily my neighbor heard me because I was temporarily paralyzed. If I wasn't found in 30 more minutes I would've been dead," says Wes.

Wes suffered a traumatic head injury.

He spent one month in the hospital and three months in assisted living.

But it was at this point that Wes realized he needed to change his life if he was going to survive.

"I always wanted to turn it around anyway but this was the best opportunity because I'm not ready to go yet. I got a lot more to do in life," says Wes.

When he was living on the streets Wes was a regular at the CHUM drop in Center in Duluth.

When Wes made the decision to fight his way back into civilization, it was CHUM that reached out to help him get his life back on track.

These days Wes is showing his gratitude by volunteering at the center and trying to help those who've fallen into the dangerous lifestyle that he once knew.

"I think Wes has a really unique role here to be a role model; to be someone that people look up to; to see what can really happen when you turn your life around," says CHUM Outreach Director Elizabeth Olson.

Wes has been sober for two years now and is working toward rebuilding his relationship with his 17 year old daughter and maintaining a happy, healthy, and productive life.

If you are interested in donating or volunteering for CHUM you can log onto www.chumduluth.org or call 218-720-6521.