Brian’s Story: A Second Chance

Talk about a second chance.

Brian Talty came to Raleigh from Virginia where he had a great job, but a “secret addiction” as he calls it. He also wasn’t taking care of himself and got into some trouble.

While he was trying to kick the addiction on his own, his sisters encouraged him to go Healing Transitions here in Raleigh. Healing Transitions is a nonprofit organization offering peer-based recovery services and a community partner of Urban Ministries of Wake County. Brian didn’t want to go, but he did anyway.

Although he resisted, Brian soon found himself at Healing Transitions, where medical testing was part of the treatment. It was then that Brian was informed he had Hepatitis C. The worst part: Brian knew he already had a chronic liver condition.

Healing Transitions made Brian an appointment to see Dr. Charles van der Horst at the Open Door Clinic. Dr. van der Horst’s program treats clinic patients who have  Hepatitis C. The $70,000 drug combination needed for a cure was donated to the clinic and the treatment protocol was written by Dr. van der Horst.

This cure changed the lives of 24 patients so far, including Brian Talty. That’s right – Brian Talty no longer has the disease he thought might kill him once he started treating his addiction.

“I’m pretty grateful for it,” he says.

Meanwhile, Brian had joined the Recovery Run Club at Healing Transitions. He’d read Running Man, a memoir by Charlie Engle, who also used running to cope with addiction.

“I couldn’t run a half a mile when I started this, then I signed up for a half marathon and finished,” says Brian.

As a result of this new passion, he organized Recovery on the Run in Dix Park as a way to give back to all the organizations which helped him and to inspire others.

Last year, he ran 38 miles (that’s a marathon and a half) to mark a year of sobriety. He raised thousands of dollars for Healing Transitions.

Next year, Brian’s run will support Emmaus House, where he’s been living since he left Healing Transitions. In 2021, Brian plans to run 42 miles to raise money for Urban Ministries of Wake County.

Dr. van der Horst passed away in the summer of 2019. Brian now does his follow up appointments with the clinic’s Medical Director, Dr. Elizabeth Campbell.

“Urban Ministries changed my diet completely, too,” he says. “I had already been thinking about it, but Dr. Campbell suggested I go on a plant-based diet, so I did.”

“I haven’t had a cold in like a year.”