Peter's Story

Peter showed up at a CUPS primary care clinic in chronic pain, convinced he had hepatitis C. His physician quickly learned there was more to the story.

Peter was not just physically ill. He was struggling with addiction and a mood disorder. He had a history of incarceration for violent crimes, he was living on the streets, and he was isolated, having lost contact with his adoptive mother and his two sons. At 47, Peter believed he would not survive much longer.

Understanding the past

Peter’s doctor at CUPS understood that Peter needed more than medical treatment—he needed an integrated care strategy that would address his complex circumstances. 

Dr. Trueman referred Peter to several CUPS programs for physical and mental assessments, chronic disease management, and psychosocial support and counselling for sobriety. During this process, Peter disclosed that he had a traumatic history of childhood sexual abuse. Through CUPS and its partner Calgary Communities Against Sexual Abuse (CCASA), Peter learned that he was not alone. “They made me feel that I was worth something,” he says.

Changing the future

Peter struggled, relapsed, got sober…but in six months, he had managed to find stability. He stopped using, found housing, reconnected with his sons and committed to a new partner. Two months after that, Peter was an employed, married father-to-be, living with his sons and reunited with his mother. Today, he travels Alberta for the John Howard Society sharing his remarkable story with high school kids. “I got a second chance at life,” Peter says.

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