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Single mom overcomes addiction to build better life for daughter

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  • GEORGE F. LEE / GLEE@STARADVERTISER.COM
                                With the birth of her daughter, Kinsley, Riley Parry made a vow to become sober.

    GEORGE F. LEE / GLEE@STARADVERTISER.COM

    With the birth of her daughter, Kinsley, Riley Parry made a vow to become sober.

When 37-year-old single mother Riley Parry gave birth to her daughter, she made a commitment to getting sober.

It was a commitment that she has kept, and she says it has allowed her to cherish every moment since with her now 1-year-old daughter, Kinsley Parry.

“Life while using sucks. You live on a day-to-day basis and you don’t have any friends or family or people that you can trust,” Parry said. “I wanted a better life for me and my daughter. … Now, life is amazing. I live for her.”

Parry’s road to sobriety hasn’t been a straight line. About five years ago Parry was living in Seattle where she grew up. She was outgoing in high school, had many friends, and at the time she didn’t have a clue what addiction was, she said.

However, at the influence of a new group of friends, she began using drugs and alcohol, which led her into her initial battle with addiction. Parry’s mother died during that time, and her dying wish was for Parry to get sober.

Parry said she honored her mother’s wish, and maintained a sober lifestyle for about five years. During that time, she helped other women get sober, sponsoring them as they went through the steps of recovery, but Parry eventually relapsed.

She decided to move to Oahu where she checked in to a treatment center. After about a year of sobriety, she began dating the man who would later become Kinsley’s father. The new relationship combined with the fact that she was far from her family and in isolation due to the COVID-19 pandemic led her to relapse again.

Parry described the following few years of her life as out of control. She fell into a cycle of depression and isolation, supplemented by drugs and alcohol.

“I would stay in my apartment all day, every day,” she said “I would just sit there and use by myself and it just wasn’t a good life.”

But when Kinsley was born, Parry said, she realized that she couldn’t allow her daughter to witness her mother drunk or high. She said she checked in to another treatment center and has remained sober ever since.

“It brings tears to my eyes because my family is in my life again,” Parry said. “It’s the best thing ever because your family trusts you again, you have relationships with them and you get to work as a normal person.”

After the holidays, Parry plans to move back to Seattle and into a clean-and- sober home to be closer to her family. Having gone to esthetician school, she hopes to find a job there where she can put her license to use.

Until then, Parry plans to savor every moment with Kinsley while she rebuilds her life.

“I just look forward to every single day with her,” Parry said. “Being sober, I thank God every day for helping me get through this.”

For Christmas, Parry would like monetary donations to help her purchase airfare for her and Kinsley to return to Seattle.

BE A GOOD NEIGHBOR

The annual Good Neighbor Fund, a charitable partnership between Helping Hands Hawaii, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser and First Hawaiian Bank, helps struggling individuals and families during the holiday season.

This year under the Adopt A Family Program, 600 families are seeking assistance with food, clothing, toys and household items. Donations to the Good Neighbor Fund also assist Helping Hands with operational costs for the nonprofit’s Community Clearinghouse Program, which helps people with basic necessities throughout the year, at 2100 N. Nimitz Highway.

The hours for Adopt A Family donations (new items) are from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. For general donations for the Community Clearinghouse (gently used items), drop-off is from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday.

HOW TO HELP

People can drop off cash or checks to the “Good Neighbor Fund” at any First Hawaiian Bank branch statewide until Dec. 30. To donate specifically to Riley and Kinsley Parry, include the code: HHH-161.

Here is the latest list of donors to the 2023 Good Neighbor Fund:

Week ending Nov. 26

>> Joyce Nouchi $500

>> In memory of Harriet C. Kam $200

>> Myles Higa $200

>> AECOM $110

>> Bryant Yabui $102.53

>> Arleen Nishimura $100

>> Dennis Kawamoto $100

>> In loving memory of Akira Amakawa $100

>> In loving memory of Dean “Dino” Rodrigues $100

>> In loving memory of Dorothy Amakawa $100

>> In loving memory of Hilda Yonezawa $100

>> In loving memory of Lucky Ken Yonezawa $100

>> In loving memory of Nathan Rodrigues $100

>> In loving memory of Violet Kim $100

>> In loving memory of Wallace Kim $100

>> In memory of S.N. $100

>> Jeremy Immel $100

>> Judy Murata $100

>> June M. Clark $100

>> Gary Coggins $51.52

>> Betty Shimabukuro $46.80

>> Jason Louie $5

>> Derika-Jo Vincent $1

>> Anonymous $100

Weekly total: $2,716.85

Week ending Dec. 3

>> Anonymous $2,975

>> In memory of Muhardini K. Goldstein $700

>> In loving memory of William and Jayne Gibson $500

>> Kyler, Ross, Mari $500

>> Beatrice Gould $300

>> Dennis J. Kawahara $300

>> In memory of Ric and Frances $300

>> In memory of Tony Andrade, Kellie Andrade, Greg Yokomizo $300

>> Leilani, Jack Henry, Charlie, Kalena, Patrick, David, Maya $300

>> U. Hirohata $300

>> Lenore Ogawa $255.58

>> Guy and Susan Fujimura $250

>> In loving memory of Henry, Katherine and Nanny Wolter $250

>> In loving memory of Joseph and Elese Katona $250

>> In loving memory of William F. Ehrman $250

>> In memory of Carol S. Judd from Judi Moore $250

>> Ronald Tang $250

>> Judith Goldman $204.56

>> Happiness, peace and freedom for all $200

>> Help the poor $200

>> In memory of Given K. Nakamine and Anthony C. Tamanaha $200

>> In memory of Pop and G. Loo from the grandkids $200

>> In memory of PoPo and GungGung Loui and Ho $200

>> Mel, Dar, Quin, Chad, Ali, Derek $200

>> Pearl Yamanouchi $200

>> Raymond Sakai $200

>> Sheryl Gardner $200

>> Felix D. Tengan $155

>> In memory of Irene Punohu and Ima Okubo $150

>> Happy Thanksgiving to the Helping Hands Hawaii staff! Mahalo for all you do! $102.53

>> Linda Kumasaki $102.53

>> Audree M. Nakanishi $100

>> Carol J. Holverson $100

>> Dale Kanehisa $100

>> George S. Hirose $100

>> Glenn Awaya $100

>> Gwendolyn N.W. Mau $100

>> In loving memory of Tutu and Opa, Popo and Papa $100

>> In memory of Janet Tsutomi $100

>> In memory of Kenji and Sumiko Tsutomi $100

>> In memory of Leon Y.I. Lum $100

>> In memory of Paul and Jeanne Rensel $100

>> In memory of Richard and Karen Tsutomi $100

>> Jacqueline Morishige $100

>> James H. Nakamura $100

>> John and Rose Simonds $100

>> Larry M. Okuda $100

>> Marshall E. Brown III $100

>> Neil Abercrombie $100

>> Sadie $100

>> The Office Manager $100

>> Yvonne and Michael Nakata $100

>> Frances A. Moura $80

>> Juliesa Loughney $51.52

>> Leslie Hayashi $51.52

>> Alan H. Kawamoto $50

>> Audrey K. Lum $50

>> In memory of Faye S. Morimoto $50

>> In memory of Dorothy Chun $40

>> Nora Suematsu $30

>> Dale Yoshizu $25

>> In loving memory of Adam and Virginia Moniz $25

>> The Nakamura Ohana $20

>> Happy Holidays! $10

Weekly total: $13,328.24

Grand total: $16,045.09


Linsey Dower covers ethnic and cultural affairs and is a corps member of Report for America, a national service organization that places journalists in local newsrooms to report on undercovered issues and communities.


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