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Madeline Redstone: Breaking the Cycle

By Julia Pine

It’s been nine years since Madeline Redstone went through her own recovery at the Hazelden Betty Ford Center, but to this day when she makes the turn off Country Club Drive and heads to the back corner of the Eisenhower Medical Center in Rancho Mirage she feels like she’s coming home.

Redstone, a member at Tamarisk Country Club, now spends much of her time giving back to the place she credits for “giving her her life back.” She lives in the Coachella Valley six months of the year, and is at the Betty Ford Center often. She is a member of both the Center’s philanthropy committee and finance committee.

“I was so comfortable when I left here nine years ago, I just knew that it would help my recovery to stay connected to this place,” Redstone says. “But in addition to attending alumni meetings and focusing on my own recovery, I wanted to give back to the Center in whatever way I could because it truly changed my life tremendously.”

The Betty Ford Center has helped alcoholics and addicts achieve sobriety for the last three decades, becoming a haven to those who have needed it most. But a unique aspect to the Center is the Children’s Program, which supports kids from families who have struggled with alcohol and/or other drug addiction. The program, which helps children learn above all that addiction is not their fault, has become a point of dedicated focus for Redstone.

“The children’s program is my main goal here,” says Redstone, whose father was also an addict. “We’re trying to break the cycle…explain to these kids that it’s nothing they’ve done that has caused their mommy to drink or daddy to snort. We’re helping them understand that their parents’ addiction has nothing to do with them.”

Recently, Redstone helped organize a gala that raised $800,000 that went directly to the Children’s Program. And while the Center is always in need of financial support, Redstone also hopes people can support the work of the center by breaking down a stereotype.

"It has been a common misconception that the Betty Ford Center is for the rich and the famous,” Redstone says. “Believe me, it’s not. You don’t have to be a star to get star treatment here. Everyone gets treated equally and given the same high level of care.”

The love, respect and gratefulness that Redstone has for the center is not lost on anyone she talks with.

“When I walked into this place, the sky was grey,” she says. “When I walked out, the sun was shining. This is just an unbelievably beautiful place for people to look into their lives and ultimately get it back. It is definitely important for me to stay involved.”

Past Heroes