Betty Ford’s Legacy Impacts People In The Triad
12:02 AM, Jul 12, 2011 |
Undated — The nation’s farewell to Former First Lady Betty Ford begins Tuesday.
Ford, the wife of President Gerald Ford, was only first lady for three years, but her time in the White House changed an untold number of lives because of her own experiences.
During a 2003 interview with Larry King on CNN’s Larry King Live, Ford said, “My addiction was a combination of alcohol and the prescription drugs [...] When I took a drink at 5:00 o’clock, 6:00 o’clock, I realized the interaction. I didn’t know what was happening, I just knew that I felt great and the pain was gone.” [...] It became a daily habit, and it finally overpowered me. What was good for me suddenly became very bad for me.”
Ford overcame her addiction. But she refused to keep the victory to herself. She later founded the Betty Ford Center for drug and alcohol addiction. Many say her openness, and that clinic, removed the stigma associated with drug and alcohol abuse.
Frank Mickens spoke with Scott Kixmiller, a Substance Abuse Counselor at the Ringer Center, about the effect of Ford’s life right here in the Triad.
Kixmiller said, “She was able as the first lady to make it apparent that women need help as well and she was able to do that with her own treatment facility. And being courageous and transparent about her own situation.”
He went on to say, “When it became apparent that she herself had her own addiction issues, it took away some of the stigma. Anybody could be an alcoholic. You never know who’s an alcoholic.”
As we know now, many celebrities have checked into Ford’s clinic. After hearing of Betty Ford’s death, rocker Stevie Nicks issued a statement saying quote: “As far as I’m concerned, Betty Ford saved my life.” Nicks stayed at the Ford center in 1985 for cocaine addiction.
Other famous patients at the Betty Ford clinic included: Johnny Cash, Tony Curtis, Drew Barrymore, Elizabeth Taylor, Billy Joel, Ozzy Osbourne, David Hasslehoff, and Keith Urban.
Memorials for Ford will start Tuesday in California. There will be a private visitation followed by a national tribute at 2:00 pm. Then her body will lie in repose until midnight.
On Wednesday, her remains will go to Grand Rapids, Michigan for a private service. Her body will lie in repose there until midnight.
Thursday, there will be a private national tribute service at 2:00 pm and then she’ll be interred at the Ford Museum next to her husband.
WFMY News 2/ CNN-Larry King Live