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TAYLORVILLE — Four commencing individuals pose with the Christian County Treatment Court team following their graduation ceremony on Friday in Davis Memorial Christian Church. In front, from left are Mary Barry, John Good, Tamara Wisnasky, Catherine Eck, Dylan Russell, Brandon Durbin and Tammy Harris. In back, Alyce Grigsby, Jenny Mizeur, Mackenzie Goodman, Jason Domonousky, Judge Brad Paisley, Sue Paso and Sheriff Bruce Kettlekamp. See story at bottom of page.
Lucas Domonousky / Breeze-Courier Photo
TAYLORVILLE — “Today we are here to celebrate the accomplishments, the handwork and the dedication and effort of Brandon Durbin, Cathy Eck, Dylan Russell and Wisnasky.” Christian County Resident Circuit Judge Brad Paisley opens the Treatment Court Commencement Ceremony which was held on Friday, Jan. 26. “And to show the community that Treatment Court really does work.”
Judge Paisley and the Treatment Court team have put countless hours into rehabilitating and reforming the community who has fallen pray to the darker side of their minds, spirit and overall morality.
“I’m blessed and honored to have lead this team since its inception in 2011,” Judge Paisley said. “It’s a team of compassionate, caring, dedicated, hardworking people. They do all the heavy lifting.”
All of this heavy lifting wouldn’t come into fruition without the participants sacrifice and sheer will to, first, realize they need a change and, second, take the necessary action to get where they need to go. Judge Paisley knew the phrase to describe the 2024 commencing class for all the grueling handwork they have shown throughout the program.
“This group is one of radical resilience,” Judge Paisley states. “Radical, in the context of spiritual matters, really means causing a dramatic change in ones beliefs, morals or practices or, it could mean, having far-reaching or profound effect on someone’s life.”
Post introduction, the Treatment Court team was given their opportunity to speak on all four of the commencing participants. Treatment Court Coordinator and Supervisor John Good began by explaining his duties and the responsibilities that come with being on the team. One by one Good went down the line of the four commencing participants starting with where they were to where they are now.
“Recovery looks great on all of you,” he said. “I hope you continue to use the tools that you have learned to, not only, keep growing, but to help others.”
Nine total team members spoke at Davis Memorial Christian Church on behalf of the dedication to the program and offering future solace if ever needed.
Sue Paso of Paso Counseling Solutions provided a genuine breakdown of each participant. Paso, along with Jason Domonousky, have the duty of collecting the first-hand traumas of those who pass through Treatment Court while providing an ear to listen and advice to help create coping tools for everyday life.
“You guys all hit the sweet spot,” Paso said. “And I can tell you, I saw it. Being a therapist, we hang on to those moments when everything happens right. The light goes on in your eyes. You make better choices and I don’t see you in the office because you have started to find yourself and you don’t need the rest of these people to make you feel good. I saw it in everyone of your eyes.”
Immediately following, the room was flooded with even more emotion when a video slideshow was played with before and after pictures of the once subjugated individuals. Following the brief presentation, each one was acknowledged with a certificate presented by the original Police Department official who made the arrest. The four were also given the floor to show the appreciation to those who have guided them to this destination. All four took the time to express gratitude, gratefulness and a sense of obligation to their own family and each team member.
Catherine “Cathy” Eck came as prepared as she could get having a beautiful speech to read before the room. The speech brought many emotions to the audience.
“I went through some very horrific things,” says Eck. But now they don’t define me. This time, a whole village of people helped me to find myself.”
She continues: “I have my life back. And people I can count on. No matter how bad things have gotten they don’t judge, they welcome me home and offer me coffee and chocolate. There I am giving and taking away. I went from living in a tent and defecating in other people’s backyards to being independent and accepting in my role of the events that brought me here today. Today I’m perfectly imperfect. God does for me what I cannot do for myself.”
Eck also took her time to acknowledge one face who was not in the crowd. Brian Callan was a Treatment Court Participant himself. Even more than that, Bryan was a soft-spoken and caring individual who is missed by many more than just the Christian County Recovery community. Bryan Callan tragically passed away with his dog Hope in a car accident in 2022.
“Because of this program he didn’t die from this disease,” Eck remembers. “He had hope. In more than one way. Today, I also have hope that this disease will not take mine.”