SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — A South Dakota woman who has faced addiction is now using her experience and messaging to help others.

“It was one thing after the other and my life was absolutely falling apart. I lost jobs, my relationships were just falling apart… my life was just.. a mess,” Spanton said.

Norma Spanton of Brandon says she battled alcohol abuse for years, even causing multiple car crashes while under the influence.

“All of this I did while in a blackout,” Spanton said. “I don’t remember any of this.”

She sought treatment at the Avera Addiction Care Center in Sioux Falls and became a recipient of an Emily’s Hope scholarship. She is now approaching two years of sobriety.

“…. I have finally learned to forgive myself for that and… I’ve only been able to forgive myself because I have worked very hard to change my life and also have used that situation to help others,” Spanton said.

She’s done this with her son Brady, who is also an Emily’s Hope scholarship recipient. He’s in recovery now, too.

“I want other people to have what I had and get the help that I’ve gotten because there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Life can change and it can be amazing,” Spanton said.

“I don’t want to see any other family go through what I’ve gone through what my family has gone through, we want to give people hope,” Kennecke said.

Saturday brought a poker run and car show fundraiser for Emily’s Hope, a charity launched by KELOLAND’s Angela Kennecke to help people battling addiction. Angela says Emily’s Hope has given out 235 partial treatment scholarships.

“We want to save as many lives as possible,” Kennecke said. “We want to end the stigma surrounding substance use disorder and get as many people into treatment as we possibly can.”

Angela says the organization is hoping to raise 40 to 50 thousand dollars from Saturday’s event.