Following the untimely death of beloved actor Matthew Perry on October 28th at age 54, a foundation has been established to carry on his dedication to helping fellow addicts. Announced via press release on November 18th, the Matthew Perry Foundation will accept donations to assist individuals struggling with substance abuse and addiction.
“In the spirit of Matthew Perry’s enduring commitment to helping others battling the disease of addiction, we embark on a journey to honor his legacy,” reads the foundation’s statement. Guided by Perry’s own words and experiences, the organization aims to make a difference for as many lives as possible.
Perry was best known for his iconic role as Chandler Bing on the hit sitcom Friends. But he was also open about his own behind-the-scenes struggle with drug and alcohol addiction. Hoping to be remembered first and foremost as someone who aided other addicts, Perry brought visibility to the sometimes taboo topic.
“When I die, I don’t want ‘Friends’ to be the first thing mentioned – I want helping others to be the first thing mentioned,” Perry stated in a 2022 interview. He shared plans to devote his life to proving addiction can be defeated, but only together. This ethos will steer the foundation bearing his name.
Perry’s History of Addiction and Recovery
While achieving stardom, Perry privately battled addictions that nearly cost him his career and life. After a 1997 jet ski accident, he became dependent on prescription painkillers like Vicodin. Despite his fame, Perry was unable to overcome addiction alone, and entered rehab in 2001.
Later, he transformed his former Malibu residence into the Perry House, a sober living facility where others could find support. It operated until 2015, providing a safe space for many on the journey to recovery. This hands-on involvement and desire to help came from Perry’s deeply personal understanding of addiction’s power.
Tragically, his death in late 2022 resulted from complications of his disease. But Perry’s contributions while alive changed perceptions and aided countless individuals also fighting for sobriety.
Sharing His Story to Support Others
By opening up about his struggles, Perry exemplified how anyone can be impacted by addiction. His vulnerability put a relatable face on a crisis often driven underground by stigma. Millions worldwide now mourn the loss of this talented actor, but also an advocate who boosted awareness.
In his 2021 memoir, Perry was candid about the pain of battling illness in the public eye. He detailed the paralyzing anxiety and isolation of substance dependence. Being hospitalized, Perry nearly died when his colon burst from opioid overuse.
His story raised awareness that even wealth and fame cannot shield one from addiction’s grasp. Perry also showed that while the journey is lifelong, recovery is possible. Though he could not ultimately defeat his demons, his refusal to stay silent increased understanding.
The Matthew Perry Foundation’s Mission
The newly formed foundation’s mission upholds Perry’s goal of removing shame around addiction. Inspired by his words on the power of joining together, the organization aims to support individuals and families through treatment access, recovery programs, and other resources.
Though addiction affected Perry’s health over the years, he did groundbreaking work to emerge from the shadows. His Foundation now carries that torch, funding science-based treatment and peer support networks to help fill the gaps in the recovery system. No one battling substance abuse should feel alone.
By donating to the Matthew Perry Foundation, the public can honor the actor’s compassion while fostering hope for others entrapped by addiction. Each life saved supports Perry’s belief that if united, we can overcome anything. Few now living spread this message as courageously.
In a tragic irony, Perry’s inner light dimmed too soon. But the Foundation bearing his name now shines to guide others out of the darkness. Perry’s legacy will remain the reminder that no matter how far addiction takes you, the path back is never gone. Where there is life, there is hope.