Marion Spellman believes that if you have a vision to do something, no matter how big or small it might be, you have to step up to the plate and work to accomplish your goal.
That’s exactly what the founding president and CEO of Peniel Residential Drug/Alcohol Treatment facility wants readers to take away from her recently released book, “Restoring Broken Lives, The Marion Spellman Story.”
“I want people to know you can be down, but you’re not out,” Spellman said. “And sometimes, you come back stronger.”
The process of writing the book began about nine months ago, and it was family and friends who encouraged Spellman to put her thoughts and experiences down on paper, chronicling the journey of Peniel.
“So many people wanted to know how I was able to do this,” she said. “I tried to be very honest and wanted to show that I couldn’t have done this alone. There were many people who helped me.”
In the book, Spellman talks about her family and growing up in Allegheny County.
She makes special reference to her brother, who died of a drug overdose, as one of the catalysts to wanting to do something for those battling addiction.
Spellman wrote, “I believe God allowed me to experience this traumatic encounter so I would know the heartbreak people go through when they have a family member in trouble, especially because of chronic drug abuse.”
She talks about volunteering with jail ministry and then working on staff with the state Bureau of Corrections before opening Peniel in Dillsburg, York County, in 1980.
From there, Spellman writes about the trials and tribulations of moving Peniel to different locations until ultimately ending up at its current West Taylor Township site.
Interspersed in the book she talks about meeting her husband, Harold Spellman, and dealing with a breast cancer diagnosis.
She also makes mention of key players who have been instrumental in working to make Peniel successful.
And at the end of each chapter, there are testimonials from Peniel clients who have gone through the program.
Spellman said she enjoyed writing the book so much she’s thinking about doing another using the same theme of restoring but placing the focus on marriage.
“The response to it has been unbelievable,” she said. “It was challenging to gather the information and I wanted be accurate, but it was all worth it.”
The book, which is now in its second printing, is $12.99 and can be purchased through Peniel and at the Christian Book Store & Office Supply in Johnstown and Somerset.
Proceeds are being used to support treatment programs at Peniel.
For more information, visit www.penielrehab.com.
Kelly Urban is a reporter with The Tribune-Democrat. Follow her on Twitter at twitter.com/KellyUrban25.