Ending Addictions Took Courage

You know you’ve hit rock bottom when your behaviour is unacceptable even for an outlaw motorcycle gang.


Joe Calendino, the 2014 recipient of a Courage To Come Back award in the addictions category, was a “full patch member” of the Hells Angels, and heavily into drugs.


“I was doing crack, percs, oxy, smoking, drinking alcohol,” recalled Calendino before leading students in a martial arts program last week at a Surrey alternative high school to help keep youths from a self-destructive path.


“There were multiple fist fights,” he said, of his three years with the club’s Nomads chapter. “One of the reasons I was kicked out of the Hells Angels was for fighting in a casino.”

It was that assault in Kelowna that got Calendino arrested­­— and eventually saved his life.