It’s funny how doing the right thing can put you on the right path. That’s exactly the way Danny MacKillop has turned his life around.
A few months ago, the 38-year old MacKillop was living on the streets of Toronto. He was unkempt and barely able to feed himself, spending any money he could get his hands on to feed his addition to fentanyl and heroin.
One November morning, MacKillop found $40 in an ATM. Const. Jason Kirkwood, who knew MacKillop from his work with the homeless, had taken out $160 but walked away with only $120. Most in MacKillop’s position would have kept the money. However, MacKillop ran down the street to catch up to Kirkwood and return it.
“My first instinct was just to give it back,” says MacKillop. “It was the right thing to do.”
Surprised and impressed by MacKillop’s actions, Kirkwood shared the story on Facebook. The post ended up reaching MacKillop’s mom, Mary. Having not heard from her son in nearly two years, Mary immediately traveled to Toronto to find him.
At the end of her first day in Toronto, Mary found her son. That was the moment everything changed for MacKillop.
“Just, ‘Oh my God! Oh my God!'” recalls MacKillop. “I knew — as soon as I saw her — I knew everything was going to be all right. It was my mom. My mom was my safety.”
A few days later, MacKillop was on a bus on his way to Calgary. He was a long trip that coincided with him going through withdrawal symptoms from his drug addiction.
“Luckily, I had three seats on the back of the Greyhound,” MacKillop explains. “I just tried to sleep and lay down. Irritable and restless, but I managed to pull through.”
When he got to Calgary, a friend drove him to a rehab facility in Vancouver. He’s now more than a month into treatment and things are finally starting to look up for him.
“It’s been amazing,” MacKillop said of his turnaround. “I feel great. Every day, I can look into the mirror and I like what I see.”
To think it all started with something as simple as returning a few dollars to their rightful owner.