Hoani Heremaia.
Hoani Heremaia. Alistair Brightman

FAITH AND HARDYARDS: The road to rehab recovery

HOANI Heremaia almost lost himself to his gambling and alcohol addiction.

"I separated from my wife, lost my job, lost my residence where I was staying. I ended up staying in a friend's garage surrounded by a lot of rubbish and feeling worthless in myself," the Auckland native explained.

The 51-year-old's friend, who is also a graduate for the Bayside Transformations program, sponsored him and paid for the first four weeks of his rehabilitation.

During the gruelling program, Hoani was able to draw his addictions back to being encouraged to bet in bingo halls and play poker as a young age.

"When problems come up in life and you don't know how to deal with stuff you tend to avoid those situations and go into situations where your addiction takes over," he said. Following in his father's footsteps, Hoani found alcohol was a solace.

The father-of-five strives for reconciliation with his four sons while he said his daughter has been a support for him through the program.

"One of the reasons I'm doing this, is not only for myself but to be better for my family and my grandchild was born while I was in the program, she is now four months old," Hoani said.

Hoani is completing a certificate four in ministry to help others.

"I believe I can be there for people and be an inspiration to people, you know if I can do this at 51, others can walk a life of freedom without addiction in their life."

You can hear more of these stories and find out how to support the organisation making a difference at their Spring Gala next Friday, September 27.

The event will be held at the Brolga Theatre and includes House Rules stars Josh and Brandon and popular band Soul City.

Tickets can be purchased at www.frasercoasttickets.com.au