Why Nate's Place, A Wellness and Recovery Center?

A little history on Nate and the motivation behind starting this non-profit:

       Our son, Nathan (Nate) Rhoades sadly passed away at the age of 21 after a car accident involving a semi-truck, on January 20, 2022.  Nate lived a full life and was a Certified Personal Fitness Trainer at Gold’s Gym, which was his true passion, helping others get fit and live healthy lives. He loved fitness, boxing, weight lifting, music, and anything athletic and involving sports. He was a unique individual who had a big heart, tons of friends, a long-term girlfriend and he was always supporting and cheering people on during his short life. 

        Nate had a tough start in life and was born 12 weeks premature, weighing just over 2 lbs.  In the hospital for almost 2 months, before he came home, he struggled with gastrointestinal issues but was able to manage his medical issues through living a healthy lifestyle and diet.  When Nate was 14 years old, he became addicted to drugs and we sent him to a substance abuse treatment center.  He overcame his addiction through the help of residential treatment, intensive outpatient treatment, ongoing counseling, attending 12-step meetings and working a program. 

        However, the key element to Nate’s ongoing recovery was a Peer Support Recovery Coach, Kyle, who we hired for 8 months.  He spent 3-4 days per week with Nate, mentoring him, taking him to 12-step meetings and introducing Nate to weight lifting and music. Kyle was 24 years old, had been in recovery himself and he had such a positive influence on Nate.  He showed him that he could live a happy and fulfilling life, as a teenager and adult, clean, sober and stable.

        Nate threw himself into his recovery and was a defensive MVP on his high school football team.  He went on to become a body builder, a boxer and someone who loved to help others. Nate was brain dead almost instantly after the accident, but the rest of his body was in excellent shape, due to the healthy way he took care of himself.  We were able to donate all of his organs to recipients waiting for a transplant, something Nate would have done in a heartbeat.

        Since Nate’s death, we have heard from countless friends of his, and even people who we did not know, who said that Nate was one of the few people who regularly checked in on them when they were struggling with substance abuse and/or mental health issues.  He was loving, caring and he encouraged his friends on whatever difficult journeys they were on.  We have been so struck by the support our son provided to those in his life, that we have decided to start a non-profit, 501c3, Nate’s Place, A Wellness and Recovery Center, in honor of Nate.

Heidi and Larry Rhoades  (Nate’s Parents)

Nate and his Parents

Nate and Autumn (Girlfriend)

Nate inspired Nate's Place

Nate's story

Honor Walk

This video is of the Honor Walk for Nate, which was held on 1/25/22 at Ventura County Medical Center. Nate’s friends and family gathered along the halls of the hospital to say good-bye and cheer him on for helping save the lives of so many, as his organs, tissue, and bone marrow were all donated to others. He was wheeled into the operating room where 14 surgeons were waiting. Nate truly lives on in the lives of others.

Some moments of Nate's Life