Former substance abuser Pays It Forward to compassionate chef

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(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)

Marty Lang has been a chef for more than 30 years and his command of the kitchen could easily land him a job at a nice resort or fancy restaurant.

Instead, Lang chooses to do his cooking at Chandler's Valley Hope, a treatment center for substance abuse.


"Nutrition is a huge part of recovery," said Lang. "Most of the time we kill ourselves and our bodies out there eating junk food with drugs and alcohol combined. We try to serve healthy meals here. The more you eat, the better you eat, the faster you recover."

But this devoted chef does more just than serve up hot meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

As a a former substance abuser himself, Lang knows exactly what recovering addicts are going through.

He makes a point to learn everyone's name, hear their stories, and provide love and support.

"That's what the reward is," said Lang. "To watch other people recover and follow the same path you were on, and that's why I work here."

Jaime Rivard was recently a patient at Chandler's Valley Hope and said that Lang played a key role in her battle with alcoholism.

Rivard will never forget the hot coffee and warm smile Lang provided every morning.

"He cared about your health and how to get you better from what you were looking at," said Rivard.

Rivard was so grateful, the mother of two reached out to CBS 5 to Pay It Forward to the cook who helped save her life.

A CBS 5 news crew was there for the big surprise.

"Words can't explain this man who has touched so many hearts," said Rivard. "He's a man you will never catch having a bad day, always smiling and full of encouragement to those in need there. It would not only be great for Marty to get recognized, but also the treatment center itself needs attention for those suffering addiction for alcohol and drugs. On behalf of myself and my family and CBS 5, and everyone here, we want to Pay It Forward to you and give you $500."

"He deserves more than what he is getting," said Rivard.

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Jason Barry
Jason Barry has been reporting in the Valley since 1997.

Click to learn more about Jason.

Jason Barry

Jason Barry has been reporting in the Valley since 1997.

He is a nine-time Rocky Mountain Emmy Award winner who is best known for his weekly Dirty Dining reports, which highlight local restaurants with major health code violations.

Jason was born in Los Angeles and graduated from the University of Miami.

An avid sports fan, Jason follows the Diamondbacks, Cardinals and Suns with his wife, Karen, and son, Joshua.

His favorite stories to cover are the station’s Pay it Forward segments, which reward members of the community with $500 for going ‘above and beyond’ the call of duty to help others.

Jason, started his career at WBTW-TV in Florence, SC before moving to WALA-TV in Mobile, AL, was named the Associated Press Reporter of the Year in 2002.

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