Read Vigil for Lost Promise: Virtual Wall text version

Index of Names


Tim Allen Martin Arismendy John Atkinson Jillian Annette Cleary Matthew Coda Costantino Congliaro Sara Corbett Benjamin James Croman Junior Jesus Curbelo


Kelley McEnery Baker Jason Anthony Barganier Mark Daniel Bauer Marcus Bradley Beninson Larry Howard Benis Meggin Bernhard Victor Joseph Boldreghini III Amanda Danielle Boryla Caitlyn Brady Aaron Linton Brawley Todd Clayton Brewer Brian Burke


Zachary Davis Mark DeMarrero Jared L. Dever Michael John DiGiantommaso Gregory Terry Dorsett Kim DuMars Joshua James Duvall


Ian Eaccarino Bryan Eckman Brian Patrick Elero Michael L. Escalante, Jr.


Eddie Cappiello Steven E.T. Carey

Remembering Lost Promise

Index of Names


Angela Fatino Casey Nolan Fitzgerald Lisa Suzanne Flores Steven W. Forrest, Sr. Clayton Forstrom Christian Foster Ryane Robert Frank Jessica Frazier Richard Hacker Ryan Haight Sean Tyler Halverson Brandon Lee Hardesty Cassie Haydal Adam Heitz Carl Hennon Chelsea Marie Heptig Daesean Hill Lang J. Hitchcock David Hobson Taylor Hooton Matthew Houbrick Michael Houston Jason Howard Garrett Douglas Hughes Shannon Hungerford


Rob Garibaldi Jeff Gattorno Mary Christina Gibson ______ Godin Michael Warren Greene II Jarrett Grier James Groves, Jr.


Chris Johnson Joshua Joseph


John Habicht

Remembering Lost Promise

Index of Names


Shane Macgregor Kearns James Byron Keaton Khalid Patrick Kibler Karla-Rae Kiggin Efrain Marrero David Andrew Marshall Jeremy James Mason Scott Graeme McGinnis RN Matthew McKinney Dan McLaughlin Tim Meacham Bobby Mehlberger Adam Christopher Messmer Amanda Miller Brian Anthony Miller Clinton Talmadge Mitchell Jason Mitchell Keith Montambo


Joshua Laning Zack Larison Dan LaSelle Jennifer Lee Dana Levine Eric William Lomnicki David O. Loubier, Jr.


Cindy M Robert "Bobby" Magee Christopher Jacob Mainhart Joshua Malta David Manlove


Beth Nelson Duane Nelson William R. (Billy) Neustice Paul Richard Nowak Robby Nunes

Remembering Lost Promise


Lenny Orlandello

Index of Names

Justin Luke Scancarello David Schmidt Ephraim David Schultz Stephen Rhett Sharpe Jr. Tracey Sloane Sheridan Scotty Simmons Smith Family Gregory Paul Sonderegger Patrick M. Stewart Steven Randall Stone Jason Surks Tony Sweeney


Joshua J. Payne The Pease Family Dominic Pelicano Irma Perez Richard Weeks Perry Jr. Jason Petro Nicholas Pezant Kristin Pfaff


Greg Reed Sean Remus Ryan Adam Richter


Jeffrey Taylor Joey Taylor Keith Tedesco Thad Michael Paul Tiedemann Rachel Fay Timmington John Stewart Towns


Shelly Sanders Samantha Sandler Daniel Alan Sangillo

Remembering Lost Promise

Index of Names

Brett Matthew Tozzo Jerry Trowbridge


Charles "Ryan" Untz


Scott Vance Gino Joseph Ventimiglia


Chad Joseph Wagner Justin Walker Scott Cole Walker Timothy Parker Walters Ricky Weldon Matthew Casey Wethington Greg Weyant Jennifer Caroline Wittberger


Richard Charles Young

Remembering Lost Promise

Tim Allen

Drug-related Murder

I wish to remember my husband, who was murdered in 2002 while on a "run." I met Tim at an NA meeting. His eyes shone and he just glowed. He always was positive and would help any one at any time. He taught me many things; especially about God; where to find God, how to ask for God's help and how to let God and let go. I wanted his God. Tim is always with me in my heart and soul. Love does transcend the boundaries of death. At least for me. We both relapsed sometime in 2001. He was the enabler and I was a taker. If the using doesn't kill you the finding ways and means to get more will. Tim's murder was a direct result of his disease. I am clean and work in a substance abuse prevention agency. I am giving back what was freely given to me. Many people love and miss Tim. His spirit will be at every meeting I go to. ~ Terri Allen ~

Remembering Lost Promise

Martin Arismendy

Died Age 32 Suicide, Crack Cocaine

My boyfriend, Martin Arismendy, died from suicide after becoming addicted to Crack Cocaine at 32 years of age. He hid his addiction from me until he needed me the most. I asked him many times who he was getting the drugs from, but he would never tell me. I helped put him in a rehabilitation center, but the behavior reared its ugly head after he got out. He committed crimes and sold some of his personal belongings for the drugs. Sadly, I had to leave him. I felt that he needed me but, at the same time, I also felt that he could change his behavior if he truly wanted to. He became so bad his body started to depend on the drug and he needed more and more it to survive. He died on May 7, 1996, of a gunshot wound to the head, the day before he was to go to court for eight felony counts of drug-related crimes. His family and I miss him terribly. He had a personality of gold and he had an excellent sense of humor. He could have been anything he chose. I tried to tell him to be careful of the people that he associated with. He liked people and told me about certain ones that he liked. That was when he was hiding his secret. He cried and told me how ashamed of himself he was. I tried to do what I could to shelter and protect him, but I could not protect him from himself. ~ Teresa Cooper

Remembering Lost Promise

John Atkinson

Died Age 21 Crack Cocaine & Opiates

Over 22,000 individuals died from drug induced causes in the United States of America in the year 2002. My son, John Atkinson, was one of the 22,000. He died of an overdose of crack cocaine and opiates on March 30, 2002. He was 21 years old, and left behind a four year old son, Bradley. John started experimenting with drugs at the age of twelve. He started with marijuana, and gradually worked his way up the broken rungs of the ladder of endless addiction. He was huffing for a period of time. I will explain briefly for those of you that don't know what huffing is. John would ask me to buy him air freshener, telling me that he liked his room to smell good. He would ask for this as I was making my grocery list, and I would think nothing more of it. I was so clueless and naive, and was just not aware of the potentially fatal drug that I was placing in my son's hand! I later discovered that he was using the air freshener to "huff ". He would remove the spray nozzle from the air freshener, use a sock to filter it, and either breathe deeply the contents of the can, or stick the nozzle up his nose and inhale it. This caused an instant high, and it almost killed him before I realized what was going on. Soon after, John started drinking heavily. He didn't drink socially, he didn't drink to have fun, he drank to get drunk! His drinking was used to supplement his drug use, always searching for the ultimate high. When John was sixteen years old, he was in a serious car accident and almost lost his life. I got the dreaded phone call, stating that my son was "code blue". I feared the worst, thinking that by the time I reached him he would already be dead. By the grace of God, he survived, but it was through the accident that I was informed of his addiction to crack cocaine. Detox, rehabs -- some worked for a while, some didn't. On and off for the next five years, John battled and lost his fight against this insidious monster drug. He was so far into his addiction that he placed his life and the lives of family members in peril on numerous occasions. He was beaten and left for dead in a church parking lot once because he owed drug dealers money. In the last three months of his life, the addiction to crack cocaine had already taken my son from me. Two weeks before he died, he was leaving the state because he had burned all his bridges. He cried in my arms, and told me he would never see me again. I have been robbed! I had to bury my only son, and always wonder what he would have been like without the influence of drugs and alcohol. I had glimpses of that loving child off and on, but the drugs won. No matter the drug, we are losing our children, our siblings, or parents, our friends to drugs. We have to fight, we have to promote prevention, we have to speak out and be heard! I want the death of my son to have a purpose. I want his memory to be honored, and I want his life to not have been lost in vain. Bonnie Atkinson

Remembering Lost Promise

Kelley McEnery Baker

Died Age 23 Ecstasy

about alcohol, drugs and cigarette smoking. But, it was a hard subject for me because, plain and simple, I didn't know what I was talking about. Kelley knew I had never done any drugs--I just never had any interest in them, and besides, m parents threw the fear of God into me about trying any sort of drug. Still, Kelley and I did have the "drug talk," and Kelley told me there was some drinking and marijuana use at her school but that I didn't have to worry about it because she wasn't involved. I believed her until that night in 1991 when I got a call from the ER of our local hospital. I was told I should come down immediately. Apparently, all of Kelley's friends had been drinking and they wanted her to try some too. She drank 100-proof vodka shots. Kelley was lucky; she just had to have her stomach pumped. Unfortunately, it was about this time that I was divorcing Kelley's stepfather. In the midst of the divorce, Kelley asked me, "Who am I going to call Dad now?" It broke my heart to hear that. I knew she was hurting and so very vulnerable, and looking back, I feel it was then, early in 1992, that Kelley began experimenting with other drugs. It started with smoking pot and went on to harder drugs. Kelley's demeanor seemed to change drastically and her attitude toward just about everything took a turn for the worse. At times I felt I didn't even know her. Drugs had robbed me of the daughter I knew. After she graduated high school in 1994, Kelley spent some time overseas with her birth father, trying to make up

It was the evening of November 14, 1999. Two police officers and my sister came to my door in suburban Chicago to deliver the horrific news: my 23-year-old daughter Kelley was dead. I felt numb; my younger daughter--Kelley's only sibling--fell into my arms, crying hysterically at the news her sister was gone. Somehow, I gathered up all the strength I had to ask, "How?" The officers told me Kelley had overdosed on Ecstasy. They did their best to explain to me what Ecstasy was, but that night it was falling on deaf ears. It had to be a mistake, I though; this couldn't possibly have happened to my sweet Kelley. When Kelley was young it was just the two of us. Her father left when she was just two. I was in sales and on the road a great deal, but Kelley and I were close and enjoyed spending the time we had together. When Kelley was seven, I married again and my daughter had the family she'd always wanted. I was able to quit work and be a stay-at-home mom for the first time, and four years later, I was blessed with another daughter. Kelley seemed so very happy--until high school. High school is a trying time for parents and teens, and we were no different. Kelley was a typical teenager--she was on the pompon squad and had an active social life with lots of friends coming over just to "hang out." She dressed in the latest fashions, and she got a job at the local movie theater that gave her all the free movie passes she wanted. But like all teens, Kelley pushed the envelope at times. I always knew that drugs were out there, and I knew I had to talk to Kelley

Remembering Lost Promise

Kelley McEnery Baker, Cont'd

for lost time. After she came home, she spent a year or two taking some college classes before deciding that wasn't for her. She wasn't a kid any longer and she wanted the freedom to come and go as she pleased. Ultimately, Kelley hooked up with a group of people that traveled around following the Grateful Dead. There wasn't a day that I didn't worry about her-- about what kinds of people she was with and what drugs she might be using. When I asked her about it, she'd tell me that she had tried just about everything but didn't like anything except smoking marijuana. I told her, "Kelley, I don't like you smoking marijuana, not to mention the fact that it's an illegal drug." She looked at me as though I had two heads. I wanted to believe Kelley was telling me the truth, but part of me was scared to death she was involved with God only knows what. The idea that she was involved with Ecstasy never crossed my mind. I never even heard of the drug until that night the police came to my door. Weeks after Kelley died, I found out there was more to the story than I'd been told. Not only was Kelley taking Ecstasy, a dealer had taken advantage of her vulnerability and gotten her involved in selling the drug to others. I was shocked and ashamed, and I just kept thinking, "How could something with a name as innocent as Ecstasy be so evil?" Since Kelley died I've learned plenty about Ecstasy. Intellectually, I know it was Kelley's decision to start using drugs and to get involved with Ecstasy, but my heart asks, "Where did I go wrong? What could I have done differently?" I think I'll feel this way until the day I die. What I know now is that parents need to become information junkies when it comes to drugs and their children. There are so many drugs out in the world that can harm and kill our children, or perhaps land them in jail for a very long time. Parents have to become as knowledgeable as they possibly can about all of these drugs so they can do what I couldn't do with Kelley: talk intelligently with their kids. I say "with" rather than "to" because as parents we need to open up the lines of communication with our kids. Kelley will always be my oldest child. I wear a silver ring I had made with the word "Always" inscribed on it, just to keep her close to me at all times. But it took losing her for me to become an expert about Ecstasy. My younger daughter saw first-hand the way Ecstasy can shatter lives as well as dreams, and she's determined not to make the same mistakes Kelley made. I'm not willing to take that for granted. I'll be talking with her often about Ecstasy, and about other drugs. I'll be asking her over and over who she's hanging out with, what she's doing and where she's going. I've already told her I plan to be so involved in her life over the next several years that she may well hate me. That's all right. I only wish I could have had Kelley hate me. ~Kate Patton, Forever Kelley's Mom

Remembering Lost Promise

Jason Anthony Barganier

Died Age 23 LSD

On February 28, 1998, I lost my only son, Jason Anthony Barganier. Jason had taken LSD and was having terrible hallucinations. He called home for me to come save him but I was not there. He talked to his sister and told her he had taken LSD and he was in hell, losing his mind. Then he just hung up the phone. My daughter called me at my friend's house and told me about my son's phone call. By the time I got to his apartment it was too late. Jason dove head first out a stained glass window on the third floor of his apartment building. Later that night, the doctors at the trauma center told me Jason had ruptured his spleen, broken his shoulder, crushed his lungs and that his skull was shattered "like an egg dropped on concrete". Then he told me Jason was brain dead... there was no hope. The next day I ordered my son removed from life support, and laid with him in the hospital bed until his heart stopped. Jason was only 23 years old. Sandra LaCagnina Memphis, Tennessee

Remembering Lost Promise

Mark Daniel Bauer

Died Age 18 Morphine & Oxycodone

February 12, 1986 ­ May 28, 2004 Cause of Death: Mixed blood toxicity (including Morphine and Oxycodone) Mark touched the lives of many people during his short lifetime. He was special to those who had the pleasure of getting to know him. Never much for words, he had a great sense of humor, and his smile would light up a room. It was devastating to the many people who loved him when he died just one week before his high school graduation. Mark always loved the ocean, animals, hiking, and playing video games. His favorite sport was basketball and he used to tape every Bull's game on TV when Michael Jordan was playing. Although he was only 5'9", he could dunk a basketball. Mark was an avid weightlifter and would sometimes lift seven days a week. Although he only weighed 180 lbs, he could bench press almost 400 lbs. He sometimes lifted in the middle

of the night because he had trouble sleeping. Even when he started to have chronic back pain, he would continue to work out. Mark was so strong, he was seemingly invincible. After he died, we found out that he had taken prescription painkillers for his back pain. They weren't prescribed for him and, on the morning of May 28, 2004, he never woke up. It is believed that he got the drugs from a co-worker. Mark's mom, dad, and brother are devastated and heartbroken. Life is not the same anymore. Maybe someday the memories of Mark will bring laughter and joy to our hearts....but right now, it just hurts. It's amazing how every facet of daily life brings a reminder of Mark. Mark, you will be with us forever and will always be a part of our lives. You are greatly loved and missed by the many whose lives you touched and we will never let your memory fade. Phil Bauer (Mark's dad)

Remembering Lost Promise

Marcus Bradley Beninson

Died Age 29 Heroin

Marcus, our son and brother, died of a heroin overdose on June 4, 1999. Last time Marcus was home was for his sister's 21st birthday. They were 9 years apart and he was her hero. This picture is his high school graduation; the balloon said "I love you" and Shay held it then and at his wake and funeral. His spirit was great and lives on in our hearts. ~ Sue Davison, Marcus' mom

Remembering Lost Promise

Larry Howard Benis

Died Age 19 Methadone, Xanax

My son Larry Howard (Bubba) Benis died of an overdose of Methadone and Xanax on October 9, 2005. He was 19 years old.

He was a great kid but couldn't fight the addiction. Like any other parent who has lost a child to addiction, the pain is unbearable. The stories are all the same -- I know, I'm there now. God bless you all. Born: November 14, 1985 Died: October 9, 2005

Love and miss you Bubba, Forever in our hearts Love, Mom and Dad

Remembering Lost Promise

Meggin Bernhard

Died Age 21 Drug Overdose

We lost our 21 year old daughter, Meggin, 28 February 2005 to drugs. She was the light of our life and it seems like our light has gone out. We will never forget the promise that she held for a brighter tomorrow or the joy that having her in our lives brought us. But it brought us heartache to watch her take her light from the world the way she did. She leaves behind a younger brother who is devastated by the loss of his sister and the comradery they will never share as adults together. We will never totally get over our loss or the loss the world will suffer for not knowing Meggin or the joy she brought to others. We also hope that no other family will have to experience the loss of life and of hope that we have experienced this last year. We hope that tomorrow will bring a better day for all of our children--free of drugs and the devastation they cause families. We hope that God watches over the children who are being tempted to throw away their lives on drugs today and tomorrow and every day that follows. But we know that some of these children will succumb to the lure of drugs and we can only pray that their families and friends will not have to endure the loss that we have suffered. A grieving mother., Lynn Bernhard

Remembering Lost Promise

Victor Joseph Boldreghini III

Died Age 18 Drug-Related Murder

Victor Joseph Boldreghini III March 18, 1974 to August 1, 1995 Joey was murdered on August 1st, 1995 by so called "friends" after the LSD he sold them didn't get them high. He was shot in the back of the head in execution style. Joey was only 18 years old. His girlfriend witnessed the murder as she hid in the bathroom. Her life was destroyed and she has been emotionally scarred for life. There are no such things as "true friends" in the drug world. Joey was the kindest, most gentle boy you would ever meet. He was sensitive, gentle, and loving. His family's and friends' lives were destroyed. God Bless You, Joey.

Remembering Lost Promise

Amanda Danielle Boryla

Died Age 20 Heroin

School years were now upon us. Amanda had grown into a beautiful young woman who was bright, intelligent, funny, and extremely witty. She had long, curly dark blonde hair and the most amazing soulful blue eyes. Her heart was filled with kindness and sincerity and she had a true love for animals. She was an excellent Marksman in ROTC, fluent in Spanish, a tutor in Algebra, and she was well versed in several computer programs. Still, lying beneath the surface, were many more limitless gifts and talents. Unfortunately, somehow Amanda was never completely aware of her abilities or of her inner and outer beauty. She battled with her lack of confidence and low self esteem. Soon she was diagnosed as Bipolar and with Borderline Personality Disorder. Now it was "Mom, look at me, I'm a failure." How my heart would break as her mother, watching her efforts and seeing her struggle to become independent and to do everything on her own. I remained ever supportive, trying, watching, waiting, crying and learning I still had to let go, just a little. The days would come and go as Amanda moved out to be on her on and then moved back

October 15, 1985 ­ November 17, 2005 Amanda was born on October 15, 1985, the first of four children. She was my only child for 11 years, so in essence, we grew up together. She was bright, energetic, always laughing, and full of life. She was limitless in her creativity and imagination. From her first smile, to her first steps, I was always there, trying to keep her safe. I remember the day we taught her how to ride her first bicycle. "Look mommy, no training wheels!" I watched and my heart raced. She was growing up so fast and I was new at learning to let go, just a little. A few years passed by and soon she was in middle school. Amanda was social, happy and always curious. She tried out for the school play and won a solo part. She was so proud of herself and so were we! "Look mommy, look at me! Do you think I can make it to Hollywood?" Oh, my heart and head swelled and yes, of course she could do anything she put her mind and heart into. I would be right there, supporting her, loving her and learning to let go, just a little. Time quickly slipped by and the High

Remembering Lost Promise

Amanda Danielle Boryla, cont'd

home in a most valiant effort to be the independent young woman that we all knew her to be. She enrolled in college and was in her freshman year, studying to be a Veterinarian Technician. She was incredibly smart, making all A's, working part-time, staying up late, socializing with friends, and just being a young adult. "Mom, look at me, I can do this, I really can!" Curfews were a thing of the past at 20 years of age, so here I was again, learning that I had to let go, just a little. It was at this point in her life that Amanda, surpris ingly and unknowingly to us, had succumbed to the drug war. At 3:00am, November 17, 2005 I found my daughter on the bathroom floor as I cried and begged her to wake up. The needle was still lying on the floor and the hair band she used as her tourniquet was twisted ever so tightly around her wrist. Her hand jerked in mine, but I was to never see her smile, hear her voice or feel her hugs, ever again. Her soulful eyes had now dimmed and stared right through me. No more hopes and no more dreams for Amanda. My heart and soul was ripped out of my body. I had not kept her safe. Oh, I can never let go, not even just a little. November 17, 2005 was the night our lives changed forever. It was the night Amanda died from a Heroin overdose. How quickly life changes in the blink of an eye. One minute she and I were laughing, joking and holding bunnies and the next I am picking out a beautiful white casket with brass roses for my daughter. Roses, Amanda loved roses, yet she will not see another one bloom. So many things were left unsaid, left undone, or left behind. Lucas and Zackary, her brothers, and McKenna, her sister, miss her so very much, a step-dad who loves her and a broken-hearted mother who cries daily because she misses her so much it physically hurts. Amanda left a lifetime void that will never be filled. I have learned the true meaning of never and forever. We have suffered a loss so great and so unimaginable and sometimes the grief is just unbearable. The loss of such a beautiful life, long before her time, before her youth, before her light was to shine ever so bright and before her promise of life, love and happiness could ever be completely fulfilled. A beautiful young life ended because of the demon called addiction; and a future stolen by a thief called Heroin. The poisons and perils of drugs have no boundaries and no limits, as we have seen first hand. Yet, while we have lost one child, there is still hope and potential for our other children through education and learning from this personal experience of losing our loved one in the battle against drugs. There is no shame in this fight. We won't give up and our family will find the ways and the courage to speak out and to speak up about the dangers of drugs, not only for ourselves, but maybe we can save just one family from this great tragedy and they won't have to let go of a loved one, not even just a little... Dee Boryla-Lett Mom of a beautiful angel, Amanda

Remembering Lost Promise

Caitlyn Brady

Died Age 18 Heroin

My daughter, Caitlyn, was 18 when she passed away from a heroin overdose on March 15, 2006. Cayte was your ordinary teenage girl. I could see that she was starting to make some mature choices in her life. She, unfortunately, was involved with a young man who had a history of alcohol and drug abuse. I don't quite know what happened the day she died, but I do know she was not a heroin user. She had gone to the doctor three weeks prior for eczema on her arms and body. I miss her so much. We need to make people realize that this could happen to anyone. ~ Gayle Brady

Remembering Lost Promise

Aaron Linton Brawley

Died Age 23 Heroin

was introduced to alcohol, and then marijuana. It wasn't apparent for a few years, though, that Aaron was sliding down the slippery slope. His intelligence was abundant, and his lop-sided grin charming, so Aaron made his way through high school and some college. But eventually, the demons caught up, and despite numerous attempts at intervention, Aaron died at the age of 23 from an overdose of heroin. June 23, 2003. I came home from work to find Aaron unresponsive in the bathroom. Now, my life is forever changed, forever without my 10 pound bundle of joy. Now I have ashes and memories, neither of which I can kiss, hug, tease, squeeze. Aaron also left behind a brother and sister who miss his sharp, dry wit and funny way of giving everyone a nickname. Some people say my son made his choice, and that choice was drugs. I say my son was a victim...he chose drugs, but addiction chose him. Aaron was preyed upon by a man who introduced him to heroin, a man who knew my son was vulnerable and useful for his purposes. Heroin was readily available and the beginning. But in the end, the price was as high as the heavens. I am forever Aaron's mother and my love for him is also forever. But Aaron and I have both been robbed, our future together stolen. My heart is forever broken. Susan Callaway Brawley, mother of Aaron Linton Brawley 2/12/80 - 6/23/03

My name is Susan Brawley and I want to honor my son, Aaron, by including his lost promise on the memorial wall. Aaron was my first born of three children, and was, from the first moment he entered this world, incredibly beautiful. He was a 10 pound, bald, blue-eyed bundle of joy. He was my only child for 4 years and we spent much time together walking, talking, reading and exploring the world. Aaron's brain always worked faster than mine and his curious questions kept me on my toes! He grew into a tall, intelligent young man with a heart packed full of kindness and sensitivity. Unfortunately, Aaron's sharp intelligence and physical beauty somehow escaped him and his lack of self confidence became a burden as he grew. As his mother, my heart would break seeing him struggle so, trying so very hard to help him along and reassure him constantly of his abilities and gifts. At an early age Aaron

Remembering Lost Promise

Todd Clayton Brewer

Died Age 19 Methadone

that were sentimental and would make me cry and then give me something to make me laugh all at the same time. Clayton was working in Saraland, Alabama when he passed away. Clayton was taking methadone to help him with pain in his knee and leg. I knew that my son smoked marijuana, and it was something that we did not agree on. I always told him that you will always be limited in life if drugs are a part of them. I also discussed methadone with Clayton about 7 months prior to this because of a co-worker's son passing from the overdose of methadone. I never knew that he took it. Now because of drugs, my son will never know the joy of falling in love, getting married, watching the birth of his own children and seeing them grow from infant to toddler to pre-teen to teenager and then into adulthood. As his mother, I will never see him become the man that I know he would have been. Now because of drugs, Clayton's family and friends have to learn how to live without him. We take it day by day. I have not disconnected his cell phone because we all still call it just to hear his voice on his voice mail. Lovingly and painfully submitted by Clayton's Mom, ~Tracy Brewer~

Todd Clayton Brewer died on March 4, 2006 from an apparent Methadone overdose. Clayton was born April 15, 1986. As a child he was very active and inquisitive. Growing into a young man he was very family-oriented. He worked as a boilermaker, traveling from job to job. He liked seeing different places and meeting new people. He was a non-judgmental person who loved life. He believed that everyone should be entitled to live their lives without judgment or prejudice, but they should also live life treating others as they would have others treat them. Clayton was the oldest of three children. His sister Brittany was ten months younger than Clayton but was lovingly called "Big Sis" because she was a mother hen. Christopher, his younger brother by two years, was lovingly called "DoMan". Christopher got this name due to the fact that there was nothing that he would not do to keep up with his big brother. Clayton and Christopher were not just brothers, they were best friends. When Clayton was home, you never saw him without Christopher. All of Clayton's friends referred to Christopher as Clayton's #1rider due to there being many times that Clayton would tell his friends that he was not going to go out with them because he just wanted to "chill with Do". On holidays such as Christmas, my birthday and Mother's Day, they would all three get together to go shopping for me. They loved buying me gifts

Remembering Lost Promise

Brian Burke

Died Age 23 Drug Overdose

I am the mom of Brian Burke who lost his life to a drug overdose on October 9, 2005. Brian was a loving son, brother, grandson, nephew, cousin, and friend to all who knew him. So many unanswered questions...if only we had one more chance to hug and kiss him and tell him just how special he was. I know in my heart he knew how much he was loved. I took care of him for 23 short years and I know that God is taking care of him now.

Remembering Lost Promise

Eddie Cappiello

Died Age 22 Xanax

I recently lost my beautiful 22 year-old son, Eddie, to a drug overdose. He was my best friend, the kind of son any mother would wish to have. Being his mother was my honor. Eddie started to self medicate himself with Xanax about 5 years ago. He signed himself into a rehab last September, where he was diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder. When he left there they sent him home with more drugs that I think he was ever taking before. I still don't understand how they let a drug addict walk out of a rehab with drugs. He leaves behind two beautiful children and a big grieving family. He will be missed forever! ~ Lisa Cappiello

Remembering Lost Promise

Steven E. T. Carey

Died Age 25 OxyContin & Xanax

no compassion for anyone, only where their next fix is coming from. They left my son, Steve, laying dead on a cold floor in a filthy apartment for approximately 12 hours before calling for help. It only bought them time to try to protect themselves from the consequences. They went as far as to use Steven's truck to remove all the evidence from their apartment. Steven will never get married; never have children; never become a professional musician. Steven now lives here in my heart. Sometimes my heart is dull with the pain of missing my youngest son. Sometimes my heart aches for just another chance. And, sometimes through daily prayer, and seeking the Lord, The Healer of All, my heart smiles again, remembering what a good loving son he was and always will be. Whatever challenge life might bring, GOD is always faithful. Carey ~ Maryann

Steven E. T. Carey was the youngest of four boys, born in Delray Beach, Florida on April 6, 1976 where he grew up. Steven had many friends and loved his family dearly. He was very popular and always had our attention. He loved sports, especially basketball and soccer. He loved music and was an accomplished drummer. He liked to cook and enjoyed get-togethers with his family. Steven died November 1, 2001. Some days it feels like yesterday. Steven died of an overdose of a combination of prescription pills: OxyContin and Xanax. When he took his last breath he was only twenty-five years old. Steven was sixteen at the time he started to experiment with marijuana. His drug use became evident over time. We tried to get him to come face-to-face with his addiction to these prescription drugs. "I'm fine, leave me alone," he'd yell, and I did until I got up the strength to come at him again and again. He'd deny any problems. People caught up with drugs have

Remembering Lost Promise

Jillian Annette Cleary

Died Age 15 Methamphetamine

She was a young girl who had friends who had done meth without dying or getting sick. They told her it was so much fun. She tried it and she died. People ask sometimes, "How did your daughter die?" and when I tell them drugs, it's easy to see the look in their eyes--as if drug deaths don't matter. No one saw this coming. It was a complete shock to our family. Now I know better. Now I know that teens often make decisions about drugs that have nothing to do with their upbringing or intelligence. Maybe if one person chooses not to take drugs even one time because they heard Jillian' story, then it was worth talking about. Trying to change drug use in this country seems like trying to hold back the ocean with your hands. Perhaps one child may be affected--may realize that even one time may cost their life--and choose not to try drugs. This is our prayer, in memory of our girl, Jillian Annette Cleary. ~ Stacie Russler

We lost our 15 year-old daughter, Jillian, February 29th 2004. She tried methamphetamine for the first and last time. She became sick, and her friends were too scared to get her medical attention and she was too sick to get help for herself. By the time we found out what had happened, it was too late. I stood at her side as she died and there was nothing they could do to save her. Her friends knew she was in trouble, yet did nothing to help her for fear that they would get into trouble. Jillian paid for her mistake with her life. We will continue to pay for the rest of our lives. There are no words to describe how special she was to us, nor are there words to describe our pain. There is nothing we can do to repair our lives. People should know that she was a good student and well-liked by her teachers; she was responsible and helped take care of her younger sister and brother. She loved to read, and loved Harry Potter. She was never in trouble. She belonged to a Christian youth group and was very active with the church.

Remembering Lost Promise

Matthew Coda

Died Age 26 GHB

The families & friends of GHB tragedies have never forgotten our lost children. I am Matthew's mom. My life was forever changed since the death of my son on Sept. 1, 1999. Peace & contentment to you all. Patti Trovato-Ragano

Remembering Lost Promise

Costantino Conigliaro

Died Age 34 Heroin & Cocaine

Hello, my name is Mandi. I would love to be there to share my story. I have been longing to share my story with so many people about the dangers of drug addiction that claimed the life of my husband, Costantino. He passed away on October 19, 2004. I miss him everyday that my life goes on. He left me with a beautiful son (2 years old), who never even had the chance to know his father. In some ways, that might have been a blessing in disguise. He also left behind a beautiful daughter (my stepdaughter). Born on November 17, 1969 and died on October 19, 2004 from a heroin/cocaine overdose, Costantino Conigliaro. Words could not express the pain that I still feel. ~ Mandi Conigliaro

Remembering Lost Promise

Sara Corbett

Died Age 16 Methadone

almost everyday. I am constantly asking myself what I could have done to prevent such tragedy. She was my life and now she is gone. I can not stress how much she is missed. She was a beautiful person. The world seems like such a cold place without her. I miss her dearly. ~ Robin DeBaise

Sara was a beautiful 16 year-old girl going through the challenges most 16 year-olds go through. She made one very bad decision to take methadone on August 7, 2004. By August 8th, her decision had cost her life and I lost the most precious person in my life. There isn't a moment in any day that I am not thinking of my beloved daughter. She would have been 18 next on April 25, 2006. It just breaks my heart not having her here. She left behind a 3 1/2 year old sister that asks about her

Remembering Lost Promise

Benjamin James Croman

Died Age 26 GHB

My son, Benjamin James Croman, died on September 1, 2000 after a 3 year battle with the drug GHB. He ended up committing suicide as a result of this drug. He was 26 years old. I lost this wonderful, loving, caring human, living, breathing young man because his depression was so bad he didn't want to live. My life will never be the same without him. Diane Bianconi (Ben's Mom)

Remembering Lost Promise

Junior Jesus Curbelo

June 11, 1983~July 21, 2005

Died Age 22 Prescription Drugs & Marijuana

This is my brother Gee. He was a beautiful person, full of life and promise. He had plenty of friends and a smile like no other. His smile would light up a room. My brother had a dark secret. He was addicted to marijuana and he couldn't live without it. He was depressed and always down. He lost his grandfather in early July. He felt he didn't have anything to live for; not even his two young children. On the night of July 20th, my brother was so depressed he took a combination of muscle relaxers and sleeping pills. He was found dead on the morning of July 21st. Gee left behind six brothers and sisters who adored him, and two young children who will never feel their father's love again. He left suddenly. When I look back, I can see the signs I ignored--the signs of his addiction--the addiction that would eventually lead to his death. Gee's Big Sis, Aida Feliz

Remembering Lost Promise

Zachary Davis

Died Age 24 Heroin

then it killed him Anita described his artwork as "fantasy that looked so real." Zachary even drew designs for wine labels and gift certificates for the family winery. Growing up in Dover, Zachary was involved in Boy Scouts as well, but Anita said he was always "ornery." Zachary learned how to ski with Anita's father, Dalton Bixler, who would take his grandson on frequent skiing trips. On a skiing trip to Switzerland, 10-year-old Zachary wanted to ski off the trail. Bixler would follow his grandson and the two ended up in Italy. Without their passports, they were not allowed to re-enter the country, so they had to walk back up a mountain into Switzerland. "He was always very adventurous, but he always knew his limits," said Anita. Zachary had his first brush with the law at 13. He was sentenced to time in the MultiCounty Juvenile Attention System facility when he and a friend stole several bicycles. Anita said that was the first time Zachary had been in any serious trouble. But the time in juvenile prison was when his artwork started to flourish. "I guess he just needed an outlet," said Anita. Anita believes her son first started abusing marijuana, cocaine and Ecstasy when he was teenager. Ecstasy, a stimulant in pill form, was once considered a "club drug," but is often abused by teenagers. When he was 17, Zachary and a friend broke into Anita's

Heroin played havoc with Zachary Davis' life,

By RYAN KARP T-R Staff Writer At 4:30 in the afternoon of Nov. 12, 2005, the driver of a car dropped off Zachary Davis near his cottage on the grounds of his family's Dover area business, Breitenbach Winery. Several employees and family members witnessed the scene and one said Zachary "looked the worst anyone had ever seen him." But no one said anything. They knew heroin was in control, not Zachary. There was no point in trying to talk to him. He stumbled the few hundred feet to his cottage, where later he would telephone his devoted girlfriend, Lindsey Lewis, and feed his beloved dog. At some point during the next few hours, Zachary made his way to the front porch. That's where Lewis found him the next morning. An overdose had taken his life. He was 24. Family members remember Zachary as a budding artist. "He was in Little League and collected baseball cards and would make drawings of the baseball players," said Anita Davis, Zachary's mother. "He always told people he got his artistic ability from me. I did art when I was younger, but he was more creative."

Remembering Lost Promise

Zachary Davis, Cont'd 2

parents' house and stole family antiques, which they sold to buy drugs. "We all decided we had to be tough and press charges," said Anita. "It was really hard, but it was the right thing to do." Zachary was sent for a year to the Mohican Juvenile Correctional Facility in Perrysville and spent his 18th birthday there. It appeared that Zachary was scared straight. When he got out, he applied to the Art Institute of Pittsburgh and was accepted into the commercial arts and graphic design program. "He was ready for a new start and new friends," said Anita. "I was so excited for him. I helped with the financing and everything. He was excited to go someplace new, and Pittsburgh is a really nice city." But a few months into the program, Zachary was injured in a serious automobile accident and nearly died from his injuries. The crash would leave him with a broken femur, a broken vertebrae, a collapsed lung and damage to his internal organs. Some days later, Zachary returned home in a wheelchair. Family members took care of him while he stayed at their bed and breakfast inn. To help ease the pain, doctors prescribed OxyContin for Zachary. His mother believes that was the start of his second foray into the drug world. OxyContin, a powerful pain reliever that produces a high similar to heroin, is often abused. "We even told the doctor, `You know, he has had trouble with drugs in the past,'" said Anita. "`I don't know if this is a good idea.'" But the doctors assured her the drug would be controlled. She wasn't so sure. Shortly thereafter, Zachary also received a large insurance settlement. He would use that money later to buy drugs. Zachary returned to the Pittsburgh Art Institute in the spring of 2002, a few months after the accident. He remained there for the next year. It was then that he started using heroin. His mother said Zachary visited Tuscarawas County only on holidays and that the family couldn't discern his heroin use. "But he knew people in Pittsburgh," she said. "He knew the neighborhoods. He knew the people to go to. He told me that in Pittsburgh you can go to any street corner ­ anywhere ­ and get drugs." Zachary lived in Pittsburgh's Allegheny Center along with several other locations on the north side of the city. While Zachary was living there, Pittsburgh police officers busted Donald Lyles, another tenant of the Allegheny Center, who was called the "chief " of heroin and cocaine on Pittsburgh's north side. At the time, former U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft called Lyles' arrest the largest cocaine and heroin bust in western Pennsylvania history, according to a story in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on April 20, 2002. During Christmas break 2002, Zachary admitted to police that he was responsible for "tagging" area businesses and locations in Dover and New Philadelphia with graffiti. He later was charged with 17 counts of misdemeanor criminal damaging, was sentenced to community service and was ordered to pay restitution. In a Times-Reporter story published Jan. 30, 2004, Zachary explained his reasons for the vandalism. He said he was upset about a shooting that occurred in Union Hospital at Dover in December 2002. He said he felt other options should have been explored before police shot and killed a gunman. "I was just trying to let the city know there was an angry person," Zachary said. "I was just trying to make a statement." His mother was alerted to Zachary's heroin use when she got a phone call one day while working at the winery. One of Zachary's friends told her that her son had a serious problem with heroin and he was going to kill himself. "I just dropped everything and drove over to Pittsburgh," said Anita. "I convinced him to leave and we packed up his things right then." Zachary admitted to his mother that he had a heroin addiction and said he wanted to get help. He was injecting 10 bags of

Remembering Lost Promise

Zachary Davis, Cont'd 3

heroin a day. "Even the doctors couldn't believe how much he was doing," said Anita. Anita said it was difficult finding treatment. Tuscarawas County has no heroin detoxification programs. The closest program is at the Canton Crisis Center, but it often has a waiting list. The family also investigated programs in Akron and Cleveland. "There were just walls everywhere," said Anita. "Everywhere we went we heard excuses." Those excuses included the fact that he had no medical insurance. "You would think there would be help available, and there's not," said Anita. From 2003 through 2004, Zachary attended heroin detoxification programs in Michigan, two in California and one at Mercy Medical Center at Canton. Anita liked the program at Mercy Medical Center because it involved family counseling. Up until then, Anita said she was ashamed to talk about what happened to her son. "I felt like nobody else knew what I was going through," she said. "But talking with the other people up at Mercy Medical, it was the same type of thing they were dealing with as I was with Zachary." But Zachary only stayed at the program for one week. "He would go through the detox OK," said Anita. "But then after the detox, they would learn these life skills and how to fight against these intense cravings and he would say, `You know what, I feel really good. I think I can do it on my own.' But then he couldn't." Anita said Zachary was embarrassed when he started on the heroin cycle again and again. His two brothers, Nick, 14, and Jonathan, 10, looked up to him. "They thought he was great," said Anita. "He felt so ashamed when he would do this. He felt like he let his brothers down. He always wanted to do things for them, but he never had that chance." Anita remembers one program in particular when Zachary participated in a treatment center program in Laguna Beach, Calif. Zachary's uncle provided him a place to live, a car and a job. The center was right on the beach. "I really thought he had it all," said Anita. "I thought this would be it. All along I'm hopeful. I've had to have hope cause I'm the mom." But after one month, Zachary told his mother he was leaving. A few days later, he was arrested by police in Galveston, Texas, after meeting with a drug dealer. He was sentenced to one month in jail. While at home for Christmas in 2003, Zachary was involved in another car accident on County Rd. 90 near Mineral City while heading to Canton to go Christmas shopping. Zachary, who was driving, and four other passengers were injured. One passenger, a 22-year-old Sugarcreek woman, was pinned underneath the vehicle along with Zachary. She remains paralyzed today. Heroin was not considered a factor in the crash, but the speed of the car was, according to troopers at the New Philadelphia post of the Ohio Highway Patrol. Zachary's girlfriend said he did not speak again with the girl until about a month before he died. But when the two did talk, there was peace between them. She later attended Zachary's funeral. When he wasn't in rehab, Zachary was living in an apartment with friends near New Philadelphia High, where Anita believed he had greater access to drugs. Zachary also made frequent trips to Pittsburgh. During one of them, he was arrested by Pittsburgh police for possessing 39 bags of heroin. Zachary was jailed, but released soon afterward because he was so ill.

Remembering Lost Promise

Zachary Davis, Cont'd 4

Soon after that, his grandfather drove Zachary to Tampa, Fla., for an opiate blocker procedure. 2005 was a fresh start. Zachary successfully completed the opiate blocker program followed by rehabilitation in Nashville, Tenn. Anita hoped that the procedure would give him the strength he needed to fight the addiction. The opiate blockers swept his brain clean of narcotics and filled his brain with narcotic "antagonists" that fought his cravings. "That was the best rehab so far," said Anita. "Then my dad bought him a car. It was a red Volkswagen. Zachary fixed it up and cleaned it and waxed it. He just loved it so much and we thought, `He is going to do whatever he can for this car. This could be it.'" Zachary moved into his family's cottage on the Breitenbach Winery property, where he also was working. He had a new girlfriend, Lindsey Lewis of Dover. Lewis was attending Kent State University in Kent when she met Zachary. She later transferred to Kent-Tuscarawas to be closer to him. "The first two weeks I met him I just knew I wanted to marry him," said Lewis. "He was just so unique. We both liked the same things ­ art and music." Lewis bought the couple a daschund puppy named Dexter. Zachary loved the dog. "But after about eight months, out of the blue, everything just seemed to go downhill," said Lindsey. Zachary started on heroin again. This time he added the use of cocaine and prescription pills. "I was really shocked," said Lewis. "I just couldn't believe this was my life. I knew the old Zachary for eight months and that's why everyday was such a struggle. I wanted to move back to what we had. I would think, `Do I leave or do I stay and help?" With the support of Zachary's family, Lewis stayed. She checked his cell phone to make sure he wasn't talking to drug dealers. She made weekly schedules for him in an attempt to get him out of the rut. "There would be weeks when everything was fine," said Lewis. "He would always agree with me. He would say, `I know your way is the right way. I just get off track.' It was like he was tormented. He wanted drugs to work and be OK, but it wasn't OK." Then Zachary wrecked the Volkswagen into a telephone pole because he was high on heroin. Anita monitored his cash flow. She later learned that Zachary stole checks from her to buy his drugs. With his car disabled, he took his mother's car without permission while she was working. "So then I had to hide my keys," said Anita. "I had to hide everything. We always had to be watching him. We had to watch him more than a toddler. I hated it. I trust people so much, and it was really hard when I couldn't trust my son." Anita confided in her father. "I just can't imagine what's in his future," Anita told him. "His body can't take much more of this." "It was a huge struggle and it was really hard for him and we hated it." Zachary hated it too. One person he couldn't seem to get away from was his heroin dealer, who lived in New Philadelphia. Anita recalled Zachary saying to her several times, "I hate him. I hope I never see him again." Lewis said she had a conversation with Zachary on his cell phone as his dealer dropped him off the day he died. She said she could hear the dealer's voice in the background, telling Zachary to get out of the car. Tuscarawas County Coroner Dr. James Hubert said the cause of Zachary's death was from an elevated level of opiates in his system. Hubert said he believes that indicates heroin, which is a product of opiates. Along with the opiates, a combination of prescription medications were also found in his blood, Hubert added.

Remembering Lost Promise

Zachary Davis, Cont'd 5

Davis' family believes he got the heroin from the New Philadelphia man. But Tuscarawas County Sheriff Detective Lt. Orvis Campbell said last week that it is likely no one will be charged in connection with Zachary's death. "There is an ongoing investigation into his death," said Campbell. "Is it a wrongful death situation? Probably not." Campbell said it is difficult to determine what Zachary did in the hours leading up to his death. Because tests determined he had a combination of drugs in his system, it is difficult to prove his death was directly caused by another person. Lewis said she is shocked at the number of people she knows in the Tuscarawas County area who use heroin. "This is like a disease," she said. "It's spreading. I think after Florida, he should have never come back here because of this town, of how the people here do heroin and how easy it is to get it. But I guess even if he went somewhere else, he would have found people there to get it from." Lewis remains close to Zachary's family. She attends church on Sunday with Anita and Zachary's grandparents. "His grandparents and mom are the strongest people I've ever met," said Lindsey. "I could times my hurt by 100 just to know how they feel ... maybe not even that." Anita believed Zachary didn't want to die. "I've spent many hours thinking what must have gone through his mind," said Anita. "Nothing else mattered (other than heroin.) That's the only thing that mattered. It really takes a lot of work. He really loved life, but heroin ... he couldn't sleep or eat or do anything without craving it." Anita said she deals with the pain of losing Zachary by relying on God. She looks at his photos and his drawings. She said she would like to start some kind of awareness or program to teach young people about drugs. A fund for that purpose was established in Zachary's name after his death. "I think that's the best way," she said. "Heroin is something you don't want to fool around with ­ not even one time." ~ Article sumitted by Anita Davis, Zach's mother

Remembering Lost Promise

Mark DeMarrero

Died Age 19 Xanax & Marijuana

football buddies nicknamed him, "DeMo." He was a true friend to his buddies. He also enjoyed playing golf with his dad; they were best pals. During his senior year of high school, Mark and his friends started hanging around with an older kid who was involved with illegal drugs. We discovered that Mark had stopped taking his prescribed medicines. We found Xanax in his room and reported this to his psychologist. He stated that Mark was trying to self-medicate. We enrolled Mark in an employee assistance program. It was then that we discovered that Mark had a drug problem. The therapist suggested an out-patient program for adults since Mark was 18. In the program, Mark informed us that he was shooting up heroin. During Spring break of his senior year, he signed himself in an in-patient program. I contacted his psychiatrist, who informed me that he would no longer treat Mark, since he had taken heroin. Mark stayed 7 days; long enough to detox. He came home and asked to go back the following month. He tried to stay clean through the summer months, but struggled. To live with the stigma of the disease of addiction was devastating to Mark. He felt so ashamed and knew in his heart that his dreams were shattered. Mark died on October 20, 2002, of multiple drug intoxication (Pot and Xanax). Our lives will never be the same without our son, Mark.

Mark DeMarrero, was born on September 19, 1983, in Baton Rouge, Louisiana to the proud parents of Captain Harold and Connie DeMarrero. Our son was the joy of our lives and our only child. He had a beautiful smile and gave the best hugs. Our home in Baton Rouge was a garden home, with the entire yard enclosed by an eight foot wooden fence. It became obvious to us, that Mark would need other children around him as he grew up. When he was one, we moved to Camp Springs, Kentucky to be near our family. It was a rural area and Mark could grow up with his cousins. He was a loving child, who always had God in his life and loved his family and friends. Mark was diagnosed with severe asthma at age 4 and was on a lot of medication. He used a nebulizer (breathing machine) for 8 years. When he was in the 6th grade, he was diagnosed with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and was put on anti-depressants. We took him to a psychologist and psychiatrist on a regular basis. He hated going to doctors all the time and tried to deal with his medical conditions. He just wanted to be like everyone else; fit in. Mark loved sports. He played baseball, football, icehockey, snow skiing, and earned a junior black belt in karate. His

Remembering Lost Promise

Jared L. Dever

Died Age 26 Oxycodone

from his drink and that he stated it did not taste right. We have tried to find out what really happened that night but those who were present will not help. This has been devastating to me and my family, as Jared was a young man who had everything to live for; a person who was loved by everyone around him; and who could have been anything he wanted to be. A part of my heart was taken on that day, and it will never be replaced. I have my precious daughter, Megan, who I have to go on for, as well as my loving husband, Doug, but each and every day, it takes all that I have to continue on for them. I often see young men who walk like Jared, or who drive trucks like his, and I keep hoping that it's Jared and that I'll awake from this dream--but it never happens. My goal now is to continue working on getting enough evidence to put the drug dealers, who are providing this poison to our precious children, out of business. In Jared's memory, I will continue pursuing all that I can to do this. He was loved more than he would ever know and is missed each and every day. To my precious son, Jared, I love you and miss you dearly.

My son, Jared Dever, age 26, from Minford, Ohio, was found deceased on January 1, 2005. The cause of death was listed as an accidental overdose of oxycodone. Jared was an avid athlete, who had attended Malone College in Canton, Ohio and excelled in baseball. In fact, it was a major disappointment for him when he was not drafted in 2001, after working so hard to achieve his dream. After that, he had a hard time trying to decide what else to do with his future. He was two classes short of obtaining his Bachelor's Degree in Physical Education/Athletic Training and just gave up on getting those classes completed. He tried working at various jobs. He would have good times but then it would always seems that something would happen to bring him down again. Even through all of this, until Christmas of 2005, I never thought that he would have anything to do with drugs such as these. I know that at one time or another he had experimented with marijuana but other than this, there was never any indication of anything else. In the investigation of his death, although it was never confirmed, a shred of doubt was presented that his death could have been prevented. It was stated someone had put something in his drink. We have confirmed that he had taken sips

~ Anita McGinnis

Remembering Lost Promise

Michael John DiGiantommaso

Died Age 23 Drug Overdose


My son Michael was 23 years old when he died from an overdose on May 15, 2004. He left behind a family that loved him and a mother whose heart is shattered. Michael was a loving, caring and compassionate son. He was always there when he was needed by his friends or his family. Michael grew up in a two-parent home with a brother four years older. During his high school years, he played sports, and was the Captain for the football and wrestling teams. He graduated in 1998, and was accepted to Plymouth State College to pursue his dreams and play football. But something went terribly wrong. His experimentation with drugs led to abuse, then addiction. His life ultimately went into a downward spiral to half the life he once had. He had a passion for the movies, reading, sports and collecting baseball cards. As his disease took control of his life, Michael was unable to find his way out. During a brief period of sobriety, my son was back. My hopes were high and the smile was back on my face. I began to know my adult son and loved all that he was. Yet, because his denial and reluctance to accept help and surrender to his disease, Michael lost his battle to addiction on May 15, 2004. He was found by his older brother on his bedroom floor in the apartment they shared. My son's cold, blue, lifeless body is a vision that will never leave my mind. ~ Carol DiGiantommaso

Remembering Lost Promise

Gregory Terry Dorsett

Died Age 27 Crack Cocaine, Morphine, Alcohol

The unthinkable has happened. The loss of our precious Greg has shattered our hearts and our lives. For us, the survivors, who were all so bonded to Greg, there is soul-gnawing, shrieking pain ­ pain beyond measure. The value of a life cannot be measured in years. Greg was only with us for an all too brief 27 years. But what an impact he had on all our lives! Greg was charismatic, gentle, funny, compassionate, friendly, sensitive and courageous. Despite his demons he never gave up. That struggle was, for him, insurmountable. He loved life and never opted for "the nice walk" but always chose "the adventure". He loved Bergit, Scooby and Tippy ­ and all the cats. He loved the beach and being tan. He loved hiking and biking in the Red Rocks of Arizona, diving off Key West, biking up and down the Delaware River and oh how he loved Costa Rica and his trip there with his Mom, Uncle Phil and Eileen. He loved Maverick Beach. He loved to look good. He loved his guitar and his music and he loved to read everything from Shakespeare to Hemingway and The Four Agreements. Greg's faith was deep. His wonderful, beautiful, playful, joyful spirit are just some of the gifts he left us. We will forever miss his great smile and that great sense of humor. We have buryied a part of ourselves with him. But we are all so grateful he and his beautiful soul will be alive forever in our hearts and memories. Thank you, dear Greg. We are so proud of you and we will miss and love you forever. ~ Carolyn Terry Dorsett, Greg's Mom

Remembering Lost Promise

Kim DuMars

Died Age 33 Heroin & Cocaine

I lost my beloved brother, Kim, in 1985, to an accidental heroin and cocaine overdose. He was 33 years old. Kim had struggled since adolescence with substance abuse, and my parents dealt with it as best they could. Kim died in a restaurant bathroom in Washington, D.C. after shooting heroin. That summer the news reported frequent stories about deaths from "designer drugs." We later learned from his friends that he had been trying to wean himself from heroin by using the prescription drug, Percocet. My family, including his wife, was not aware of his heroin use. The fatal overdose was a result of his anxiety about serious surgery that his wife was having. It was a tragic loss for us and we miss him terribly. It will be 21 years on August 21st. He was a wonderful, loving, talented artist, musician, and big brother. ~ Kristine DuMars

Remembering Lost Promise

Joshua James Duvall


This picture is of my nephew, Joshua James Duvall, with his mother, Rosemary. Josh died on February 9, 2004 alone in his apartment in Florida. Josh had a heroin habit. That isn't what killed him; he died from an enlarged heart. They said that the amount of heroin in his system wasn't enough to kill him, but his heart wasn't strong enough to endure even that small amount he thought he could handle. We had no idea that his heart was enlarged and neither did he. My son Max did drugs with Josh for years--heroin was his down- fall also. I am one of the lucky ones: Max is clean and strong 2 years, 7 months 15 days as I am writing this. Max is married now and about to become a father. I can hold him and hug him and look into his face every day. My brother and my sister-in-law and my nephew Korey will never know the joy of seeing Josh married with children--they will just know the pain of a young life lost too early. I cherish every precious moment with my sons now, and I pray every day for all who have been lost to this demon. My prayer is that no other family ever has to know the pain and emptiness that drugs leave when they get done with you. They change your life forever. Nothing is ever the same and our club keeps growing. God have mercy on all of us, Kim Scott

Remembering Lost Promise

Ian Eaccarino

Died Age 20 Heroin

Subsequently, Ian had a surprise visit from us at the school to get him re-tested and he tested positive for marijuana. Ian agreed to go to counseling, but was not able to get in touch with the emotional problems that were at the root of his risky behaviors and continued drug use. I saw his ongoing pain and had great fears for him. But Ian became very good at disguising his drug habit. All through high school, he excelled on the baseball team and was the third highest scorer on the lacrosse team. He insisted he was okay, but he really wasn't. In his senior year of high school, his car was firebombed in the driveway of our home. In retrospect, we realized it was drug related, but at the time, the explanation he gave us made sense. It was all a lie. Drug activity is typically associated with violence and deception. Nine months before he died, Ian and two friends snorted heroin for the first time. He was a college sopho-

On September 10, 1996, I awoke to every mother's nightmare. I found my 20-year-old son Ian dead in his bed of an accidental heroin overdose. Ian James Eaccarino was a promising college student with everything to live for. He was bright, athletic, popular, and handsome. He was dearly loved by his family and by his many friends. Drugs destroyed his life. Ian started using tobacco and marijuana in the eighth grade. He was in denial about the problem, minimizing it as so many young people do. I was unaware that he was using drugs, thinking the changes were just adolescent behavior. Then I attended a drug awareness program, which opened my eyes to what was really happening in our home. When Ian was drug-tested in high school, we learned that, with a friends help, he had switched his urine sample with that of the friend's baby brother to cover up his drug use.

Remembering Lost Promise

Ian Eaccarino, Cont'd

more at the time. One boy became scared, one became sick - and Ian liked it. When he finally went to drug rehabilitation, he told me: "Mom, there is a smorgasbord of drugs at college. If you don't have the money, they would give it to you for free and then you're hooked." During his last summer, while he was in counseling and recovery, Ian renewed his close relationships with all of us. My son came back to me. We talked a lot and played tennis. He enjoyed playing golf with his step-dad Larry. To his doting big sister Candace, who has Downs Syndrome, he was a ray of sunshine. He shared some things from his heart with me the summer before he died and I began to develop some insight into the private pain he had held onto for so long. He had so much regret over his drug use. "Mom, I messed up. It is not Dad's fault, or Larry (his stepfather), or your fault. I take responsibility. I messed up." My heart was broken. I knew that kids mess up; he was paying for it with his spirit, his intellect, and his life. That last summer, when he realized what he had done to his life and to all of us, his pain became excruciating. But he couldn't stop. The evening before he died, I realized that he had relapsed. He knew that I was scared and that it hurt me so. He said to me, "Mom, I want to see the doctor in the morning and I don't want to move in with my friends." That was the deal. Later, he came upstairs and said, "I'm sorry Mom." It keeps ringing in my ears. Never did I think he would go downstairs and do it one more time. Even with all the remorse, the drugs were bigger than he was. He died in his sleep and I found him before I went for my morning run. My baby did not have a second chance. Neighbors told me my cries for help to 911 that morning were heard two blocks away. My life changed forever. I remember sitting on Ian's bed the day he died. I looked around his room and asked myself how this could have happened. Why did Ian slip away in the night? On the top of Ian's desk was a DARE (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) eraser. We were good parents. Larry, Ian's stepfather, was devoted to my children and was Ian's coach in several sports. We thought we had everything taken care of. What went wrong? The guilt was overwhelming. Since Ian's death, many people have asked me to speak about his struggle with his addiction and its affect on our family and friends. The Courage to Speak Foundation was born with the mission to save lives by empowering youth to be drug free. My husband Larry and I have educated ourselves about the dangers of drugs and alcohol to young people. We provide the latest information about substance abuse in our presentation to parents and children and via our website, The most important thing we have learned is that secrets and silence are our common enemies. This is why we travel throughout our community, our state and our nation, inspiring youth, parents and educators to have the courage to that no other family will suffer the terrible loss that ours did. This was my promise to Ian. ~ Ginger Katz

Remembering Lost Promise

Bryan Eckman

Died Age 20 Drug Overdose

Although it seems like Bryan's destiny and purpose were cut short by his early death, the promise to stand fast and intercede from heaven with Jesus has not been lost, for he is mighty and powerful in his ressurrected state. ~ Linda Eckman

Bryan Eckman was 20 years old when he died on August 11, 2005. His mother was on vacation with her daughter. Bry died at home alone (his dad didn't live at the residence) with four kids he was partying with. Bryan is survived by his older brother, Philip (age 23) and sister, Chrissy (age 11).

Remembering Lost Promise

Brian Patrick Elero

Died Age 20 Suicide / Prescription Drugs

Brian Patrick Elero was born on Dec. 30, 1980 and died on October 29, 2001. He struggled with depression and addiction to prescription pain medications. He died by suicide on Oct. 29, 2001. We miss our precious son. ~Beverly Elero

Remembering Lost Promise

Michael L. Escalante, Jr.

Died Age 21 Drug Overdose

June 13 1983-November 10, 2004 Whether I had the love, it was there when we met. Too pretty to be just a boy so they said, And I had to admit it went straight to my head. But you were all boy from your very first breath, And from that moment on you would scare me to death. Scraps with your brother, as brothers will do, Always wanting attention from, well, you know who. But deep down inside I knew at the end, You would not just be brothers, you would be best friends. Picking beautiful flowers from bushes and trees, Were special surprises that you'd bring me. And my heart would just melt when you'd hand me your loot, Because often the flowers would still have the root. You really loved critters, so we had a few, Rabbits, lizards and hamsters-a fish or two, But cats were your very favorite of all, And Whoopie would have to be Queen of that Ball. You would hug her and tease her until she would scratch, And you'd laugh `cause you knew you were never a match. Grandpa and I spent such quality days, In bleachers enjoying your favorite sports phase, Baseball, football, wrestling, hockey and track, Were just some of the games that you tried to attack. You were always successful whenever you tried, Your prowess was always a great source of pride. I just found your shot puts out front in the dirt. Than I washed them and cleaned them and inside it hurt. I remember you going to the park every day, Your practice, your throw, your technique on display, For neighborhood friends and their mom's young and old, And your chest and your head got quite big so I'm told. What words come to mind to describe my dear son? Handsome, yes handsome would be number one. A warm loving heart and a hug like a bear, And love so much love he was willing to share. Willful and strong are both words I would use, And short very short to describe Beebo's fuse. Than darkness began to creep into our lives, First slowly and then the disease hit its stride. A madness took over your beautiful mind, And displaced all the magic with thoughts, the dark kind. Though you struggled to keep the Beebo we knew, It was clear that instead of just one there were two. One that would hold on to happier days

In loving Memory of my son Michael Lawrence Escalante, Jr. (Beebo)

As long as I've lived I have wanted to be, A mother to children maybe two, maybe three, God blessed me with Eric and, too good to be true, He blessed me again when he blessed me with you. I loved being pregnant with you and your brother, Loving each time the same, not one more than the other. Though I worried my heart could not possibly be Big enough to hold love for your brother and thee. So imagine my joy when to my great surprise, My heart multiplied when I looked in your eyes. And I never again had to worry or fret

Ode to Beebo

Remembering Lost Promise

Beebo Escalante, Cont'd

And one would begin to take Beebo away. So Beebo escaped to a world with a hook, I only have known from a movie or book. Where normal is sold by the gram or balloon, Leaving all lives surrounding in some stat of ruin. And though I prayed daily that he would be spared, Deep down inside I began to prepare, For that knock on the door in the chill of the night That would tell me that Beebo had just lost the fight. And when that knock came, I let out a scream And I prayed and I prayed it really was only a dream. That I would awaken to find Beebo alive, That Eric and Michael and I had survived. Three months now have passed since the day that you died, Each morning I wake, thinking of you and cry,. A struggle to get out of bed every day, But I do it and give life my best anyway. My heart filled with sadness and yearning to touch, That velvet-like hair that I loved oh-so-much. To hug you and kiss you and squeeze your left knee, As I often did as you traveled with me. To joke, pinch and sing as I often would do, To help you feel better when you had the blues. And what would I give to get one of those calls, That said "Mom, I love you" that simple ­ that's all. Once viewed as disruption in my busy day, Was a blessing from God, yes I know this today. At the end of my days when I go to my grave, I'll carry these with me, the memories I save. Of those gorgeous brown eyes and that radiant smile, To help me make haste down that last lonely mile ~ Debi Ellis, Beebo's mom

Remembering Lost Promise

Angela Fatino

Died Age 15 Methamphetamine

pass in Iowa and other states, federal law has now been enacted limiting the sale of pseudoephedrine. She was a bright, articulate, and compassionate child who was taken from us far to soon. God Bless everyone involved in this event especially those who have lost children. Angela continues to be missed every day. ~ Juli Fatino

My daughter, Angela Fatino, battled an addiction to methamphetamine for 2 1/2 years. She died on October 8, 1997. The death was determined to be suicide with a handgun, and the toxicology results confirmed meth in her system at the time. She was 15 years old at the time of her death. In an attempt to expose the meth problem in Iowa, and assist in passing legislation limiting the sale of pseudoephedrine--the main ingredient in meth production--U.S. Congressman Thomas Latham introduced the "Angie Fatino Save the Children From Meth Act" in her memory (after her story appeared in the Des Moines Register). Not only did the legislation

Remembering Lost Promise

Casey Nolan Fitzgerald

Died Age 20 Heroin & Cocaine

over his body daily. I have no choice but to move on or hold on, whichever comes first. With the support of an incredible local organization, The Hearts of Hope,, a grief counselor and also the support of friends who hold me close when I need it, and kick me in the butt when I need it as well. If nothing else, I have learned that life is too short to live it without passion. Passion to shake other parents! Drug use is not only financially and emotionally devastating to the user, but it has ravaged the promise of a future I dreamed of for my son. A future I hope to see someday in my grandson. One that can be clean, sane, safe and happy. A dream? A hope? God, I hope so. ~ Joan Baker

On January13, 2005, my only child, Casey Nolan Fitzgerald, age 20, died from a heroin and cocaine overdose. He was sober the last 5 months of his life, but he relapsed. It didn't work. Casey was a bright, creative child with ADHD, and an IQ of 140, who lived a life too fast and too short. He left behind a son who is now the tender age of 2 1/2 yrs. Casey,Jr. will never know his father. Although they were never married, I consider the partner of my son, Rosie, my daughter-in-law. It has been 14 months since Casey lost his battle against drugs. I mark time by "before Casey died" and "after Casey died." I don't have guilt that there wasn't a program--he was in rehab at age 13 and with counselors. There was the variety of emotional nightmare stories we all shared to try to get my son off drugs and find the calm within himself that drugs falsely provided. But drugs became his sole purpose in life, not to get high any longer, but to stop the sickness the took

Remembering Lost Promise

Lisa Suzanne Flores

Died Age 22 Heroin

my daughter in that person who was with me. Drugs change a person so much, you wonder, "Where is my child?" The only difference is that then there was a hope of getting her back. Now the hope is gone. Although we know that Lisa is with God and she is peaceful and happy, we still miss her VERY much. So please don't let a day go by without holding your children close to you, hugging them and telling them how much you love them. You never know if you will get another chance. How I would love to have the chance with my Lisa for one more hug and "I Love You." ~Betty Flores

We lost our daughter Lisa to a heroin overdose on August 27, 1998. She was 22 years old. Lisa was a beautiful girl who loved to laugh and have fun. She lived her whole short life in San Diego, California. You never had to worry about being at a loss for words with her, she could talk and talk without even taking a breath (or so it seemed). Lisa loved animals and we still have the stray dog she brought home. We have a lot of wonderful, happy memories of Lisa. Lisa was normally a very happy person. Until the drugs got a hold of her. I think other parents of addicts will understand when I say that the hole I felt in my heart... it wasn't the first time I felt that hole. I had felt it before, sometimes even when Lisa was standing right in front of me. Because even though she was standing there, I couldn't find

Remembering Lost Promise

Steven W. Forrest, Sr.

Died Age 35 Drug Overdose

Steven W. Forrest, Sr. was born on September 30, 1970 and died April 28, 2006 at the age of 35. He was a loving and caring husband & father of two beautiful children; Steven Jr. age 16 and Hayley age 13. Steve was always the life of the party. No matter what the circumstances, he always left a lasting impression on

whomever's path he crossed. Even though Steve is no longer here on earth with his family, we still can feel his presence. We know he is off in the distance, somewhere watching over us and waiting until the day we join him. He will forever live in our hearts. ~ Tracey Forrest

Remembering Lost Promise

Clayton Forstrom

Died Age 17 Fentanyl

by toxicology reports. He had consumed a Duragesic brand of pain patch. These patches contain Fentanyl and used as prescribed, pain medication is released over 48 to 72 hours. We have learned prescription pain medication slows the respiratory system. Clayton fell asleep, forgot to breathe, and never woke up. He had experimented with marijuana at 16, shortly after he confessed to experimenting with Klonapin, an antianxiety drug. We were devastated by the marijuana use, but the misuse of prescription medication scared us so much that we placed him in a treatment facility for evaluation. They kept him for 3 days, released him, told us he was spoiled and suggested out-patient counseling, which we did. After experiencing this we felt we could not let our guard down; curfew was strict along with other things. We felt we fought the battle as a family and won, but that was nothing compared to the battle of trying to live without him now. We lost Clayton to misuse of prescription pain medication. He never had the chance to become an addict before his life was lost at 17. No words describe lost hope, lost dreams, lost promise. ~ Donna Forstrom

Nov. 12th 2003, I went to wake Clayton for school and instead I found his lifeless body on his bed. He had worked the night before at his new job; we visited him on duty. Returning home at 10:35pm, he came upstairs where my husband and I were watching TV. I had fallen asleep on the sofa but awoke when I heard the front door open. I watched him go to the refrigerator and pour himself some milk. He sat in a chair in the room with us and we had a brief conversation. He then picked up our cat, and with his milk in the other hand, he stood at the top of the stairs and said "Good night mom, I love you, see ya in the morning." Little did I know that this would be the last time I would see him alive! At 17 Clayton was happy and intelligent. Baseball, basketball, trick bicycling, skateboarding, motorcross racing, paintball, modifying foreign cars, and girls--there was never a dull moment. He was active in church and school activities, enjoyed mission trips and played the role of Jesus in the Easter Program in 2002. A senior in school, he scored above average on tests. Active in Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Bible Club and popular with his peers, he was selected Mr. Valentine 2003. As a Freshman he traveled to Europe for two weeks. A bright and talented child, we wondered, "Why did this happen to him?" Rumors led us to believe it was an overdose; the rumors were confirmed

Remembering Lost Promise

Christian Foster

Died Age 27 Heroin

Parent-to-Parent continues to help adolescents, adults, parents and the community through education, support, advocacy, and assistance in finding detox, treatment and aftercare for those struggling with substance abuse. Our voices have been heard in Trenton for insurance parity and to raise the alcohol tax just a nickel a gallon, which would provide $10 million in additional revenue for addiction in our state. We do not want this to be the only generation not to outlive their parents. Our nation has a plague that has been ignored far too long. Thank you, Kathleen (Kass)Foster

In 1997 our son Christian was on a waiting list for long-term treatment for a heroin addiction. Our son wanted to live, but he died while waiting. Addiction is the only disease where you have to wait in line for a bed. Then I met other Moms who had lost and suffered. and we formed a coalition called Parent-to-Parent. Along with Susan Foose, Louise Habicht, and Kathleen Dobbs, the four of us fought for long-term treatment for south Jersey. On April 29th 2005, after eight long years, Day Top South opened its doors for long-term adolescent treatment.

Remembering Lost Promise

Ryane Robert Frank

Died Age 28 Cocaine

would rather see Ryane behind bars than deal with the disease that led him there. Bill and I set out to help as we always had. How could we fix our broken son? After several months in the county jail, Ryane was released and that very same day we had him in the car and on the way to Hazelton in Minnesota. Ryane flourished physically and emotionally within the AA philosophy and was blessed to find his sponsor, Dan, who he loved and respected. We were hopeful, but always apprehensive; many good days, many conversations, many blessings from the Ryane that we knew. October 6, 2002 Ryane relapsed; this time for the very last time. As Ryane lay in the hospital on life support, his friends came from every corner to comfort each other and our family. During all of his better days, days which far outnumbered his worst, he was a giving and compassionate man. Thanks to Ryane, five lives were saved through his organ donation. In Ryane's memory, Bill and I are working on opening a transitional living house for men in the Racine community and helping others that they many begin a life free from drugs. ~ Ninna & Bill Frank

On September 28, 1974, Ryane Robert Frank was born into our family a health beautiful baby. Ryane was the third child--Ingrid the oldest followed by big brother Brandon and to follow was Robert and Jacob. Ryane was the quiet shy child. Ryane loved airplanes, fishing, biking and golf, but mostly he loved spending time with his brothers and sister. Ryane was articulate and caring, and yet, ultimately flawed by the monster of addiction. His time on this planet would be marked in many memories, both personal and collective. After high school, Ryane went to work and planned to go to school to become a pilot. They say ignorance is bliss. I really understand that, but our bliss was not long-lived for, within a year, Ryane's world came crashing in and so did ours. Our lives stopped when we learned Ryane was using cocaine. We told no one, not even our parents, not our closest friends. This was our secret, until we could not hide from it any more. Ryane tried local treatment programs but would relapse as soon as he was done. Ryane eventually ended up in the criminal justice system which we thought would be the absolute worst thing that could ever happen to out family. Every member of our family was affected, our son brother, friend, grandson, nephew was a drug addict. The criminal justice system was cold and unfriendly; naively, we thought that these people only wanted to help; I soon realized that many of them

Remembering Lost Promise

Jessica Frazier

Died Age 18 Heroin

sold to her from the streets of Cincinnati. She had turned 18 six weeks before. We struggled to help her through treatment centers and therapists from the age of 15. No successful program exists for children under age 18--and on heroin. This drug remains in the bone marrow and adipose (fat) tissue and continues to metabolize and trigger for five years. If we can help people and innocent children with diseases including alcohol, why do we turn our backs on those with this terrifying addiction to heroin? People are afraid and people are ignorant. They don't want to know. It takes a village to raise a child. ~ Deborah Frazier ~

My being is severed; forever broken. I live in two realities--one with my lovely Jessica, and one here nurturing my two other children. By myself. Jessica was preparing herself to work with children who needed her love and gentle compassion. She wanted to help through her art and poetry. I planned to take her to Europe where I met her father, and to help her get to India, as she was completely fascinated with India. I won't get to see her smile light up my heart or hold a child's hand.... My body aches to hold her in my arms again and again... My daughter, Jessica died from bad heroin that was

Remembering Lost Promise

Rob Garibaldi

Died Age 24 Suicide / Steroids

"Like vitamins," Rob's father and I were informed. When this regime did not produce the desired results, Rob was encouraged to use anabolic steroids. But, the desire and need to look bigger, be stronger, and avoid losing muscle gains previously achieved motivated continued use. Over time, Rob gained the 50 pounds he needed to fit the major league prototype and became the powerhouse the steroids promised. By the 2002 Draft, Rob was a power-hitter at 5'11" and 185 pounds. But he wasn't drafted. Steroids had taken an insidious hold, with scouts commenting he was a "head case." Rob had begun to manifest mania, depression, short-term memory loss, psychosis, uncontrollable rage, and delusional and suicidal thinking (all symptoms of steroid use). When confronted about these symptoms and his weight gain, upper body muscle mass, hair loss, acne, and rage (he assaulted his father twice prompting involuntary psychiatric hospitalization,)he denied his use. At our family's insistence, Rob eventually cooperated with treatment and entered a residential treatment program. There, he "roid raged" and was discharged home. While I tried to find alternative treatment, Rob shot himself in the head and died at age 24.

Rob Garibaldi (1978-2002) was like many boys. He grew up playing Little League, emulating sports heroes and dreaming of making it to the big leagues. Living on the San Francisco Peninsula as a youngster, Rob watched with excitement at the accomplishments of his local sports heroes: Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire, and Jose Canseco. Their successes fueled his dreams. Rob had both the talent and desire. To Rob, baseball was life. He was the "all-American athlete" - an All Star during high school, selected California Junior College All State Player of the Year, and earned the "Big Stick" award with a batting average of .459. His dream of playing in the major leagues came very close to reality. Rob turned down the New York Yankees in the 1999 Major League Amateur Draft to accept a full scholarship to the University of Southern California. There, he played for USC in the 2000 College World Series as their starting right fielder. He was recognized by Baseball America as one of the top 100 prospects for the draft in 2001. As a teen at 5'9"130 pounds, Rob was told by many working him - coaches, trainers, professional scouts, that the only way to improve his game was to "get bigger." "Getting bigger" began with working out and using performance enhancing supplements.

Remembering Lost Promise

Jeff Gattorno

Died Age 23 Heroin

He always felt he did not belong here in this world and he knew he would never see his 30th birthday. At times it was so tough to watch how his mind questioned everything­ the reason for his existence­life after death­good and evil­religion­what normal really was. As his mom I saw past the addict and into his tortured self trying to make sense of a world full of contradictions. I'm so grateful for the things he taught me. I MISS YOU SO MUCH JEFF!!! ~ Brigitte Gattorno

eff lost a valiant battle against addiction at the age of 23. He was very bright and creative, but depression and social anxiety made him feel like he was incapable of achieving what he thought society expected of him. In my feeble attempts to help him and to understand what was happening in his world and mine, I learned a great deal. Jeff was addicted to heroin in his late teens. He traveled the road that many addicts travel. With the help of a wonderful psychologist, legal troubles and health issues he was clean for approximately 2 yrs. He tried hard to get on track. He registered for college, had a job, a car and plans for a future. But he still knew that the place heroin takes you would probably pull him back again one day.

Remembering Lost Promise

Mary Christina Gibson

Died Age 27 Heroin, Murdered

(after jail) but people don't realize the publicly funded rehabs have so many addicts and pushers that it's too tempting. She got caught using heroin in the rehab, and they kicked her out. She came home here with me. The demons started calling her name again, and she went for one last time (I think). She left my house on a Sunday, and they found her body on a Friday. They came to work and told me. The night it happened, I was standing at work, and I felt the final blow to her stomach, and then as quickly as it came, it went away, and I felt peace. I hope that's what happened with her that night. We heard a lot of different stories, but a guy called 911 that morning. She was found in an abandoned building. The guy ended up with 5 years (involuntary manslaughter). He plea-bargained for that. Someone said they tried to get her to the hospital, but she would rather die than go to jail. She died from a ruptured spleen as a result of a blow to the stomach. The guy that called 911 was the one who did it. He confessed, said it was because of fighting about drugs or something like that. Chrissy was dead on the inside long before she died. You see, heroin takes your soul. ~ Linda L. Jackson, Chrissy's mom

The numbness of losing Chrissy is starting to wear off. Now I am going through the crazy stage. I miss her so badly. Her kids are 5 & 9--two girls. Her kids say she was the nicest mom in the world. Her addiction kept her away from all of us sometimes, which was good. She was living on the streets about four months. I was told she had to hit rock bottom. So I took her car, her kids, and she had to drop out of college. That doesn't always work. It made her worse. She lived in Over the Rhine, Cincinnati, and while there someone introduced her to prostitution and crack cocaine. She was already a heroin addict. After that she couldn't live with herself. If you know anything about addiction, she turned herself into rehab. That was a big deal for her. We usually made her go and then she'd walk out after three days. She was an addict off and on about four years. It was too easy. The drugs were two blocks from rehab (CCAT) in Cincinnati, Over the Rhine. She went to jail for the first time in December of the year she died. She spent 30 days. She was in there for her birthday, December 24th and New Years. She had really started to come back to us. That was the time she turned herself in

Remembering Lost Promise


Died Age 25 Cocaine

On October 3, 2005, my twenty-five year-old brother lost his life from a cocaine overdose. There is not a day that goes by where I don't feel some guilt that I couldn't of helped him. My older brother and I are both police officers; he works for Washington DC and I work in a city 15 minutes north of Boston and am assigned to a drug task force team. I knew what he was going through and couldn't help him, though I tried so many times. Maybe this vigil may bring a little closure to his death, for I have not accepted the fact he is gone.

Remembering Lost Promise

Michael Warren Greene, II

Died 32 Heroin

Michael lost his fight with his demons on January 3, 2003 shortly before his 33rd birthday. Heroin was the cause of death. 2/22/70 -- 1/3/03. Thank you, Carol Giffin.

Remembering Lost Promise

Jarrett Grier

Heroin & Prescription Drugs

I lost my only child a wonderful son on June 9,2003 from an overdose of heroine and prescription drugs. Jarrett was a college graduate who spoke 3 languages and was a rising star. He was a bright and talented artist who lost his way trying to self medicate his way through clinical depression. My life has been forever changed as a result of this traumatic loss. Joanettie E. Grier

Remembering Lost Promise

James Groves, Jr.

Died Age 19 Psychedelic Mushrooms & Alcohol

My brother James Groves, Jr. was killed instantly, after falling from his dorm balcony at Rice University in Houston on Memorial Day weekend in 1986. He had been drinking alcohol and taking mushrooms, an illegal hallucinogenic drug. He was 19: brilliant, and funny. We miss him. ~ Gail Scott

Remembering Lost Promise

John Habicht

Died Age 29 Drug Overdose

Remembering Lost Promise

Richard Hacker

Died Age 36 Fentanyl

were prescribed one per three days. In the years of drug abuse he had damaged his heart. Two patches­not one­he fell dead while fixing himself lunch, and his eleven year-old daughter came home from school several hours later to find him. If I had a way to wipe out drug pushers and doctors who hand out meds like they are candy with no regard for the lives that are being destroyed I would wipe them out and never blink an eye. We love our son and our family is forever scarred... ~ Brenda Sturgill

My son, Richard, was an excellent athlete in high school. He loved to play football and was the captain of his team senior year. He met and married his lovely wife, Kim. He graduated from the Sheriff 's Deptartment Acadamy at twenty-one years old. He had a beautiful baby boy with his wife. Then, out of nowhere, his life began to unravel. It started with steroids and body building. He got into trouble with that and was dismissed from the Sheriff 's Department. Richard then went to work for a trucking company. He injured his back and began taking pain killers. He spent the next years of his life in and out of legal battles because he became so addicted to meds. He went from regular use to abusing meds in many ways, snorting etc., then, any drug he could obtain. It did not seem to matter what. Pain killers were always his favorite. He overdosed many times before the fatal overdose at thirty-six years old September 30, 2005. He has left behind three lovely children, a wife, two sisters, three nieces, one nephew, and a mother and father who miss him so much. He had such a promising future until he let drugs enter his life. People assume it is the losers who use drugs. They have it backwards. The drugs make a loser out of anyone, no matter who you are or where you come from. Richard was a kind, loving and handsome young man. The words spoken by his wife at his death were that she wished everyone could have known the real Richard. We fought with doctors who kept giving him meds, and people on the street selling drugs to him. We fought the battle with drugs and the abuse of legal prescription drugs for fifteen years. We watched while our wonderful son was being drained of all life that has meaning. Richard was put into drug programs many times, but the last time seemed to take away all his joy of life. The doctors put him on mood stabilizers, sleep aides and pain killers. Richard was under doctor's care and drug tested weekly, finally deciding to put him on pain patches(so he could not abuse them). Richard died wearing two pain patches, although they

Remembering Lost Promise

Ryan Haight

Died Age 18 Prescription Drugs

Ryan was born on December 28, 1982 and Died on February 12, 2001 from an overdose of prescription drugs he had purchased on the Internet. He was only 18. Ryan was an incredible boy. From the time he was little, I always believed that he would make a difference in this world; I just did not know he would be so far away. He was very intelligent and excelled in school. He loved math and science, was at the top of his class, was a Gate student in the elementary years, and then went on to take honors classes. He was an "A" student and maintained a 4.0 or above during his years in high school. He looked forward to going to college. Ryan was athletic and loved the thrill of competition. In elementary school he played Little League Baseball and then became a top player in the Majors and made the All Star Team. He played Open Junior Tennis tournaments, and went on to play Varsity tennis for Grossmont High School in La Mesa, California. He loved to snow ski, snow board, water ski, knee board, and attempted all sports with great enthusiasm. He loved to play billiards, bowl, and play ping-pong. Ryan loved using the computer. He was thrilled to find out that he could easily chat online with his friends from school. He could send and receive email everyday. He could enter chat rooms and talk about educational and current events. He learned to surf the Internet. It was a perfect place for him to use for his papers in school, or to seek information he was curious about. Ryan used the computer to play games against his friends, to compete in Fantasy Baseball where players choose their teams. He loved to trade baseball cards on Ebay. Ryan was taking a computer graphics class in high school. He was considering a possible career with computers. But on February 12, 2001 that all stopped. That day I found Ryan lifeless in his bed. I tried to resuscitate him, but could not bring him back. Ryan had died. I was in shock. Just the night before, we had dinner together after he came home from work at a near-by retail store. He used my Jacuzzi tub because he said his back bothered him from lifting things at work. At midnight I had kissed him goodnight and he said "I love you, Mom." Those were the last words I would hear from him. Ryan died from an overdose of Vicodin, a prescription drug. I thought, How? How did he get these drugs? After one of his friends told us he got them off the Internet, we gave our computer to the DEA to investigate. Through their investigation, they found how Ryan had ordered the drugs from a medical doctor he never saw, and an Internet pharmacy delivered them to our home. We also learned of web sites on the Internet that have chat rooms that glorify the use of drugs and where sellers go to encourage our children to try them. Since Ryan's death we have found there are hundreds of Internet pharmacies selling prescription drugs.

Remembering Lost Promise

Ryan Haight, Cont'd

Since Ryan's death, my life has never been the same and will never be the same. There is an emptiness that follows me wherever I go. Ryan loved his family. His sister, Natalie was his best friend. They did everything together when they were growing up. He was a very loving and caring brother to his younger brother, Jeremy. He played games with Jeremy, entertained him, and was very responsible with taking care of him when needed. Our family liked to travel. He saw many of the National Parks from Yosemite to Mount Rushmore. He skied and snow boarded many of the beautiful ski resorts from Sun Valley to Vail. He cruised the Caribbean, and visited Hawaii. He saw the pyramids in Mexico. He camped, house boated and went river rafting. He saw and experienced many of the beautiful things our world has to offer. With so much to live for, his life was lost to drugs. Ryan is deeply missed by many. My grief continues and extends beyond the immediate family. Ryan's grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and friends feel Ryan's death very deeply. Ryan will never see Jeremy play his clarinet, or take him out for ice cream. Ryan will never be here to talk for long hours with his sister and best friend, Natalie. I will not see him graduate from college, attend his wedding, and be grandmother to his children. But we continue to water our white roses, and drink our Sprite with no ice in his memory. Ryan will be forever missed and will remain in our hearts forever. ~ Francine Haight

Remembering Lost Promise

Sean Tyler Halverson

Died Age 20 Heroin

You thought that heroin was a friend but surely it was an enemy. I know how hard you tried to break loose so you could recover, and mend. How many times you said to me, "I don't want to live like this, I want a happy, normal life". There was so much help for you, to show you the way. Maybe it was just too hard, too much pain and suffering. I love you, babe, with all my heart. God, give me strength while we're apart... until we are together again, and I can hug you up in heaven. Sean Tyler Halvorsen 5/11/82 ­ 7/11/02 Forever 20...forever in my heart ~ Jeannie Halverson

I lost my precious son, Sean July 11, 2002 to a heroin overdose. He was 20 years old. I miss him every day with all my heart and soul. Life is full of joy, life is full of sorrow. None of us knows if we'll be here tomorrow. God gave me a beautiful gift Twenty years ago, in May. A child full of laughter, love, and joy I always thought you'd be here to stay. It was hard on you, when your Dad went away The hurt and anger with you every day. I tried to be both Mom and Dad to talk to me, when you were feeling sad. But you chose to keep so much inside, and in the drugs, you would hide. I tried so hard to reach you If only my love was enough to save you.

Remembering Lost Promise

Brandon Lee Hardesty

Died Age 27 Methadone

May 18, 1977-February 14, 2005

My 27-year-old son, Brandon Lee Hardesty, took an accidental overdose of methadone. We had been trying to help him and worrying about his life since the age of 15. He had taken many other pain meds and overdosed, but always knew what to do. He had never heard of methadone and did not realize that it was not a quick high and is designed to stay for a long period of time in the system.

By the time he had reached his "normal" high, he had already consumed a deadly amount. I am his mother. In my lifetime I have survived rape, cancer, and abuse but I am not sure I can survive the loss of a handsome, talented, loving part of myself. In Memory of Brandon Lee Hardesty ~ Eliza Hendrickson

Remembering Lost Promise

Cassie Haydal

Died Age 18 Methamphetamine

Several days later we gave our permission for life support to be disconnected. And as we loved and caressed our daughter, she slipped out of our arms and into eternity, without giving us a second chance to help her. On November 14, 2000, we lost our precious, gifted daughter and we started a very expensive education on the drug, methamphetamine. At first we just thought we must've been bad parents and that's why Cassie died. And then, as children and adults came out of the woodwork and talked of their own addiction, we realized that Miles City had a meth epidemic. We received calls from around the state and we realized that families from every corner of Montana were suffering similar losses of both the direct and indirect affects of meth use. At first, we thought we lost Cassie because we were bad parents. Where were we as methamphetamine ravaged our child's mind, body and life? How could we stare it in the face every day and not see it? Greg and I had been to a drug workshop that June and as the presenter told us of the horrors of methamphetamine, I remember sitting there thinking, "Well, thank God my child would never use drugs." (At the time we didn't think our daughter even drank.) Now, as a family we have learned what other families have learned. Meth will cross every religious, educational, socioeconomic level and race. Methamphetamine is not just killing children. It is killing our children and that makes all the difference. ~ Mary Haydal

Cassie was a senior in high school. A beautiful girl on the honor role. She coached basketball, skied, volunteered at the after school program and was the only teen to ever have her own sports articles featured in the newspaper. She attended church every Sunday and read the bible. She was on her way to Montana State University to major in journalism. She was afforded many opportunities ­ one in particular was a trip to France in 2000. I remember her calling home and saying, "Mom, there is a whole world out there!" She was so happy and excited... Several weeks before she left for France, we saw occasional strange behavior in our child, some weight loss, sleeplessness and dark circles. As parents we became concerned, asked questions and tried to figure out what was wrong with our daughter. We took her to two different doctors within three weeks. And just two days after seeing the second doctor, on November 4th, 2000, Cassie came home from basketball, where she was coaching her sister Nicki's basketball team, and collapsed. She had suffered a massive heart attack from using meth. We learned of her meth use in ICU. She was in a coma. The doctor explained that they found methamphetamine in her system and that every time you use meth it damages your heart. Cassie became like a walking time bomb. And after she went to practice and worked hard for two hours, she came home and suffered a massive heart attack. She literally blew out the bottom of her heart. After several days her eyes opened and I asked the neurologist if she was waking up. He took my daughter's head in his hands and gently rolled her head from side to side and every time he rolled her head her eyes would roll with the head. "That's called doll eyes," he explained. A sign of permanent, irreversible brain damage.

Remembering Lost Promise

Adam Heitz

Died Age 21 Heroin

Our son, Adam, died of an accidental heroin overdose at the age of 21. Like all of the other stories I have read, we too have been jolted by a horrible tragedy related to illegal drugs. Our oldest child of four began smoking cigarettes and using marijuana in his junior year of high school. We were shocked to find that he copied a prescription for Vicodin that he found on the table, which was written for his sister who had her wisdom teeth removed. The drug store filled a copied prescription, no problem. When Adam went to college, his "friend" shared his Xanax. Adam suffered from depression and drug addiction and dropped out of college at the end of his freshman year at VCU. His first semester, B's, his second semester all F's. It was very obvious something terrible was going wrong. He argued with his family, wouldn't get out of bed to go to work and even stole from his own siblings in order to buy drugs. He finally came to us in April of 2003 and said he was using heroin and he needed help. We immediately took him to the ER and went from doctor to counselor trying to get help. After making Adam sleep outside one evening, he agreed to go to a rehab. After 90 days of treatment, he was released on Sept. 19, 2003 and died a week later in his sleep, an accidental heroin overdose. We continue to grieve everyday and it truly never goes away. Adam was 21 years old and was so very talented. He was an artist and a musician. His drums and guitar have been silent for more than two years now. We miss him terribly. We pray everyday for hope. Thank you. Glenn and Theresa Heitz, Ashburn, VA

Remembering Lost Promise

Carl Hennon

Died Age 18 Fentanyl & DXM

legs crossed, but he wasn't breathing, and he wasn't responding to my screams. The next several months after Carl's death I frantically searched for answers. I discovered that Carl had been abusing cough medicine intermittently over the past 2½ years. I wouldn't find out until the morning of Carl's death what he and many others knew about his abuse of cough medicine. The danger that I so desperately tried to keep out of our house had found a way to sneak in secretly. Carl's autopsy report revealed that he had died from a lethal mix of drugs: Fentanyl, a strong prescription narcotic, and DXM, the active ingredient in cough medicine. I have spent many hours trying to find the reason for this unexplainable tragedy. If loving my son were enough, Carl would have lived forever. It is now with much love that I pay tribute to this wonderful young man that I was so lucky to have in my life for eighteen years. Carl, I love you.

My oldest son, Carl, died of an accidental overdose of a combination of an over the counter and a prescription drug. Carl was my beautiful little boy; eyes like large, dark chocolates, an infectious smile, and an insatiable curiosity. Carl was gifted musically and artistically, but he was also gifted by being able to touch the lives of people around him. I spent years protecting him from harm, but two and a half years ago, harm found a way to sneak in and steal the life of this gifted young man. t was the morning of July 16, 2003. Carl had just graduated from high school and was getting ready to leave for Memphis College of Art in two days. The college had courted him, after he won an award for artwork he created his junior year of high school. The night before, Carl and I had sat in his room and talked about his day at work and the pending trip to Memphis. He smiled and hugged me, "Goodnight Mom. Love you" The next morning, my worst nightmare was to occur. I discovered Carl lying peacefully in his bed, motionless with

Remembering Lost Promise

Chelsea Marie Heptig

Died Age 17 Ecstasy

was in a vegetative state. We took her off life support ...she breathed for 8 minutes and died at 8:50am. Me­her mom­her dad, her brother... we will never be the same. My heart was crushed that day. I have shared her personal story with thousands of high school and college students in hopes that they think about the consequences of their actions when they are confronted with drugs. Chelsea also would not have died if a phone call was made sooner to the police...I also talk about that. If you see a friend acting sick make a call. You can visit Chelsea at the website I created in her memory I LOVE YOU, CHELSEA - your mom. ~Debi Heptig

My beloved daughter, Chelsea Marie Heptig, died on May 3, 2002 at 8:50am. She was two weeks shy of her senior prom, one month shy of her 18th birthday, and 7 weeks away from high school graduation. She was my very best friend. On April 26, 2002 she had an argument with her boyfriend and went to talk to a friend who gave her ecstasy. I got a call from the police that she was in the hospital from a drug overdose and arrived to find her unconscious and having powerful seizures. It was horrific! They induced a coma to stop the seizures. She never came out of the coma...instead her internal organs stopped by one. For a week we prayed, cried, begged, promised and hoped. I washed her body, combed her hair, and massaged her feet. She had a high temperature, was hooked up to machines, was breathing through a respirator. My little girl was loosing the battle. First her lungs, her brain, her kidneys, her bowels...everything was slowly deteriorating. She

Remembering Lost Promise

Daesean Hill

From America's Most Wanted files:

Died Age 8 Killed by Drug Dealers

On November 17, 2003 eight-year-old Daesean Hill was walking in his Brooklyn neighborhood with his father, brother and sister. They had just spent the day at school and were looking forward to a family dinner. But just as they reached the doorstep to their apartment building shots rang out across the street. A drug turf war had erupted and in the ensuing chaos a stray bullet struck Daesean in the chest. He didn't survive his wound. He was pronounced dead a few hours later at a nearby hospital. Back On The Streets Just two weeks before the shooting, Alfonso and Jahbir Fowle had been released from prison. They had served a fiveyear sentence each for burglary but it was not their first run-in with the law. New York City police describe them as career criminals whose biggest enterprise is drug distribution. They Won Back Their Corner With Intimidation Detectives say that the Fowle brothers were trying to muscle back in on their lucrative turf but it had been taken over by a new crew made up of Michael Walker, Raheem Lawrence and Jerrell Perry. They say early on November 17th Alfonso and Jahbir showed up and won back their corner with intimidation. But the other three would not be beaten. Detectives say Walker, Lawrence and Perry loaded up with an arsenal of weapons and returned the corner at the three o'clock, the same time Daesean Hill was walking home with his family. Daesean was not the only one to die that day. Michael Walker was also hit by one of the bullets. He died two hours later at Brookdale Hospital. After the shooting, Alfonso and Jahbir Fowle took off. A Holiday Gift For All At the end of every year John Walsh announces the fugitives he wants most to see behind bars. On December 18, 2004 John named Jahbir and Alfonso Fowle as the top fugitives he wanted to see caught. It was that broadcast that generated the tip that NYPD needed. A viewer saw the broadcast and recognized the fugitive brothers. It took a few weeks but the tipster finally contacted the AMW hotline operators and asked to be connected with the detectives. The tipster informed the detectives that the Fowle brothers were still hiding out in Atlanta. Not only that, the tipster knew the exact location where they could be found. However, the tipster was concerned about hiding his identity and wanted to wait for the right time to lead detectives to the location. On March 4, 2005, the tipster found the courage to lead detectives to the location. Teamed up with Atlanta SWAT, NYPD officers moved in on the house and arrested the fugitive brothers. However, there is a bittersweet ending to this story. On December 5, 2005 Jahbir Fowle was found not guilty of murder charges, though he was convicted of manslaughter. Fowle claimed he acted in self defense during the shootout with an alleged rival drug gang. The fact that Jahbir Fowle was arrested after his profile on America's Most Wanted was not allowed into court testimony. Fowle faces 7 1/2 to 15 years behind bars.

Remembering Lost Promise

Lang J. Hitchcock

Died Age 30 Drug Overdose

. June 19, 1972 ~ August 30, 2002

Lang loved animals, loved his family, loved girls, loved skateboarding, loved silk screening, loved art, loved music. Eventually all of these things took a back seat to drugs. Lang left us on August 30, 2002 at the age of 30. ~ Maxine Hitchcock

Remembering Lost Promise

David Hobson

Died Age 25 Heroin

I asked, "What does that mean?" since there were many people standing around me. He said, "Dead." I screamed, ran out to my car, drove home--45 minutes--crying, not believing what I heard. For months­I mean months­ that is what rang through my head. ~ Anne & John Shattuck

My son, David Hobson, died March 11, 2000, age 25, of an accidental drug overdose­heroin. All our "stories" are different but the end result is the same ­ our child is dead and our family's life is over as we once knew it. David died the second time he tried heroin. He "sniffed" -- he did not "inject." I too have the memory of "the call." I was working on a Saturday. The phone rang, never expecting it would be for me because when I left home I didn't even know where I would be working. But those calls can find you anywhere! Anyway, it was my husband. He said, "There's been an overdose."

Remembering Lost Promise

Taylor Hooton

Died Age 17 Suicide / Steroids

His parents insisted that he see a psychiatrist. After many sessions with the psychiatrist, Taylor mentioned his steroids use. Part of his treatment was to tell his parents about his problem and he promised to stop using. Later, when Taylor stole a digital camera and a laptop computer, his whole family confronted him about his unacceptable behavior. Taylor was grounded. After tearful apologies, Taylor begged his mother to lift his punishment, but she said no. Taylor went to his room and hung himself. It was only after his death that the whole picture came into focus for Taylor's friends and family. The police and Taylor's dad found the steroids and syringes in his room, and the medical examiner found them in his body--long after Taylor had stopped using. What Taylor's parents and Taylor himself did not fully understand was the deep depression that steroids users experience when they suddenly stop taking the drug. ~ Submitted by Don Hooton, Taylor's father

Taylor Hooton was a star pitcher on his high school team, a handsome teenager who had everything going for him. Until steroids caught up with him and he took his own life. It took a while for his parents to connect Taylor's recent weight and muscle increases with his uncharacteristic mood swings and violent, angry behavior. Like most parents, they didn't know that these and other symptoms, like the acne he had developed on his back, were signs of steroids use. Taylor had always been a great son, a terrific athlete and had his act together. Taylor just wanted to make the varsity baseball team, and steroids had been recommended to him as a way to get bigger faster. At first, his parents didn't know what was happening but they were alarmed. They took Taylor to the family doctor and asked that he be tested for drugs, not knowing that steroids were not part of the screening panel. He got a clean bill of health, but things continued to worsen. Even though he'd been using a cocktail of steroids and other hormones to bulk up, the drugs were wreaking havoc on his body and emotions. In one of his increasingly frequent rages, he told his mother he would take a knife and kill himself.

Remembering Lost Promise

Matthew Houbrick

Died Age 45 Cocaine

There is no stronger bond than that of an identical twin. There is a relationship that is formed in the womb (thus we are womb mates) that cannot be broken. On the day Matthew died, he was in Chicago and I was in Spokane, Washington. At the exact time he was found despite being 2500 miles away, I knew something had happened. My co-workers saw a distinct black cloud surround me. My body felt as if it had lost all of its blood. My mood sank into a deep depression for no apparent reason. It was only later when I heard of Matt's death that I realized what had happened and why I felt the way I did. That's just a brief description of my loss! ~ Michael Houbrick

My 45-year identical twin brother, Matthew Houbrick was found dead in the Drake Hotel in Chicago on November 14, 2005. He was my identical twin, my best friend, my "womb mate" and my hero. He was in Chicago working on the FOX TV series Prison Break. Our entire family and I had no idea he had ever taken any drugs. I am totally devastated. I have spoken to a few groups about his death and that makes me feel good. The details surrounding his death are still unsolved. He has been portrayed throughout the world on the news and on the internet as a drug addict. His death made world-wide headlines, thanks to his position on the TV series and his death occurring at a world famous hotel. Just Google Matthew Houbrick and you will see the pain I am enduring.

Remembering Lost Promise

Michael Houston

Died Age 17 Methadone

We will never know why this happened to such a special young man but he is now God's special angel. He has an older sister and we all miss him tremendously, every second, every day. We will never be the same people that we used to be and we can only take one day at a time now. Michael, we miss and love you so much and hope you know that we will all be together soon. Please make sure and tell your children that you love them everyday because you may never get that chance again. In loving memory and in special honor of our beautiful son. ~Terry and Lisa Houston

Our son Michael died from methadone poisoning on October 2, 2002 at the young age of 17. He had been given one pill which he took a few hours before bedtime, and the last thing we heard him say to a friend on the phone was "I will see you in the morning at school". We tried to wake him up for school and then called 911 and he was taken to the hospital. He was on life support for 1½ days before we had to disconnect him from the machine that was breathing for him. We felt his heart beat for the last time that day. Michael was not a drug addict, nor was he a recreational drug user. He was good in school, loved baseball, and was very involved in church and youth activities. He had a smile that would light up the world and had a special place in his heart for children and the elderly.

Remembering Lost Promise

Jason Howard

Died Age 25 Drug Overdose

My grandfather owned a coal mine when we were growing up, so Jason had more money than he knew what to do with. He would spend as much as $10,000 dollars at a time at a local drug dealer's house. On Sept. 29th of 2005 he had agreed to check into a rehab the next morning, but the next morning my Dad found him dead in his bed. He had over dosed on four different drugs--more than twice the dose needed to kill someone. He was only 25. He left behind our father, a nephew and niece, me and my husband. Anyone who knew him loved him and misses him so much. I hope that this story will touch at least one person. We have to save one life at a time and that is my lifelong goal, to tell everyone that I can how much drugs hurt an entire family when they steal a family member away to soon!

My name is Jessica Puckett and I lost my only sibling, Jason Howard on Sept. 30, 2005. Jason was one of my best friends. Our parents divorced when I was 9 and he was 6 so I felt like it was my responsibility to take care of him. When there was no one else in our lives we had each other. Growing up he was so smart; he made straight A's up until he started taking drugs in the 7th grade. It was a long, hard battle over the past 10-12 years with the mood swings, and being in and out of rehabs and jail for drug-related crimes. He was a very caring person and would have given the clothes off of his back to someone in need. He just couldn't give up the drugs. t will be 7 years on May 11, 1999, that we lost our mother, step-father, and grandparents in a car accident the day after my second child was born. Jason always blamed himself because they wanted him to drive them to see us, but he told them that he was sick so he could stay home and get high. That was the last time he saw them. They were killed on the way home by a drunk driver who crossed the center line and killed our family. The only survivors were my 2 yearold son and the drunk driver. Jason's drug problem only got worse after that.

Remembering Lost Promise

Garrett Douglas Hughes

Died Age 22 Cocaine

undetected congenital heart defect? An immediate autopsy was done. The only abnormal finding was a trace amount of cocaine in his urine. Even a small amount of cocaine can lead to cardiac arrest. Before calling the paramedics, Garrett's frat brothers wasted precious time disposing of drugs and discussing what action to take. Fraternities across the U.S. had adopted a "gentleman's agreement" that illicit substances could be used, "so long as it did not infringe on the rights of others." The school had no policy against the use of illicit substances. Many colleges and universities are extremely unsafe, hedonistic societies that take no responsibility for the safety, welfare or behavior of students. Their "sovereign nation" status allows them to deal with crime behind closed doors with no obligation to notify parents of a student's involvement in crime. It is time for ALL states to implement and fund the "Security On Campus" and the Crime Reporting Act to help put an end to this debacle. Sandra S. Bennett

Garrett, who found life terribly exciting and fun, was the oldest of five children in a blended family. He had been a National Merit Scholar semi-finalist and lettered in sports. He loved skiing, playing basketball, soccer and lacrosse, and was an avid fly fisherman. At 6'2", slim, broad shouldered, and handsome, he never lacked for girlfriends. He was thoughtful, kind, considerate, and a champion of underdogs. He didn't smoke and was chided for disliking alcohol. When a younger brother pleaded with him to join a fraternity, Garrett agreed to join to "help keep him an eye on him." In March of his senior year, his roommate, a fellow soccer player from high school, called us. He said that Garrett had fainted in their frat room and that he had tried to do CPR but stopped because he didn't think he was doing it right. The paramedics were unable to revive him. The devastation that engulfed us can only be understood by other parents who have lost children so senselessly. We learn to endure and go about our daily life, but the anguish remains just below the surface. Before his collapse, Garrett had been playing basketball. Did he have some

Remembering Lost Promise

Shanon Hungerford

Died Age 21 Methadone & Zoloft

as a result of her loss can never be filled. Shanon touched the lives of all the people she knew. Her warm, beautiful smile and laughter would fill the room when she was present. Like so many unfortunate parents we discovered that you can raise your children in up-scale communities, provide them with the best education and nurture their spiritual life. They can be popular, talented, athletic and bright and you can love them with all of your heart. That still won't protect them from the threat of alcohol or drug abuse. As parents we were uneducated about the resources available to combat this on-going threat and we were in denial that such a thing could happen to our daughter. That is why we established The Shanon R. Hungerford Foundation. Our Foundation offers financial support to organizations that provide drug and alcohol education and treatment for affected young people and their families. In this way Shanon's name will live on and leave a lasting positive legacy. David and Miriam Hungerford

Shanon began her life in a very special way. She was the first "Test Tube Baby" in Orange County California. What is now a relatively common procedure ( In-Vitro Fertilization) was very experimental in 1982. Her birth on 10/15/82 was covered by all of the newspapers, radios and TV stations. She appeared on numerous television shows and publications including Newsweek magazine. She grew up in Orange County and attended Stoneybrooke Christian School, St. John Academy and Santa Margarita Catholic High School. She loved to play fast-pitch softball for several years but her real passion was dance. She danced throughout her youth including 3 years on the Santa Margarita High School Dance team. Upon graduation Shanon attended The University of Arizona majoring in Sociology and studying Spanish as a second language. Her plan was to join The Peace Corp in Latin America upon graduation. On April 22, 2004 we received a phone call that Shanon had been found dead in her apartment from a drug overdose. The void in this world

Remembering Lost Promise

Chris Johnson

Died Age 32 Oxycontin

What I found out later was that he was with his old girlfriend, still a drug user, and she was high as well. She didn't want to get in trouble so she waited for 2 hours before taking him to the ER. She also lied to the doctors about what he had taken, and when it happened. Unfortunately those 2 hours and her lies proved fatal. He never woke up, so I never got to say goodbye or to tell him how much I loved him. Hour by hour I sat with him as his body failed. First his kidneys shut down, then his liver failed and finally his heart gave out. It was about 9:30 AM Sunday morning when they called a code red over the PA and everyone started running. I had stepped outside to the waiting room to see my younger son. All of a sudden everyone in the room seemed to panic. I didn't realize that it was Chris who was coding. When I did and I ran inside, I couldn't watch. They were pounding on his chest and shocking his heart. All the while he lay there motionless. Finally at exactly 9:45 AM they pronounced Chris dead. I will never forget that moment. I will never be the same. Now I spend my time grieving for my oldest son and praying that my younger son, Ryan, a recovering addict, can fight this hideous disease that takes way too many young people away from us. Ryan, is going on three years clean and is very active in NA. To say that more funding is needed to ensure rehab programs are available is an understatement. Luckily when Ryan went for help there was a bed for him. Chris was not as lucky. ~Jeanne Johnson

I lost my beautiful 32 year old son on July 31, 2005. Chris died of an overdose of OxyContin. We received a call from the local Health Center to say that they had an opening. We had buried him the day before. Chris was a wonderful son and brother and a cherished grandson. He was a talented musician. He graduated from NYS University, Oneonta with a degree in Music Industry Management. He did two internships at MTV and was a Teaching Assistant in the Music program in college. He was an avid guitarist and loved music. He would do anything for anyone and everyone who knew Chris loved him. I can't remember a time he ever said "no" to anyone. In fact, that was part of his problem: he could never say no. So, when his father(my exhusband) called and asked him to come home from Florida, he did just that. And when an old girlfriend called and asked for help he said "yes" again. Unfortunately that's all it took. He was back with the old gang, dabbling in drugs again. This time no one realized it. Then on July 29th I got a call from the company he was working for, looking for him. I had spoken to him that morning at 6:45 when he called just to say "hello" and that he was on his way to work. I don't know what happened, but he never showed up and didn't return any of my calls. At 10:45 PM I got the call that every parent dreads. My son was in the hospital suffering from an overdose. I rushed there to see him, only to find out that he was in a coma. This was not the first time he had overdosed, so I thought they would give him the same medicine they gave him years ago and he would be OK.

Remembering Lost Promise

Joshua Joseph

Died Age 22 Drug Overdose

Born June 23, 1981~Died Oct 6, 2003 I put on 10 pounds in the last two months Stopped smoking all those blunts I haven't called in sick to work If only, those voices still didn't lurk But I'm stronger than them I know I am I'm going to stay clean I know I can I got my complexion back again And every night I pick up a pen To write about the day that past With these meetings I know that this will last Oh my God what did I do Now its back to rehab, #22 I missed that meeting just one day Now look at the price I have to pay I lost my family, friends, and soul, And now my life has no control Now I'm starting from day one Thank God I had put down that gun When I said this is gonna be the end And I wasn't even my own friend I know there are good things in life Happiness, friendship, and even a wife But drugs always cut me short And now I'm back at County court. The judge gave me 25 to life I think I will go grab that knife. Because I don't want to rot in jail Now instead I will rot in hell. As I look down from up above And see all these people full of love All the decisions that I regret Too much loss of self respect This shit is real whether white or, Black, purple or blue, So don't ever think it cant happen to you I thought I was smarter I thought I was cool. But now look who is really the fool. I had so much potential and there it went I had not a dollar not even a cent Now its too late to tell this to you Who knew I would die, nobody knew I send to y'all from up above With all my heart, soul and love.

Written By: Joshua Joseph, April 2002, the year before his death

As I sit and think about my life, It makes me want to grab that knife These drugs have brought me to my low Places I thought I would never go It was those feelings I tried to hide That made me feel I had no inside I thought one bag was all I would need But all I did was plant a seed Then it went to 9 or 10 Brought me right to hells den I knew a meeting was all I needed But now my plan was much defeated Now that I am on my death bed, I wish I would have listened to what my sponsor said. As I start my life over again Eating healthy go back to the gym No more trips to east New York No more trips to county court

Remembering Lost Promise

Shane Macgregor Kearns


My son Shane passed away December 19, 2001 from a drug called GHB. I miss him every second of every day. He had so much life to live ahead of him and WE, his family, had so much to look forward to WITH HIM . This will never happen as he took a chance with a devil.....GHB! His name is SHANE MACGREGOR KEARNS, MY BABY, MY SON, THE LOVE OF MY LIFE, WHO WAS STOLEN FROM ME...FROM US! WE LOVE YOU SHANE FROG ! LOVE, MOM, Nikki, Michael, and Gina Marie

Remembering Lost Promise

James Byron Keaton

Died Age 25 Cocaine

decided football was his game; we watched many a football game in the rain and cold. He'd always look for his Grandpa & me in the stands; when he spotted us, he'd give us the thumbs up. Jim lived in my garage apartment with his Rottweiller, Zeus. Boy what a pair. When Jim came into the house to eat or just hang around and mess with me, so did Zeus. Mind you, now we're talking about two very large things hanging around my very small kitchen waiting for something to eat. He would get what they wanted and go to the dining room to eat, both of them, with Zeus right at Jim's feet. Jim and I had a good relationship; we always talked. He would come up to my room and sometimes we would talk or just watch TV till the wee hours of the morning, even knowing we had to get up for work. We'd go for rides in his little car, an `83 Mazda RX 7. He loved that car. He and Zeus would go for rides too, only he'd take the front seat out for him `cuz he was so big. When I would get in, Jim would forget to bolt it back down, so you can imagine the kind of ride I'd take, rocking all over the front seat. We'd just laugh. He'd tell me to hang on and go on our way. Jim would bring me flowers (sometimes from other people's garden) for no reason at all. He'd come into the house and ask for "Parental Advice" as he would call it. He was something else. Then one night he didn't come into the house. His sister said she hadn't seen him all day, but that wasn't unusual. She knocked on his door, but he didn't answer. The music was louder than usual, so I told her to get a knife and we'd pry his lock.I'd seen him do it when he'd lock his keys in there. He was home, lying in his bed. I knew the minute I opened the door he was gone; he looked so peaceful. He had been gone about 5 hours. I don't remember too much after that except that was and always will be the worst night of my life. Jim was dead of a cocaine overdose.

My name is Margaret Keaton; my friends call me "Mugs." I was a single mom of three kids: Jim, Daniel and Dawn. Jim was a loving and caring man and a really great son. He was 25 when he died of a cocaine overdose on May 22, 1999. When I found out he was using drugs, I told him all the things a mom is supposed to say. I'm not sure when his addiction started, but when I found out I confronted him with it, he told me I worried too much, he didn't do it very often. He worked and did what he was supposed to do, so I thought maybe I was worrying more than I should. I didn't see the signs; he was the same with me before, during and up until the night he died. We didn't fight, he didn't go to rehabs. I was told he was pretty new to his addiction. Now looking back, I wish I would have talked to him more about it, but he was a man and I trusted him. That is an image I'll never forget. It's been 6 years since Jim left us and it seems like yesterday Jim was born on Valentines Day, 1974, in Yuma Arizona. I was scared about being a single mom, his Dad decided early he wasn't ready to be a Dad, so it was just Jim and me; we did everything together. We moved back to Ohio to be with my family. In 1977, I had twins Danny & Dawn. Jim wasn't too impressed with having not only one sibling, but two. But he was a good big brother. As the kids got older, they had their moments. All-in-all they were good kids and stuck by each other and me. Jim grew to be a very caring, gentle, loving, and a very charming young man. Kids of any age, and adults of any age all loved him, no matter who he was with. They had a good time laughing, talking or playing. Jim started working at 14; things weren't always easy for us , and he felt the need to help--he didn't have to, he just did. In between his working after school and his chores at home he played baseball and football, and he was very good at both. In high school he

Remembering Lost Promise


Died Age 30 Heroin

Khalid was born on August 29, 1972. In 1989, we met on the playground at our local library. He was skateboarding there and, for two summers, my friends and his hung out together. We lost touch, and in 1994 we met up again. We immediately became best friends. As our relationship evolved and became even closer, we had a son in June of 1996. Khalid was an amazing person and father when he wasn't using drugs, but as soon as his addiction became worse, he spent most of our relationship and our son's life in jail, on the streets, or in rehab. In 2000, he went to rehab and then left for Arizona with a girl he met there. She got him hooked on heroin. Even though we lost touch for so long, when we did talk or see each other, it was as if time had stood still and things were like they had been so many years before. Then, for Christmas 2002, he came back home to Pennsylvania. On April 20, 2003, I took my son to see his dad in the hospital. This was the first time since 1998 that Khalid had seen his son. Exactly one month later on May 20, 2002, my best friend, my soul mate, and my son's father died from a heroin overdose at a library in Trenton, New Jersey. They found him in a bathroom stall with the needle still in his arm. With his death went half of my heart, half of my soul, and all of my hopes and dreams. My life hasn't been the same since. He will forever hold a special place in my heart and I can't wait till the day we meet again. Thank you for letting me share my story. ~Christina

Remembering Lost Promise

Patrick Kibler

Died Age 21 Killed by Drugged Driver

Patrick was born and raised in Anchorage, Alaska. He and his family moved to the Portland, Oregon area in 1995. Patrick was home schooled through the 7th grade and graduated from Westside Christian High School in 2001. His brothers, Kevin and Scott, received his B.A. posthumously for him from George Fox University in Business Management May 2005. Above all, Patrick was a Christian and devoted to a strong relationship with Jesus Christ. Next came his family and his focus on being a good role model for Kevin and Scott, his brothers. He especially loved playing basketball with his brothers and spending free time with them. Patrick also spent a lot of time coaching and working with Scott in his basketball skills. Patrick & Kevin spent a lot of time lifting weights & comparing muscle size. Patrick had a passion for marketing, architecture, & biographies. He loved to travel & planned on living in New York City with his future wife, Liz Clark, where he had an internship with a large marketing firm. Scott planned to follow by attending Columbia University. His hobbies included movies, music, photography, extreme sports ( scuba diver all over the world, waterskiing, snow skiing, bungee jumped 2nd highest peak in the world in New Zealand, parachuting, parasailing, rode his bike 20 mile a day, rock climbing,etc.). He had traveled all over the world. He had jobs as a personal trainer, basketball referee, and was a clothing model for Abercrombie & Fitch. Patrick had beautiful eyes that were transplanted to give sight to four people. One of which was a 31 year old male. Patrick (21) and his brother Scott (14) were going to the local gym 12-21-2004 at 10 p.m. and then returning home to watch a late movie with their Mom, Vickie, and their middle brother Kevin (17) when they were hit by a 26 year old, 3rd year law student and taken in 2 ambulances to the hospital. Patrick died at 1:00 a.m. 12-22-2004. Scott was in a coma with a fractured skull, 2 deflated lungs, and many other broken limbs. The car driven by the other driver (who was 2.5 times the legal limit from alcohol 2 hours after the crash) came up the hill at a high speed and when Patrick realized he couldn't get away from her, he turned the car and took the full impact of the crash and saved his brother Scott's life. Patrick died from a severed aorta. The other driver has been charged with Manslaughter 2, Criminal Assault 3, DUI, 2 counts of possession of concealed narcotics (cocaine) in her car and at home. She was also on prescription drugs with no driving warnings. She was released into her Mother's custody & is still driving on the same road. The pre-trial motions begin Aug. 3rd & the trial begins Aug. 8, 2006. His family has established a scholarship fund in his honor at George Fox University. The fund has been used by the Sr. Business Capstone class to create entrepreneurial businesses. The fund has already more than doubled itself. His Dad, John, wants to diversify some of the funds next year and begin an investment club spring 2007. His friends have honored him at their weddings and other events. His family has been interviewed several times for television and newspapers. His mom has become active by speaking before more than 4500 students so far this year. She gives out the web site address created in Patrick's memory and her e-mail address. She hears from many of the students and then passes them on to Oregon Partnership's help lines. We are given our precious children. Some we are allowed to enjoy for a long time...others only briefly. But each child has the power to change and enrich us, to make us better human beings. Patrick left behind a special love for everyone that knew him...a love that will last forever. His life was not in vain. ~ Vicki Kibler

Remembering Lost Promise

Karla-Rae Kiggin

Died Age 19 Pills & Alcohol

Karla-Rae had a seizure, and it took a half an hour for the ambulance to arrive. There was nothing they could do--when they got there she was unresponsive and passed on. She will always be loved and never be forgotten. ~Delita Kiggin

Karla-Rae was born January 4, 1983. She grew up to be a beautiful, clever and very compassionate young lady. Thanksgiving, November 2002, Karla-Rae and a few friends went for the weekend to the desert in Ocatilla Wells in California. They were all drinking tequila shots and doing cocktails which consisted of Soma, Darvon, Benadryl, Valium, cocaine, and methamphetamine.

Remembering Lost Promise

Joshua Laning

Died Age 20 Morphine

My son, Joshua B. Laning, passed away on June 18, 2005. He was only 20 years old. On that day his friend, Anthony North, age 19, also died. Some young man came up with the idea of boiling morphine patches and drinking the solution. He lived. I was not aware that my son did "drugs." His problem was with the legal drug...alcohol. From what I have been able to find out, Josh and Anthony were so drunk that they were not able to make the right decision. They saw the others do it, so they figured "what the heck." Their mistake cost them their lives.

A day does not go by that I just want to shake him and say "What were you thinking?"....but I already know the answer...they weren't. Peace and Love to us all, ~Karen Laning...forever Joshua's Mom

Remembering Lost Promise

Zack Larison

Died Age 12 Inhalants

criminal because she was the last one to see him alive. When they let me back into my house, the can of hairspray was sitting on Zack's night stand. I asked where the found it and they said it was on the floor up at the head of the bed. When I left for work in was on my dresser. I lost my only son and Sami lost her brother. Zack touched many people's lives--from helping to shovel snow to cutting grass. He was only 12. He enjoyed life so much: football, bike riding, and skate boarding. He had his whole life ahead of him, but it was cut short. I want parents of all kids, no matter how old, to talk too them about "huffing." I spoke once shortly after Zack's death. I have also tried getting some type of program going in our community, but that has been useless because no one really cares. But it's happening all around us! I have no idea if this was his first or twentieth time of doing this, but it took his life. I will never know. I will never hear his laugh again or see his smile. I wanted to teach him to drive--all the things a parent wants to do for their child have been taken away. Watching Zack and Sami playing X-Box, hearing them laughing, or fighting; it doesn't matter. All I have left are precious memories of him that I hold so close to my heart now. Please post this story for all those parents out there. Thank You, Vicki Larison

On July 31 2004, my life changed forever. I lost my son to inhalants. I never knew about "huffing." I did know about all of the other drugs out there, and had talked with both of my children about them. Before I went to work on that Saturday, I went into Zack's room to say goodbye; that I was leaving. He looked at me and said "OK, I love you too" and I left. I called later that day too check in with my daughter, Sami, who was 15. She said Zack had been outside playing and kept checking in. I told her that a pizza was ordered for dinner and it would be coming soon. Zack came in and ate and told Sami he was going to take a bath. She heard him making noise and then she heard him go into his bedroom and close the door. I got home between 5:30 and 6 pm. Sami told me that Zack was sleeping and she had checked on him. I had that feeling that something wasn't right and I went to wake him up; I got no response. I shook him and still nothing. When I rolled him over I noticed something was wrong; he wasn't breathing. I screamed for Sami to call 911. My best friend and two neighbors started CPR until the EMTs got there. They took him to the hospital, but it was too late. It wasn't until later at the funeral home that I was told he had died from an "accidental" inhalation of aerosol hairspray. But before I found that out, the police treated my house as a crime scene and also treated my daughter as a

Remembering Lost Promise

Dan LaSelle

Died Age 19 Spring Break Fatality

My 19 year-old son, Dan, died March 20th, 1999. He was in Rocky Point, Mexico celebrating Spring Break. After drinking heavily and probably doing some drugs he was hit by a car walking back to the hotel. I t has been almost 7 years and on some days it still feels like yesterday. ~ Kris LaSelle

Remembering Lost Promise

Jennifer Lee

Died Age 28 Heroin & Alcohol

her to speak to the counselors at the clinic. You pay for her to go into rehab twice. She walked out twice. I used to call her every day and jokingly say, "I'm calling to make sure you are ok and alive today". She would laugh. Jennifer and I were best friends and she would tell me everything. There were times when I really just didn't want to know. I may not have liked what she was telling me but I always made sure that I ended every conversation we had by saying "I love you". And I feel somewhat comforted because those are the last words I ever said to her and the last words she heard from me. About 6 months before she died, Jennifer started drinking. She talked herself into thinking that it would be easier to substitute alcohol for heroin and then get off of alcohol. Obviously, I questioned this logic. You watch your child (even at 28 years old, she was my child) and feel helpless. Thus began a spiral downhill. Jennifer was taking methadone, slipping in heroin once in a while and drinking. Her last evening was spent drinking and having that one last high on heroin. She didn't plan on dying that night; she just wanted to get high. The next morning you get a phone call from the hospital calling about your daughter. They tell you it is very, very serious. You ask over and over again if she is alive and all they continue to say is it is very serious. That was the day a piece of my heart died. I have a big gaping hole and the pain is so horrible I don't know how I will get out of bed or get through the day. You spend hours thinking about the "what if 's" and feeling guilty. Why couldn't I save my daughter, why couldn't I help her? She had all of the tools: a loving family, a good education, information about drugs and its dangers, but it was not enough. She had an illness that was just too hard to overcome. The more I reach out to find support from parents like me, the more I learn just how widespread a problem drug addiction is. If telling Jennifer's story can open the eyes of just one teen to its dangers, then Jennifer is still here, that bright shinning star. ~ Sandi Lee McClure

Jennifer was a star that came to us on May 14, 1977. She was the most beautiful child with curly hair that sparkled in the sun. From grade school and all the way until high school, Jennifer flew through the air as a gymnast. Her favorite event was the bars. Once she entered high school, she moved on to the high school marching band flag team. She also joined the Velvet Knights Drum and Bugle Corps and traveled the country each summer for 3 years. She graduated high school with honors and went on to receive her Bachelor's degree at Loyola Marymount University. Jennifer was a soul with two sides. Jennifer was also a rebel in conflict. She was strong willed, independent and had her own way of doing things. She drifted into a life that seemed to take a hold and not let go. She tried so hard to break away. Above is part of what was written at her "Celebration of Life" service that I had to plan. What mother ever thinks that their beautiful 28 year-old daughter would die from a drug overdose? Jennifer came from a pretty typical middle class family. She was an only child, the first granddaughter and very loved and spoiled. She was extremely bright and excelled in all of her classes throughout her education. Unfortunately, the illness of addiction ran on both sides of her family. Her dad and I tried to educate her about drugs and alcohol but Jennifer started smoking marijuana and taking "speed" at age 15. At 16, she was experimenting with speed and acid until she had a seizure and it scared her so much that she quit for a while. When she got her own car, she and her friends started driving to teen clubs and rave parties. As parents, her dad and I were not blind to her change in personality, behavior and friends. Jennifer always felt her drug addition was under control. When she woke up one morning to find that her roommate died of a heroin overdose on the couch, she said, "Mom, you will never have to worry about me doing that." She spent 8 years in a methadone program trying to stay off of heroin. She also told me how terrified she was to be clean, to feel her emotions without any drug to help. As a mother what do you say? You are desperate to help your daughter and you are terrified that something awful might happen. You try to convince

Remembering Lost Promise

Dana Levine

Died Age 33 Heroin & Alcohol

Peace, my friend...and I thank you for listening to this woman spill a little of her heart and mind to someone who understands. I sit and hope he hears this ..... "The Monster's gone!! He's on the run and your Mommy's near. Beautiful, Beautiful, Beautiful, Beautiful Boy....Darlin', darlin', darlin' child" ~ John Lennon You are forever missed, my Dana...I love you. ~ Jodi Levine

How does a mother explain what it's like to have lost her first born son to heroin? How do I explain the way it feels to see the police come to your door...the way that you know before any words are spoken that the words they are going to say are "He's dead."? My son, Dana, died of a heroin overdose at 33. He was found in a schoolyard, left to die. He had been clean for 18 months. I look at this drug like a cancer. I can tell you I have lost part of me and I have not been the same since this happened. I can tell you I would give anything to have him back to just hug him and hold him close. I wear my Dana's ashes in a locket around my neck close to my heart...his urn next to my nightstand...with cards I continue to write everyday to him. I sing to him.

Remembering Lost Promise

Eric William Lomnicki

Died Age 27 Drug-related Heart Attack

The support we've received from family and friends has been overwhelming. If you were at the wake would understand the love that was in that room. It will never be forgotten. Eric is now free to ride God's waves with a clear head and smile that is unforgettable. Surf 's up, Eric! Rest in peace. ~Billy Lomnicki 2/7/01

As a family, we try to help people who are struggling with addiction, as well as their families, who are always affected along with them. This is a national and global problem and until the government truly understands the scope of this problem, we are just treading water. This is an enormous, out of control catastrophe to the human race. Sincerely, Nancy R. Lomnicki Following is a story that my husband wrote the day after his wake.... A Father's Story For those of you who don't know, my son Eric passed away on Saturday, February 3, 2001, at the age of 27. Eric, like me, loved the outdoors and was basically raised on Democrat Point, Fire Island, New York and on Shagwong Point, Montauk, New York. He loved to fish, and later on in his short life he became an avid surfer. He was like me with my fishing poles; he had a surfboard for every day of the week! He also was a terrific ice hockey player from the age of 5. The saying then was, "A kid on ice is a kid out of hot water." Then something happened; slowly, unknowingly, before my eyes. Eric became an alcoholic and progressed to become a drug abuser. He was suffering with psychological problems and tried to medicate himself to mask his feelings. He had been in and out of rehabs for the last three years. After a long struggle with mental and drug problems, Eric succumbed to a heart attack on Saturday. The only consolation that I have is that he died peacefully in his sleep. It has been said that the worst thing to happen to a parent is to bury one of your children. To see the devastating effect on my wife and two beautiful, supportive daughters cannot be put into words. The only words I can give you are what actor Carol O'Connor said, "Do anything you have to do to get between your kids and drugs!" We fought the hell of drug abuse on a daily basis. You just don't want to go through what my family is going through now.

Remembering Lost Promise

David O. Loubier, Jr.

Died Age 25 Heroin

My only brother, David O. Loubier, Jr. died of a heroin overdose on April 27th, 2005 at age 25. His life was taken much too early. Although he fought his addiction for 5 years, he always managed to smile for us. His laugh was contagious, his smile lit up our lives, and living every day without him has been difficult. But, I am so grateful that I did have the 25 years with him--as he was my best friend and greatest confidant. We all miss him terribly and think about him every moment. He was one of 5; my parent's only son, he had 4 sisters! He always joked that he was the "king" and truth be told, he

was. And always will be. Words cannot express how touched I am that you are holding this vigil for our lost children/siblings--sometimes I feel like they are the "forgotten" ones, but we will never forget and I hope that your vigil will bring more attention to the epidemic killing our children everyday. God bless you all and thank you from our entire family. Love, Noelle E. Loubier

Remembering Lost Promise

Cindy M

Died Age 41 Fentanyl, Oxycontin, Alcohol

were. Her spirit was broken and she felt she was not a worthwhile person. She received no support at home and was even encouraged to drink more. She bought her husband a safe to keep his pain medicine in but he would leave it unlocked. She died suddenly and unexpectedly because of his pain medicine (Fentanyl), her own prescriptions and alcohol. Minimal amounts of each, but lethal together. Her son, mom, dad, and sister are devastated over her death. Her husband is in an assisted living facility. Now her son is essentially an orphan, but fortunately is being encouraged and supported by his aunt, uncle and grandparents. The lessons to be learned from Cindy's life are: DO NOT use alcohol and drugs and if you are in an abusive situation, LEAVE immediately, before your self-respect is gone making you unable to leave.

Our beloved Cindy was a sweet loving mother, daughter, sister and wife. She was so helpful and nurturing that she became a registered nurse. This giving nature led her down a dark road to addiction. She had a totally irresponsible boyfriend, who was later her husband that she took care of like a child. He never worked again after he moved into Cindy's house. He was abusive to her, both physically and mentally. She handled the entire home, their children, the bills and everything else while he did nothing. Eventually his health failed from drinking beer and abusing drugs. Then Cindy became severely stressed by caring for him along with the rest of her super human role. She turned to alcohol and his pain medicine (OxyContin). Her life spiraled downhill from there. Health, work, licenses, respect, etc. were lost due to addiction. She tried rehab many times but would return home to where the alcohol, drugs, abuse and disrespect

Remembering Lost Promise

Robert "Bobby" Magee

Died Age 48 Prescription Drugs & Heroin

had a great personality and would give you anything he had, just because you were his friend. Even through his battles with his addictions, he wanted to help others, even those who ultimately would have to walk away from Bobby as the pain of seeing Bobby destroy himself became too great. His biggest impact on society will be the care and welfare he showed toward abandoned and abused dogs and cats that were found in California; he worked hard as a volunteer at animal shelters and came to love several animals that became his "adopted children" that he took home with him to his ranch home in California. When Bobby died, he left seven loving dogs and three cats that previously lived a horribly abusive life that Bobby had rescued them from. On April 16th, 2002, Bobby died of an overdose of prescription painkillers, combined with heroin. Bobby left behind his wife Beverly, his adopted pets, and sadly, a promise that can't be fulfilled. That promise was one of caring for each and every abused animal that needed love in the worst way. Special Agent Ken Magee, DEA, Bobby's brother

Robert "Bobby" Magee was born in Ann Arbor Michigan in 1953 and was the oldest of the four sons of Bettie and Kenneth Magee. Bobby was afforded the privilege of being raised in a wonderful family and received a fine education from some of the most prestigious private schools in the United States. Bobby had three loves in his life, Beverly (his wife), music, and animals. He had no problem talking about any of the three and his enthusiasm shined when he spoke of the dogs and cats, that he had adopted that were abused and homeless. As a young teenager, while involved in the pop music culture of the 60's, Bobby began to experiment with drugs, started with marijuana and the result lead Bobby to a series of addictions to various drugs thoughout his life. The addictions were many, from heroin to cocaine, to alcohol, and ultimately, prescription drugs. Each and every day was a struggle for Bobby to combat these numerous addictions, a sharp mind was being dulled by the continued drug use and those who loved and cared for Bobby, suffered as well. Bobby Magee was a guy whom everyone loved, he

Remembering Lost Promise

Christopher Jacob Mainhart

Died Age 24 Heroin & Cocaine

bed and it wasn't until many hours later the next day that my parents suspected something was wrong. They knew exactly what had happened when they entered his room. Chris died on August 24, 2003 of a combined accidental drug overdose of heroin and cocaine. It was a day that would change many people's lives forever. It has been almost three years and I still cannot believe that he is gone. I live 350 miles away from where he used to live with my mom and dad. When I go back to visit, I often think he is going to walk through the door with a big grin on his face. The pain is just as strong today as it was the day he died. There is a huge hole in my heart that will never be filled. If only I told him how much I loved him before he died.... ~ Vicki Haas

Chris was born on March 30, 1979. He was my only sibling, my big brother. He was always the life of the party, the intelligent one, the good looking one and as long as he put his mind to something he could make it happen. He enjoyed fishing, watching sports and was an avid NASCAR fan. He loved spending time with his friends and hanging out at the Eagles. At some point Chris found life to be difficult, so he started experimenting with alcohol and then eventually drugs. His appearance and personality changed along with the friends he was hanging out with. He did not want his life to be this way, so he went to rehab twice. He was doing very well fighting with his addiction the last several months of this life. When he was out with a couple of his "good" friends he ran into one of his "bad" friends. This triggered him to have a relapse. He came home late that Saturday night in a very good mood. He went to

Remembering Lost Promise

Joshua Malta

Died Age 22 Heroin

My son, Joshua, passed away in August, 2002; my sister in July, 1999 of herion overdose. Josh was 22; Lori was 34. I just can't understand what happened to my family. I just know it has to stop. Drugs have destroyed my family, and the goverment does NOTHING. I know if it was their son or sister, something would be done to stop it. I have met many wonderful women who have lost children; it doesn't matter where you come from, or what your status is. DRUGS KILL. LET US STOP THE KILLING! lET THEM SEE OUR PAIN! LET US DEMAND ACTION! LET OUR CHILDREN AND FAMILIES SPEAK ONE MORE TIME! As my son would say "WORD!" ~ Christine Malta

Remembering Lost Promise

David Manlove

Died Age 16 Inhalants

By the time school ended in early June, David was looking forward to the summer, finding a job, earning money to buy a car and trying to win back some of our trust. But his continued desire to get high was very powerful, more powerful than we knew and more importantly, than he knew himself. And so on a beautiful, warm, sunny Saturday the second week in June, he got up early, mowed the lawn and asked if he could go out with friends. He ended up at the home of a friend, swimming in their backyard pool. At lunch time the girls went into the house to eat but David and another boy said they wanted to go to a nearby fast food place. However they went instead to a drug store and bought a can of computer duster. Months earlier, David had discovered he could get high by inhaling the propellant from computer duster and the chemical would not show up on drug screens routinely administered by the treatment facility. The boys returned, got back into the pool and began inhaling the propellant from the computer duster while standing in the pool's shallow end. In order to intensify the high, David began diving underwater while inhaling the propellant. However, after the third or fourth time he didn't come back up. At first the kids thought he was just fooling around, but after a minute his friend pulled David out of the water while the girls ran for help. Paramedics arrived within minutes and began desperate attempts to revive him. They rushed him to a nearby hospital while continuing CPR. However, the toxic chemical in the propellant had frozen David's lungs and interrupted the electrical activity of his heart, putting him into cardiac arrest. After almost an hour of life saving efforts, after being assured by the doctor in

This is a story about a many ways just your typical high school boy. Growing up David was warmly affectionate, respectful but mischievous, fun seeking, daring, always willing to take a risk. He made friends easily, joined the Cub Scouts, was a conscientious student. Athletically talented, David enjoyed all manner of sports. He particularly excelled in baseball, played on a Little League champion team that went undefeated when he was 9 years old, and carried his love of and talent for the game on through to high school. A popular young man, David displayed a humility and compassion for others that attracted friends from all circles. When we discovered that David had been involved in a couple of incidents of drinking alcohol and smoking pot when he was 13 and 14, we reiterated our rules that alcohol and drug use was unacceptable, and imposed what we felt were appropriate consequences. As parents who spent our teen and young adult years in the late 6-`s and 70's, we believed that we would know the signs of serious drug use, and thought David's actions were just experimentation that lots of kids go through. But we were wrong. With the urging of our older son Josh, we finally came to the realization that David's drug and alcohol use had escalated and we were at a loss at how to deal with it ourselves. In January 2001 we sought professional treatment for David, by then 16, at a local drug and alcohol treatment facility. While tentative at first, Dave did well in the program. He attended therapy faithfully, participated fully in discussions, publicly acknowledged that he was struggling with addiction, and began participating in Twelve-Step meetings.

Remembering Lost Promise

David Manlove, Cont'd

the emergency room that they had done everything they could, we did one of the hardest things a parent will ever do ­ we asked the team to stop, and they did. Two weeks before David died, we had a suspicion that he was inhaling computer duster. When confronted about it, he denied it vehemently, declared that he knew how dangerous it was, and vowed that he would never do something so stupid. Exasperated, we asked "David, where are you going with all this, what are you doing with your life?' With all the earnestness of his 16 years, he replied "I want to do something with my life. I want to be a doctor like my grandfather. I want to make a difference." In sharing his story, we believe David is making a difference. ~ Kim & Marissa Manlove ~

Remembering Lost Promise

Efrain Marrero

Died Age 19 Suicide / Steroids

A GENTLE GIANT Presented by Frank and Brenda Marrero before his death, Efrain told us that he was using steroids and was afraid that something was terribly wrong. He said that in one of his classes, he felt as if people were staring at him and laughing, and also said "Dad, I don't care for much anymore". Until this conversation, the thought of our son using steroids never crossed our mind. After he disclosed he was using steroids, we did what any responsible and caring parent would do: we told him that using steroids was wrong and that he needed to stop, and he did. We then consulted our family physician who assured us the substances would pass out of his system soon--no further action was required. Little did we know that advising our son to quit using steroids "cold turkey" was ill-advised, and that our family physician failed to provide us with an appropriate course of action. Three weeks later, on September 26, 2004, Efrain killed himself, and left no doubt in our families' and friends' minds that the deep depression associated with the use and sudden withdrawal of steroids led to our beautiful son's death. In loving memory of our son, we founded The Efrain Anthony Marrero Foundation, Fighting Against Steroids Together, m

A short time ago, we arrived home to a scene that has shattered the very fabric of our family -- a horror that is forever seared in our souls. We found our oldest son, Efrain, in our bedroom, dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. At age nineteen, Efrain had grown to be a fine, respectable and loving young man. Sure, he had his share of youthful stumbles along the way, but he responded well to our guidance. He had the highest respect for his parents and was very kind at heart. He adored his baby brother, Ethyn, and younger sister, Erika. He was raised in a solidly Christian home, and had embraced his faith. A hard working young man, he was attending a local community college, studying hard...he had a plan for his life, a direction. We couldn't have loved him more! Efrain was preparing to play football at the community college he was attending, but didn't want to play his normal position of lineman. He wanted a more prestigious position of linebacker. Efrain began using steroids, under the impression that it would make him bigger, stronger, faster, and earn him the title and recognition he so much desired. Efrain, unaware of the serious side-affects of steroids, began to experience severe paranoia and deep depression, but did the right thing and turned to his parents, mom and dad, for help. Approximately three weeks

Remembering Lost Promise

David Andrew Marshall

Died Age 38 Multiple Prescription Drugs

therefore, depriving his brain of oxygen. Andy was found the next morning with the TV remote still in his hand; his lunch was packed and ready for work, and his new boots were by the door. I didn't feel as if I were in the right room a couple of days later when we were standing around his bed as we watched the life support being removed. You've heard all the clichés before, "I was numb. It can't be happening. It doesn't seem real. It must be a dream. Not my child. Take me instead. Why?" I've not heard one, or any combination, for that matter, of those clichés that can accurately describe the emotions. Andy is survived by a large loving family that misses him continually and will honor him on Father's Day, his birthday, and during our family celebrations. We miss you Andy. Prayer works. We are praying that the new awareness of prescription drug overdoses will result in tougher laws, more education of the public and consumer, and more responsibility in the medical and drug professions. Pray with us. Penn Marshall Orlando

February 28, 2006, at 38, our oldest son, David Andrew Marshall, went to be with his Heavenly Father following a multiple prescription drug overdose. Treatment from a minor traffic accident rekindled a dormant substance abuse demon. With a promising new career in management, an adoring fiancé, a hero-worshipping daughter, and a clean and sober lifestyle, everything was going better for Andy than it had in years. Relationships with family were all healed and growing. Spirituality and his walk with God had recently taken on a more important roll in his life. The prescribed pain relievers and muscle relaxants soon became less effective and with the newly re-acquired taste Andy needed more to "maintain." Unfortunately, there are medical professionals who are less than ethical, cautious and/or thorough in their prescription writing. When these two meet they create a deadly combination. On that Sunday evening, Andy "accidentally" took so much medication that he went into such a deep sleep that he stopped breathing and ultimately his heart stopped;

Remembering Lost Promise

Jeremy James Mason

Died Age 25 Heroin

To the World you were one person To us you were the World

Jeremy was the most amazing person and we are forever grateful that we were honoured by his being part our family. He first tried heroin at the age of 14. No, he wasn't in with the wrong crowd; just normal boys like him going to a private boys school who were all risk-takers, in all forms of life. 29th November 1978 saw my world change forever; Jeremy James Mason was born. A child that radiated life, whose eyes lit up every room he ever went into, who had the special gift to be able to touch people that he made contact with. At the age of 18 months, he would introduce himself by walking, holding out his hand and saying, "Just call me Jezza." Jeremy's first quote on life was, "The meaning of life is in the discovery," and boy, did he decide to discover it all. Throughout his childhood, Jeremy had numerous parts of his body stitched together due to the risks he enjoyed taking. If it was dangerous, Jeremy was doing it. When supervising his brother, yet again, in how to dig a hole, Jeremy was standing just above the shovel line. He ended up needing another 8 stitches in the head, but not before having the nursing staff spend time chasing him as he took off when the syringe was brought out. Ironically, the one thing he was really terrified of was injections. Jeremy was a great sports person, very team-orientated, Aussie rules, basketball, baseball, rowing, just taken in his stride. He also loved surfing and his greatest love was snowboarding. Jeremy had great pride in the college he attended; he knew he was very privileged. He entered in grade 3 and an extremely strong bond with a group of 13 boys begun. The female influence came from the neighboring girls colleges. This was the group that wanted to try everything, and in year 8 they began to smoke marijuana. The week before Jeremy's death, Lizette died from an OD in Melbourne, and her parents decided on an open coffin at

Remembering Lost Promise

Jeremy James Mason, cont'd 2

the door of the school chapel so that the young people would have to walk around it to enter, and see the results of what they were doing to themselves. On a September afternoon in 1992, Jeremy came home and I could see he wanted to tell me something. I assumed it was regarding a new girlfriend. How wrong I was. At dinner, he eventually told me that, at Paul's house that day, he had tried heroin. Two doses had been put onto the billiard table with a dare from the others, and Jeremy and Adrian tried it for the first time. It wasn't what he thought it would be. He really didn't expect to use it again, but of course he did, again and again. Our war had begun. During year 11 and 12, Jeremy tried lots of drugs, his emotions were all over the place, and all I could do was try to keep him healthy, make sure he was clean, stabilize the emotions, and try to help with his studies. He started to lose interest in his appearance and hardly ate. A lot of parents would have put this down to the pressure of the VCE, but he was honest and told me what he had been up to. I just didn't know what to do. This period saw us seeking help with counselors, help lines, etc. The advice I was given, by more than one avenue, was to kick him out if he is using heroin: you've lost him, they said, and he needs to hit rock bottom. He was 17 years of age. With the help of a wonderful college counselor, Jeremy managed to finish his VCE with a score high enough to get into Psychology at Swinburne University in Melbourne. His dream was to be able to help young kids and teenagers. He moved into student quarters and had a beautiful girlfriend Tori. This relationship was on and off up to the time of his death. Tori just could not deal with the drug issue: every time he was trying to become clean, she was there for him. The next 4 years were tough. He was doing burglaries to support his habit, he wasn't eating, he looked very ill; we did all within our power to help him to just survive. He left university--no point in staying on when you were a high achiever--and now couldn't submit a report. He began to drift and live on the streets in Fitzroy where we searched for him. Eventually he moved to the Flinders Ranges with us. He attempted 3 rapid detoxes, but was still very anti rehab. He needed to take the next step. We discovered the discrimination against Jeremy and ourselves by some of the medical fraternity as well as the local community not wanting to mix with those types of people. We had to drive to another town 1½ hours away to collect his daily beutomorphine, as the 6 local chemists refused to help. Then there was the 4-hour drive to Adelaide after the local doctor refused to treat him for a large swelling on his leg and simply gave him an antihistamine tablet and sent him home. We then drove to Adelaide to an emergency department. He was admitted in incredible pain with a thrombosis in his leg. The associated crime eventually saw him locked up in the Adelaide police cells. Once more, lady luck was on his side. After the court cases, he decided to move back to Melbourne, even though we saw this as a bad move. He hit rock bottom. He decided to go into rehab. He chose Miraki on the Goldcoast where he spent the next 5 months and then 3 months in the halfway house. He was going back and doing volunteer work at the rehab. He felt he was useful and was finally able to help. Miraki was a miracle for Jeremy. A memorable call from Jeremy was when I picked up the phone and heard him saying, "I'm back. I just got lost amongst my issues and the drugs in the last few years, but I'm back to stay now. Mum I can't promise you I will never use again­as I like it­but I will try, as I don't like the person it makes me become." He applied for 72 jobs in one week and did not get one interview. His self esteem was on the way down. As I wasn't well, he came down to help run my shop while reapplying to continue his studies. On his second visit to Narcotics Anonymous in Newcastle, he brought heroin. He told his brother, who asked him not to use it when he was alone. On Monday morning, June 14, 2004 I got a phone call from my sons, inviting me to see Harry Potter as it was mum's type of film. We decided to go in the evening, when Kane got back from the gym. Jeremy phoned me at 5:30pm to say Kane was at the gym, and as soon as he got back we would go.

Remembering Lost Promise

Jeremy James Mason, cont'd 3

Kane returned at 5:40pm to find Jeremy had OD'd on heroin. He attempted to resuscitate Jeremy while waiting for the ambulance officers to arrive. By the time we arrived at John Hunter Hospital at 5 past 6, our beautiful eldest son had been declared dead at 6 pm. We sat and held him. I remember a doctor saying what a beautiful, healthy looking man he was, and what a waste. The staff was very kind and respectful, of both Jeremy and us. An autopsy had to be performed which told us that he had took of an overdose of nearly pure morphine. He was dead before he hit the floor. We had Jeremy cremated in Newcastle, and took his ashes to Mount Buller where he would be at his most favorite place in the world, sitting on a rock above the snowline , listening to the lift music and watching the sun rise for each new day for now and for all eternity. His friends from St Kevin's were there to say their final farewell to the guy who used to get the girls for them, with his eyes and smile that captivated so many people. Miraki had a service and planted a tree with a plaque. They were stunned by his totally unexpected, meaningless death. St Kevin's had a memorial mass for him where his former teachers, friends and their parents attended in disbelief. I received phone calls from mothers of some of these young men who wanted me to reassure them that their sons were drug free. I gave them the FDS help line number. Jeremy's aim in life was to make one person happy every day of his life, and through his detoxes, he was constantly saying, "Mum, I am still the same special guy that you brought up. I still have a good heart and I pride myself on trying to be the nicest, kindest, most caring person I could possibly be." Yes, my son, you do have a good heart, and you were loved by many for it, and I am so proud of you. Throughout the darkness, Jeremy had a dream and kept a note book on all of his illegal activities, dates and names, with the belief that he would be able to right all his wrongs one day-- when he was able to live his life free from crime and heroin. We were not able to walk in his steps, but we walked by his side, and what a journey we had, the high highs and the low lows and not a lot in-between. We fought a hard battle, but we lost the war, and our life now must continue, with only memories: the good and the bad and the ugly, and hopefully our experiences may be able to save someone somewhere. A friend gave me the following which I believe explains why it is so hard to comprehend a child's death: The death of one's parents is to lose the past The death of one's partner is to lose the present The death of one's child is to lose the future ~ Catherine Bott

Remembering Lost Promise

Scott Graeme McGinnis, RN

Died Age 31 Multiple Drug Overdose

This is our beloved son, Scott Graeme McGinnis, RN. Scott was an EMT/Paramedic/RN who died from a multiple drug overdose on December 1, 2002, at the age of 31 years, 4 months, 2 days. He left behind a loving family including his mom and dad, brother, grandfather, girlfriend, his beloved dog and four beloved cats and many friends. Scott was a kind and caring human being. He lived and loved passionately, always rescuing stray animals. He was a tender, compassionate nurse. Unfortunately, he could not overcome his addiction gene and he battled to get and stay sober for 14 years. He lost his battle 3 weeks before Christmas 2002 and left a tremendous void in the hearts of all of us. We love him and miss him every single second of our lives. He said to me, "Mom, nobody wakes up one day and decides to be a drug addict." This can happen to anyone and I hope anyone who sees his handsome face and reads his story which can be found at will get some help if they have an addiction. This is not the life that Scott wanted for himself. He would not want anyone else to suffer as he did and as his family has ­ and still does to this day. Addiction is a disease. Please get help if you need it. Sincerely, Sherry McGinnis, Loving Mom of Scott

Remembering Lost Promise

Matthew McKinney

Died Age 17 Heroin

phone call matt was injected with 66% pure Herion. His friend didnt know what to do with him after he passed out and was afraid to get in trouble,so he drove around until 3am with matt passed out in his car. He finally brought matt to his mothers house and told her matt was drunk.(the autopsy showed no alcohol in his system). The mother checked on him twice that night covering him with a blanket and never called for help. Matt's friend is now serving 2 years in Federal prison for lieing to the authorities about the details of the night matt died. The dealer was recently found guilty on 5 counts, with the 1st one being distibution causing wrongful death and will be sentenced on 7-11-06 to a mandatory life sentence without parole. I know this does not bring my son home,however there is justice for Matt and all the kids lost to herion and those addicted because of these dealers. ~ Mary DeBoer

Matthew was a typical teenager. Full of adventure, mischief and zest for life. He took pride in his friendships and made many friends along lifes journey. As I look back on his life, I see someone who always tried to make other people happy, not understanding his own saddness inside. When Matt was 13 years old he tried pot for the first time because a friend dared him to do it. He always said "My Friends got my back". He would do anything for his friends, and exspected the same in return. By the time matt was 14 his grades were dropping in school, and we noticed his behavior changing from happy to angry and sometimes even violent. We still have holes in walls that he punched when he was out of control. Alcohol and over the counter medication were now in his life almost daily. He was seeing a counsler once a week without much benefit. We tried Intensive out patient rehab programs twice,however to our horror he just learned more about what drugs were out there and how to use them. In September of 2003 we sent Matt to Minnesota Teen Challenge. He was there for 4 months. He was discharged from the program for stealing cough syrup from a gas station while out on a event the school had planned. Matt called me and begged to please come home. He promised he had changed and would follow our rules if he could just come home. Late Jan04 he came back home. Clean and sober. He was my the son I knew before the drugs. Matt was happy,enjoying family time and starting to excel in his writing and art talents. Life was going well. Peace was in our home again. Unfortunetly this time would be short. In April his old friend from the bad days moved back into towne. He had been living in Seatle with a Aunt for almost a year. At first matt listened to us and stayed away from him,however unknown to us he was meeting up with him behind our backs. Matt was taking off after we went to bed and hanging with other users. Money,jewlery and anything that wasnt locked up would disappear. He took money from his sister and even his little brothers coin collection. Everday was a battle. I remember asking God to please intervene and save matt from himself. Our whole family was broken and we and matt needed fixing.On Dec 14th 2004 Matt snuck out of the house for the last time. I called him at 10:30 that night and told him its was curfew and he had to come home. He said he was sorry for leaving without telling us and he would be home soon. He sounded fine and was laughing and talking as if nothing were wrong. I would find out later that within seconds of that

Remembering Lost Promise

Dan McLaughlin

Died Age 20 Heroin

home and he was helpful around the house and was going to go back to school. He thought he could try heroin one more time. Unfortunately, he didn't survive and his family will always miss him and there isn't a day that doesn't go by where we don't think about him. We will always love Dan and his friends will always love him too ~ Ronni McLaughlin

We lost our 20-year old son, Dan to an overdose of heroin on May 5, 2004 Our son, Dan, was a great guy. He was very loving and cared about his sister and two brothers and parents very much. He tried to stay sober and was successful working in a snowboarding store and going to a local college. He went to rehab and stayed for a few months. When he went to a halfway house he got a job, but relapsed and went right back to rehab. Everyone thought he was ready to come

Remembering Lost Promise

Tim Meacham

Died Age 26 Heroin

I lost my only son to an accidental black tar heroin overdose on March 28, 2005. To visit Tim go to, and then search the memorial for Timothy Meacham Our lives will never be the same without Tim. We love him and miss him every day. We cry endless tears. I made a Memorial Web Site for Tim; it helps keep me busy, and it helps to keep his memory alive. " MAY YOU REST IN PEACE, MY DEAR SON."

Remembering Lost Promise

Bobby Mehlberger

Died Age 24 Heroin

August 18, 1980 ~July 22, 2005 Bobby lost his life as a result of a heroin overdose. He was a very caring, loving young man--a mamma's boy--not a sissy. He loved his son Derick, who is 7 years old now. He loved writing, and singing and playing music. Bobby also loved his piercings and getting his tattoos. He loved his car that he was building. Bobby was my baby, my best friend. There is so much to say about my Bobby, but it is still too painful for me to talk about. I just want to make sure that he is always remembered. SO.. PLEASE... REMEMBER BOBBY. My Bobby, my baby, my best friend. Bobby's Mom

Remembering Lost Promise

Adam Christopher Messmer

Died Age 18 Heroin

that was a huge mistake. He was too sick. I now know that he needed to be in an inpatient treatment center. We only had about a month and a half with him when the rehab closed for Christmas and New Years, and he knew that he had a week before he had to go back. He died on January 4, 2003 from a toxic level of heroin. Adam Christopher Messmer, if he had not been addicted to drugs, could have been an expert computer guru. He was so smart when it came to computers. A lot of people relied on him to help him to help them when it came to computer work or fixing their computers, even his older sister, Kristen. He probably would have married Lauren Denny, the biggest love of his life. He told us shortly before he died that he was going to marry her in five years. She would have made a wonderful daughter-in-law. That is another loss for us. Adam would have had beautiful children with perhaps red curly hair like he had when he was a child and big beautiful blue eyes. He may have been a deacon or an elder in the Christian Church. He would have made a great uncle to his sister's children. Through his humor, he would have made others laugh and feel good. Through his kindness, he would have taken care of us along with his sister when we grow old. My mom, Adam's grandma, had a habit of patting him at times on the thigh when she would pass by him. He told me a few weeks before he died that I had to carry on the tradition. I asked what tradition and he said that I had to pat his children on the leg like grandma did him. I smiled at him and told him that I would, but I will never have that opportunity now. Lost Promises. ~ Joan Messmer

Adam Christopher Messmer ws born on May 16, 1984 and lived in Alexandria, Kentucky. He was the beloved son of Chris and Joan Messmer and dear brother Kristen. He had dark auburn hair, beautiful blue eyes, long eyelashes and the sweetest smile. Adam was very loving, sensitive, humorous, kind and intelligent. He would kiss and hug us even in front of his friends. I could always count on Adam to behave outside the home, but he was not perfect. He would fight with his sister, not do his chores and he was so stubborn! I think he got a double dose of stubbornness from both his parents. He loved banana splits from the Dairy Queen, barbeque ribs, fried chicken legs and blueberry muffins. Adam liked to snow ski and did enjoy fishing with his father. He had a normal childhood in a loving Christian home. We found out Adam had a brain disease called drug addiction in the fall of 2002. Looking back, I can now see some of the signs and symptoms, but at the time, I thought that he was just being a normal teenager. The problem was I would never have believed that Adam would be involved with drugs. He worked, bought his own car, paid his bills and made pretty good grades. As parents, we snooped in his room, kept in contact with him when he was out of the house, and knew most of his friends and their parents. Once we found out, he went into treatment. We didn't question him very much about the drugs, because we were afraid that we would push him back into using again. So we will never know how, when, where or why he started. We followed what all the experts were saying to do (and the insurance company) so he left the inpatient treatment center and was put in outpatient rehab. Now we know

Remembering Lost Promise

Amanda Miller

Died Age 19 Heroin

Amanda had been accepted to the University of Durango in Colorado. In the fall she finally left. Despite her behavior and the tumultuous nature of our relationship during this time, I attributed her attitude to her difficulty in adjusting to growing up and a phase that she would eventually rectify.

On January 24, 2004, my daughter, Amanda Miller, age 19, died of a heroin overdose. Her death was the result several years of drug abuse. For many years Amanda was able to convince me that she didn't do drugs, except for occasional use of marijuana and alcohol. I believed her, but I misread the signs. Had I tuned into the signals, perhaps the results would have been very different for her. I was in shock when I found out that Amanda's history of "hard drug abuse" began in high school. I struggle with the question "how didn't I know?" on a daily basis. Amanda grew up in an upscale suburban community. Opportunities to make positive life choices were readily available to her. She was an exceptionally gifted athlete and demonstrated a great deal of enthusiasm coupled with a competitive spirit. Whichever sport Amanda participated in, she was the best. She focused on softball and hockey and became the one of the areas best for her age group. Our home is filled with trophies and mementos of her many accomplishments so the tragedy of her life is always near-by. Never did I ever imagine that this great athlete would be taking drugs. In her junior year of high school she was "caught" smoking marijuana and dismissed from the hockey team. She took this very hard. It was the first time that I became aware that drugs were associated with Amanda. I dismissed the situation as an unlucky situation because most adolescents tried marijuana once and those closest to me assured me that this was a harmless event. Amanda had been tested a year earlier at an inpatient facility for behavioral problems and was diagnosed as having adolescent defiant disorder. We were told that she did not have a drug problem, which further allowed me to accept the marijuana incident as harmless. Amanda's "nasty" disposition escalated. She showed a lack of respect for house rules, refused to participate as a family member and regularly had temper tantrums. A pleasant conversation would turn into a hostile incident if I said anything she didn't like. We decided it would be worth a try for her to move in with her father. Her visits home continued to be difficult and she became more disruptive. Many times her visits bordered on violent outbreaks. She disrupted our house to the point that I feared for the safety of my younger daughter and myself.

While Amanda was in Colorado, our relationship dramatically improved. We talked on a daily basis and I thought we were on a path of reconciliation. I excitedly planned a trip to Colorado for Thanksgiving of 2003. My 2 daughters and I spent a wonderful week in Durango and I left with a great feeling about Amanda. Our relationship had start-

Remembering Lost Promise

Amanda Miller, Cont'd 2

ed to heal. While in Durango, I saw that Amanda had a very positive influence on her friends. She cooked Thanksgiving dinner for her friends. Her friends talked about her helping people in need, and how she shopped for the elderly and spent time making people feel wanted. They referred to Amanda as a kind, wonderful person who they all respected and loved. Amanda came home for Christmas that year. Although we had a couple of incidents, her behavior was clearly better than it had been for several years. Before returning to school, she asked me if it would be ok come home in late January to stay with her sister while I went out of town to celebrate my birthday. I already had a sitter, but the two girls expressed their desire to be together. Amanda convinced me that she had a long weekend break from school and a one on one with her sister would be great for their relationship. On Wednesday, January 22, 2004, Amanda flew back to be with her sister. I spoke to her when she arrived and I sensed a feeling of happiness in her voice. I knew I had made the right decision and things were going to be fine. On the first night of her arrival she and her sister ordered a pizza and both said they had a great night. On the third day of my trip I called to see how my family was doing and my younger daughter advised me that she couldn't wake Amanda. I told her to call a friend who lived across the street and then call 911. Five minutes later the police arrived and told me that my daughter was dead. My 19year-old daughter was dead. Imagine being 3,000 miles away and knowing your baby was alone in the house with her dead sister. It took 18 hours to get back to Chicago. The trip home was a blur, filled with shock, horror, anger, disbelief, and grief beyond words. The events of the next few days turned our world upside down forever. Police, friends, and acquaintances began to come forward with stories about Amanda that made me realize that I really didn't know her. For many months I blamed myself for her death. Why didn't I see the truth about my daughter earlier so that I could have helped her or at least gotten her proper guidance? The investigation pertaining to the events of that fatal evening proved inconclusive. The snippets of information obtained never really provided an account of the evening that made me feel comfortable. Those who were with Amanda never told the whole truth. However, one thing was clear: Amanda died of a drug overdose and she probably injected the deadly heroin herself. I have tried to investigate the situation on my own but to no avail. The best I can do now is to share my experience with other parents in the hope they may discover the signs that I missed, so their families might side step the horrors of my tragedy. I visit my daughter every Sunday at her grave and I tell her how much I miss her and how I wish this had never happened. I ask her "WHY?" I doubt that I could have saved my daughter without first recognizing that she had a problem. Through this experience, the help of therapists, and talking with other grieving parents I have become educated in detecting drug abuse. As the saying goes, "if I knew then what I know now," things would have been different. I think about Amanda every minute of my life and I have vowed to be diligent in helping others to keep her spirit alive. Amanda's heart was good. She was a loving, kind soul, and she was my daughter, a sister and a great friend to all. family: Here are some quotes from, teachers, friends, and

"Amanda was loved and was good enough to do whatever she chose. Her raucous laughter and her unbridled, full-out approach to life is what I will remember. I think of you often Amanda, and will continue to. Godspeed." "Amanda will be truly missed. This world won't be the same without her." "I will always remember the years of wonderful times we had together playing hockey. Amanda you always knew how to make me smile I'll miss you. "Amanda will be greatly missed. She always knew how to make an entire room laugh, without even saying a word sometimes. Her smile and her words will be remembered forever." "Amanda was a fun loving girl with such a strong personality. I will always remember her as a leader and never a follower. She will be missed, but she will never be forgotten in my heart and in my mind." "Amanda was a wonderful girl and unbeatable in net!! She will be remembered always by those who had the pleasure of

Remembering Lost Promise

Amanda Miller, Cont'd 3

knowing her." "I miss you everyday, and today is no different. I was thinking of your contagious laugh earlier today and it brought a smile to my face. I can't believe that it has been two years now-sometimes I still can't believe it's real. You have always been my oldest and closest friend... and I miss you old friend." "You really helped me to believe in myself and to not care what people thought. I wish we could have gotten to know each other better over the years. You will always be in my heart." "Amanda, it's been 2 years now since the planet lost you. I think of you each day, and all those people that came in contact with you, as well as those, that were unable to meet you, you are a special A gift god put on this planet...YOU. I loved you then I love you now, and I'll love you forever" "I miss you. Hanging out with you. Going to sit on your bed so we could get away from the guys. I wear your hat sometimes... It looked so much better on you. I MISS YOU. Peace For Ever & Always" "Today it is a bright and sunny summer day... I saw the ice cream man for the first time this year- it reminded me of being little :) I drive up and down our streets and see all of the kids playing and it makes me miss you even more. Although I miss you daily it never hurts less, it just hurts less often... "We all miss you so much and we speak of you fondly- You my very closest and dearest friend my whole life, and I feel somewhat lost without you-- I speak to your family and visit your grave when I am at home, and knowing that you are watching over us gives me some peace" "I hope you realize how you changed the world, and the lives of so many people... you are always in my heart and mind" "I don't even know if you have the Internet where you are. But I miss your company, your style, your voice, your laughter, and most of all you, just the way you are... We all miss you and we are comforted in that you watch over us everyday" The signs were there, we just need to pay attention, read between the lines, and be so involved so that not more parent shall ever have to hear those words, " Your child has passed on" ~ Caryn Miller

Remembering Lost Promise

Brian Anthony Miller

Died Age 20 Methamphetamine

Brian Anthony Miller

January 28, 1985 - July 5, 2005 Not believing that tomorrow could be better than today "That you'll never make a difference or that you matter" Brian fought an enemy. This enemy exhausted all of his hope, courage, and strength. Only the Lord knows what he was suffering in his soul. Brian's spirit is resting peacefully in the hands of the Lord. May the living learn lessons from this tragedy.


Death of the body and mind. It is the enemy, the deceiver and the destroyer. There is no doubt that it will cause sorrow, grief, shame, despair, and loneliness to all lives it touches. If you or someone you know have been touched by this enemy, get help now. Don't wait for another day. See Mothers Against Methamphetamine at for answers. You will be appalled at what this drug is doing to our children, neighbors, friends & families. Grants Pass Mothers Against Methamphetamine will meet the first Tuesday of each month at the Murphy Chapel's recreation hall located at 8561 New Hope Rd. We, who love and miss Brian, must experience the comfort of Christ, who said, "I am the resurrection and the life, he who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live." John 11:25

Remembering Lost Promise

Clinton Talmadge Mitchell

Died Age 24 Heroin

call, a high-functioning heroin addict. He had a job that he liked and felt appreciated. He was caring for his child. He had made amends with many people who were important to him. He was turning his life around...or so it seemed. With an addiction to heroin, his life was never really his own. For more than two years the addiction came first, above ALL else. No matter how hard C.T. tried THAT would not change...most likely for up to five years. I feel certain that he did not know that would be the case when he began experimenting with the drug. I also feel that his message to us is one of compassion and caring. We must become neither victim nor judge. To LOVE one another is our greatest hope. ~ Vicki Kline

Clinton Talmadge Mitchell was born March 23, 1979 and left us December 3, 2003. He was a very warm and likeable soul. He always called his fellow men "brother." C.T. loved many things with all his heart; his Gram, his Mom and Dad, his dog Cian, and most especially, his beautiful son, Aidan. He enjoyed the outdoors and had hoped to hike Oregon and Montana. He had an easy, contagious laugh. He wanted to build a log house by the time he was 25. He was a thin 6'2 with captivating blue eyes. He wanted to study culinary arts. He was working on his third VW bus. He was trying to start over, as he put it. Clint (as he preferred to be called after high school) was what one might

Remembering Lost Promise

Jason Mitchell

Died Age 24 Drug Overdose

~ DEMONS ~ Demons all in my head, can't seem to shake them their always there. Always watching me, waiting for me. See there was a time when I was one of them! Doing the things that demons do. Terrorizing my fellow man, why-o-why I think this way is beyond Me. Can't seem to see the light, and find my way. Darkness most definitely swallowing me! ~ AFTERMATH ~ They say a mind is a terrible thing to waste! But what about a mans soul? Help me find the light that guides us to humanity. Written by Jason Eugene Mitchell

Remembering Lost Promise

Keith Montambo

Died Age 19 Heroin & Cocaine

Keith Montambo 1985-2004 Keith was a smart, talented young man with dreams of making it big in music. He played the electric guitar and wrote his own music. He always had a warm smile, quick wit, and beautiful personality. We will never fully understand what started Keith down his path of destruction. He had always thought people that used drugs were "dumb". Because of ignorance or denial, we didn't know what he was into, and learning that he died of heroin/cocaine was such a shock. I hope that more parents will become aware that, yes, it can happen to your family. Ours was stable, with two parents, two kids, and we loved each other. Keith is dearly missed by us, his big sister, his brother-in-law, and all of his extended family. Don't be ignorant! If you have a friend that is using, tell someone that can help. Don't ever think that the person will "just grow out of it". ~ Pam Montambo

Remembering Lost Promise

Beth Nelson

Died Age 21 Heroin

Beth Anne Nelson November 8, 1977 - February 12, 1999 One time. One mistake. Beth is gone because on one night she decided to take heroin. She went into a coma and was on life support for 8 days. She had no history of drug abuse. Beth was a beautiful, 21 year old college junior. She was full of life, love and promise. She should still be on this earth with all of us who love her. My heart is forever broken, my life forever altered. The world was a better place with Beth in it. ~ Pat Nelson

Remembering Lost Promise

Duane Nelson

Died Age 35 Heroin

On September 24, 2005 he got busted with a needle and went to jail. He called me and, once again, I believed him. He wanted out and wanted help, so on October 3, 2005, I bailed him out. It was the BIGGEST MISTAKE OF MY LIFE. I dropped him off at his house that day. I didn't hear from him that night so the next day me and our daughter walked up and knocked on the door. No answer. Wednesday, the same thing. Finally on Thursday I was scared so I made someone go in through a window. Sure enough, there he was: GONE. He was a great guy with an awful addiction. He would have done anything for anyone, and we miss him more than words could ever say. What gets us through this is knowing that he is in a better place and no more suffering. I regret bailing him out that day but it was God's destiny. First, suicide crossed my mind, but when the cops gave me his cigarettes, I found 3 bags of heroin in it. That was a big load off my shoulders, knowing it was a stupid mistake and not on purpose. ~Jodi Nelson

I lost my husband of 17 years 7 months ago to a heroin overdose he was only 35 and he left behind me and 3 beautiful children ages 10, 7 and 4 Well let me start by telling you about Duane. We were married on June 29, 1990. Three years later we split up and he started using heroin. He was in and out of jail for many years. In 2001, he got out of prison and we got back together. I had already had 2 children and he had 1 so when he got out I gave him another chance. He had been clean for almost 5 years now he bought us a house and adopted my 2 children. He had started eating pain pills again. He knew he was getting deep so he seen a doctor that put him on suboxone to block the cravings. It worked great until he had carpel tunnel surgery and this same doctor treating him for addiction put him on Oxycontin, then Vicodin, then instant release pain pills. She fed his addiction like I had never seen. I couldn't believe my eyes at the pills she fed him. The pills weren't enough any more so he started using heroin again. By this time, I knew it was over. I took my kids and we moved. We still stayed close friends. He came everyday for coffee.

Remembering Lost Promise

William R. (Billy) Neustice

Died Age 36 Drug Overdose

when he died, she remembers him and misses him very much and wants to know when Daddy is coming home from heaven. My son battled drug addiction for many years, going in and out of rehab. He would win the battle for a while but eventually the addiction would take over again. He always kept the spark of home that there was a light at the end of the tunnel, but on April 30, 2004 that spark burned out and Billy lost his battle with drugs and died of an accidental drug overdose. I miss my son so much. Only a parent who has experienced the loss of a child can understand the sadness and the aching that I feel in my heart every day since I lost my son. I pray that no other parent has to experience this sadness. Billy will be remembered and missed by his loving mother, father, sister, daughter and many family members and fiends. We love you and miss you so very much and you will remain in our hearts forever. Rest in peace, my beautiful son. ~ Dorothy Alonghi

My son William Russell (Billy) Neustice was born June 19, 1967. When he came into this world, with his beautiful bright red hair, I knew he was going to be someone special. These are some of my memories of a man who touched so many people's lives so deeply and profoundly. His outgoing personality was evident at an early age. He always loved to be the center of attention and had so many friends. People were drawn to his magnetic personality and contagious laugh. Billy was so passionate about everything he did, whether it was motorcycles, surfing, writing poetry or acting. A natural born performer, Billy had a talent that never reached its full potential. Billy was so loving, compassionate and giving. He greeted everyone with a hello and a hug and never said good-bye without saying "I love you." The greatest love of his life was his daughter Gianna Skye who is now 4 years old. The true spirit of his love showed through when he was with his little angel. Although she was only 2 years old

Remembering Lost Promise

Paul Richard Nowak

Died Age 20 Methamphetamine & Heroin

Paul Richard Nowak (aka Novak) Dec. 21, 1984 - Dec. 16, 2005 A young man so full of promise. A bright, articulate honor roll student and natural athlete blessed with charm, wit, and charisma. A shining star and loving soul who deeply touched all who knew him. Paul's life was cut short by his use of meth and heroin, and his fatal and unfortunate association with others caught up in the cycle of addiction. They suffer too, at the hands of others who prey upon and supply the drugs that helped bring about his death. Paul was a good soul, full of love, with a heart of gold, always reaching out to others in the midst of his pain. He ended his life five days before his 21st birthday. Our lives will never be the same again. "God saw you getting tired when a cure was not to be, So He wrapped his arms around you, And whispered, "Come to me." So He gave you a rest. God's garden must be beautiful, He only takes the best. And when we see you sleeping, So peaceful and free from pain We cannot wish you back To suffer that again." Love eternally, Mom, Dad & brother Sean (Bonnie, Richard, & Sean Nowak) May 31, 2006

Remembering Lost Promise

Robby Nunes

Died Age 18 Heroin & Cocaine

Robby was the youngest of three children. His father Rick and I divorced when Rob was 9 years old. I remarried Don. Robby has a sister, Shannon, who is 5 years older than him and she thought of herself as his second mother. His brother, Jeremy, was a year ahead of Robby in school and his mentor. They were as different as night and day. Robby was average in sports and Jeremy excelled in that area. Robby was dark complexioned with dark hair and eyes while his brother is a blue-eyed blond. Jeremy is out-going and has a temper. Robby played guitar and was more sensitive. The girls used to say he was sweet. Jeremy was a jock who was popular and involved in school activities. Robby never felt he could or should compete, so he was popular with the music-playing, headbanging kids. The brothers, though different, were very close, and Shannon mothered them both, whether they liked it or not. By the time Rob was in 8th Grade, his grades began slipping (he used to have all A's and B's) and he became even more popular. He started getting new friends that no one had ever heard of before! I tried my best to stay on top of his grades, attendance, etc. He attended summer school ever year to make up for goofing off during the school year. By 11th Grade, Robby was grounded more often than not for either missing school, getting caught with cigarettes, or, one time, because a group of kids were caught with a beer. Rob seemed to withdraw from the family. When Robby was 16, he asked me to have a talk with him one night. Since that didn't happen much anymore, I was all ears. Rob began to sob and told me he was addicted to drugs and couldn't stop. I felt like I had been kicked in the gut but tried to remain calm and get more details from him. I asked Robby what kind of drugs he was using and Robby sobbed harder saying it was Heroin. Heroin! A death sentence! That's all I could think of. Robby cried that night saying, "I just want to be a kid again, Mom. I want to stop lying and I want my life back!" I had no idea where to turn for help, but promised I would figure it out. Robby wanted to sit up alone in the dark to think. I asked him if this is why he had been sick so often. "Were the drugs making you sick, Rob?" "Oh my God, Mom! I am sick when I am trying not to use drugs!" And he was. I laid in bed all night waiting for Don to wake up so I could tell him what was going on. I alternately cried and prayed. Don could hardly believe what he heard and was very worried and angry. I called our family doctor for advice. The advice was to have Rob detox at home so he'd remember how awful it felt and that should take care of it. It didn't sound right to me so I did some calling around and got him an appointment with a doctor who worked with the Day Spring outpatient addiction program. I took a week off work to detox Rob at home. He threw up, had the runs, fevers, sweats, leg cramps and nightmares. He could hardly walk due to joint pain. He was so sick I considered buying drugs for him to ease his pain. When Rob felt better, he began his outpatient treatment twice a week and Don and I attended with him as a family once a week. After 6 weeks, he graduated from this program and attended After Care meetings twice a week in the evenings. We did it! Robby was cured! Or, so we naively believed. Six months later we noticed some of our checks missing. We discovered that Robby had been forging checks for money. His father, Rick, noticed the same thing at his house. When I confronted Rob, he was too scared to face his father or stepfather and ran away from home. He was 17 years old and a senior in high school. About 2 weeks later, Rick

Remembering Lost Promise

Robby Nunes, Cont'd 2

called me at work to say he found Robby sleeping on his couch. I told him I would be right over. But first I made arrangements to get him into Highland Ridge Hospital, an inpatient facility for addiction. Rick and I talked and decided to intervene together as a united front. We woke Robby up and gave him the choice of going to jail for forged checks, or going to this hospital. Crying and apologizing for hurting his family, Rob chose the hospital. The hospital wanted money up front. We paid what we could, but could only afford to keep him in there for 10 days, not the recommended 30 day inpatient treatment. The treatment seemed to do him a world of good. He came home a changed boy! This time it worked, we just knew it! Rob was to attend outpatient treatment again and he started working at a new job. Another six months passed. Rob got fired from his job at a tire shop for his temper. His temper? This is the most easy-going kid you could ever meet! I noticed he was losing weight and spending a lot of time sleeping. I waited for him to leave one night and searched his room, as I had done so many times before. Under the laundry in his closet, at the bottom of his waste basket, inside a Big Gulp cup, and inside an empty potato chip bag, I found two syringes and some pawn slips. When Robby returned home, I confronted him. It was the same scenario. He cried saying he just couldn't stop and that his life was ruined. He said he was afraid and didn't know how to stop. I took him to the emergency room the next morning because he was even sicker this time. They kept him long enough to detox him and sent him home to find further inpatient treatment. How would we pay for this? There were still bills from previous treatments! Robby and I called the State and got him in for an evaluation. They said he qualified as an IV Drug User, but there was a waiting list. He was placed at the top of the list. After six weeks of waiting, there was still no room through the State Treatment Center. Rob took his name off the list and decided to get a job and start attending church more faithfully. And he did. Robby got a great job through his bother-in-law Shane. He was learning to be a glass fitter for Mollerup Glass Company in Salt Lake City. He was so proud of his job and really looked up to Shane. Rob bought himself a nice, black Honda Civic that he fixed up really nice and also joined a gym. He worked out regularly and looked so healthy and buff! Robby also got a cute little girlfriend, Ashley, whom he adored. He was regularly in attendance at St. Francis Catholic Church. We thought this time we turned the corner for sure. One time he cut his hand pretty bad at work and got stitches. He requested no pain medicine. We were so proud of him for that! Six months earlier he would have milked that situation. On Easter Sunday, 2001, the whole extended family went to church and brunch together. Everyone commented on how wonderful it was to have the "old Robby" back in the family. Robby adored his baby nephew Ethan and little niece Hunter. They adored him, too. It warmed my heart to see my kids hanging out together again, all looking so healthy and happy. That afternoon was a beautiful sunny, spring day. Rob asked me if I minded if he missed dinner and went golfing with a friend. That's a healthy activity; it's exactly what I wanted him to do more of! So, off he went, in his freshly waxed Honda. When Robby returned home, about 7:30 pm, he complained of a really bad headache. Headaches run in the family, so no one was alarmed. I gave him some Advil and Rob took the phone upstairs for his usual three-hour phone call with Ashley. At 10 pm, Rob got off the phone and I peeked my head in, as I was going to bed, to tell him good night. He said he felt awful and I suggested he stay off the phone and try to get some sleep. About 2 am, I could hear Robby in the bathroom, sick. I got up to check on him and he said he had the worst headache he'd ever had in his life. I asked him if he thought he was coming down with something and he said that was probably it. Rob apologized for waking me up, knowing I had to work in the morning. I suggested he not take any more Advil, but lie down and be still for a while and see if he could sleep. I went back to bed, reminding myself that Robby was healthy now. It had been seven months and I just had to start trusting him now. Rob never once mentioned using drugs that afternoon. The next morning, I headed straight for the coffee pot, as usual. Next to it was a note from Robby telling me not to wake him up too early. He had a doctor's appointment and wanted to sleep until 8:45 am. I was glad he was finally

Remembering Lost Promise

Robby Nunes, Cont'd 3

sleeping and tried to be quiet while dressing for work. At 8:30 am, I was ready to leave and decided to check on Robby and see if he felt better. I opened his bedroom door and screamed his name when I noticed how strangely he was lying. No answer. I ran over and shook him, screaming his name. Nothing! I felt for a pulse while screaming "Robby! Don't you do this to me! Robby, you come back to me right now! Don't you do this!" There was no pulse. I pulled the pillow from under his head and tried CPR. The breath came back out so fast! I kept wondering if I should be doing CPR or calling 911. I was so torn! I ran across the hall to my phone to call 911. Why hadn't we installed a cordless phone in there yet? When 911 answered, I told them my son was not breathing and had no pulse. I could hardly remember my own address when I was asked for it. The 911 officer told me to remain on the phone, but I couldn't. I had to go back and do more CPR! I threw the phone on the floor and went back to Robby. More CPR and more nothing. In a panic, I ran back to the phone and yelled at them to hurry! They told me to go out front and flag the ambulance down, so I did. Then, I remembered that Robby now had my lipstick all over his mouth. He'd be horrified if anyone saw him like that, so I ran back up to his room to quickly wipe off his face. The ambulance crew met me in the doorway and I was asked to stay in the living room to speak with a police officer who would arrive soon. What to do? Pray! That's it! I prayed and begged God not to take my baby. "Please, God, don't take my son, please! God, take me if you need to, but not my baby!" While I waited, I called Shannon. "Honey, I think your brother is dead, he's not breathing!" "Mom, they'll help him don't worry, he's probably back on that damn heroin again," she said. "The ambulance is here, call Don, your dad and your brother and have them get to the hospital," I said. "Oh, and Shannon, please pray really hard for Robby!" The police arrived and asked a lot of questions. I told them he was a recovering heroin addict and I suspected an overdose. They asked for any medication he might have taken and I handed it over. They took Robby away in a quiet ambulance and asked me to have someone drive me over to the hospital. A friend from work happened to be driving by and stopped to see what was happening. He gave me a ride to the hospital and some neighbors made calls and locked up the house. At the hospital, I was taken into a small room with Social Worker. I was amazingly calm, perhaps in shock. Another police officer came in to ask more questions. He told me they did not yet know what happened to him. I began to pray some more. A doctor came in next and told me he could not save Robby. They did all they could but he was gone. My youngest son was gone! I cried a little, but mostly I was numb. This was not happening. It could not be true, it couldn't! Robby's father barged into the room demanding to know what was wrong with Robby. "He's gone, Rick, Robby's gone," I told him. Rick punched a wall and became hysterical. They took him outside to calm him down. A couple of friends arrived and I sent them out to be with Rick. Don arrived at the hospital and he was shocked. The doctors suggested we not go in to see Robby because "he didn't look good." They needed to send him to Salt Lake City for an autopsy because the cause of death was not determined. I said they had to wait. We had to find our priest to bless him. Robby had become so active in his church that he would want that. And I had to see Robby! This was my son! We waited about a half hour for Father Flegge to arrive and we all went in to see Rob together. "Oh no, not Robby, not one of our young people!" said Father Flegge. Father blessed his body and the family said their good byes. So many times I had been angry with Robby for his drug abuse. I worried he might be watching and thinking I was mad at him. I couldn't stand that thought! I cradled his head and said, "Robby, Mom's not mad, I love you. You are ok now. Save me a place in Heaven, baby. Good bye for now, baby, I love you so much." The rest of the day is a blur. Rick fell apart and had to be medicated. I wanted everything to be perfect. I brought this child into the world and I was going to see to it that I sent him out properly. I planned every detail with Rob and young people in mind. Somehow, it had to make a difference to these young people. Though the autopsy report was not in yet, in my heart I knew it was an overdose. I asked Father Flegge how this could have happened when I had been praying so hard for three years for God to save my son. Father said that God did save Robby; I just didn't get to tell him how to do it. Robby is

Remembering Lost Promise

Robby Nunes, Cont'd 4

ok now. No one can hurt him. The viewing the night before the funeral was attended by several hundred mostly young people. It took over three hours for the line to get through. Pink Floyd, Robby's favorite, was played during this time. His photos, golf clubs and his guitar were on display nearby. It was a warm, beautiful evening. I found myself being strong once again, hugging so many young people as they sobbed through the viewing. So many kids hurting! Robby had no idea how many friends he really had. Three months and one day shy of his nineteenth birthday, he just wanted to be popular and he didn't seem to know that he already was. The morning of Robby's funeral it was raining very hard. The funeral was Catholic and a friend played Rob's favorite hymns on guitar. As we approached the burial site, the rain stopped and the sun shined. We all sang "Time of Your Life" by Green Day. Rick released a crate of white birds into the sky. We knew Robby must have been watching. He loved his father's birds. As we drove off, the rain began again. My heart rains tears every day now. A part of me went to Heaven with my youngest son, Robby. ~ Sandi Daoust~

Remembering Lost Promise

Lenny Orlandello

Died Age 39 Drug Overdose

If hearing me today could make one of you think twice before starting to use, or if hearing every parent's worst nightmare of outliving their child could make one of you stop using drugs today, then I'll be back here every day to repeat my story. But I know it is much more complicated than that. I know firsthand that once the drug demon takes up space in your body, mind and soul that it is very difficult, NOT IMPOSSIBLE, but very difficult for you to take back your life. ~ Lucille Orlandello

When I got the news that my son Lenny died, I just about stopped living. He used drugs for many years before losing the battle. We talked openly about his drug use, his desire to be drug free and, throughout the years, whenever he entered another rehab or detox facility, we would allow our hope for his sobriety to blossom just a little. If my son were sitting where you are today, he would fit right in and go unnoticed, for he was like most of you: young, healthy, and well-liked. What was the big deal if he got high every once in a while?

Remembering Lost Promise

Joshua J. Payne

Died Age 22 Xanax, Morphine, Opiates

My son Joshua was born on March 2, 1981, died March 9, 2003. He died from an overdose of Xanax, morphine, and opiates. I will tell you to the best of my ability what happened and what it is like right now. I saw Joshua for the last time March 8, 2003 at my mom's house where he stayed. I was told a week prior that he was selling drugs from a friend of mine and I confronted him right away. Of course, he said, "No, mom!" and I believed him. That Saturday night I stopped over at my mom's to see Josh. When I was leaving I asked him to walk outside and said, "Joshua, are you taking and selling drugs?" He said again, "No, mom!" I kidded with him and said, "Yea, right," and laughed as he did and left. I honestly believed my child. That night, a friend and I were going to the movies and my friend said, "When I tell you something in confidence, I expect you not to confront that person and break the trust of him telling me." I thought I was going jump out of my seat and actually slap the s--- out of this person. Thank god for seat belts because they give you time while you're trying to disconnect to calm down. I screamed instead and said, "Excuse me, but we are talking about my f-- kid"...How dare you!" Little else was said on the ride there. We watched the movies, but, of course, I was so distracted. On the way home, everything changed. The traffic light I have seen for 20-something years was red and all of the surrounding stores and restaurants seemed different. I felt different. Something in my soul knew something was wrong -- a mother just knows. When I went home that night I really knew something might have been wrong but I tried to put it to the side and wait till the next day. It was around midnight, I think. The next day I went to my mom's to see if Josh was there, and he wasn't. My dad said Joshua called him about 1AM to tell him he lost his drivers' license and asked if he could lend him the money to get a new one. My dad said yes and went back to sleep not thinking anything was wrong. I was so worried I went into Joshua's room and started looking for phone numbers. Thank god he kept a list in a notebook. I called the first number I found. A young girl answered the phone. I said it was Joshua's mom. This had to be around 3:30 or 4 PM. She told me to hold twice, and the second time I hung up thinking if Joshua is there he would call me back. I went outside to talk to my dad about my concerns and cried. By this time Joshua's ex pulled up with his child and was looking for a babysitter. I took their son, Ryan, and went off to Wal-Mart. My dad had been sick that day, so when he called as I was leaving Wal-Mart, he was not himself and he said, "Where are you?" I was going to go look for Joshua's car but my dad sounded like he was either crying or something was wrong. He asked me to come back to the house. I asked him if he was okay, and he said, "No, please come home." I'm thinking he is having a heart attack and called my aunt who lives behind his house and told her something was wrong with my dad. Then I called my friend down the road to go to his house until I got there. I was 5 minutes away.

Remembering Lost Promise

Joshua J. Payne, Cont'd

The fire truck and ambulance were there as I pulled up. All I could think was that my dad had died ­ that I didn't make it in time. I was practically running with Ryan in my arms when my friend came out and said, "Baby, you have to remain calm." Please, don't ever tell a woman to remain calm! I pushed him and threw Ryan in his arms and walked inside. My dad was crying and my mom walked up to me. "Baby," she said. "Mom, is it Joshua?" I asked. "Yes." "I knew it!" I yelled. I knew it! I had this feeling. I asked the ambulance driver what happened. They just looked at me. My mom said they found him OD'd in front of the girl whose home I called. Joshua didn't succeed in school, so he went back to get his GED, and when he did, I bought him a car. He said he didn't want to go into the Army because he didn't want to die. He said he wanted to go to college. Joshua worked a lot of fast food places in order to keep up with his child support. He worked so hard and never had any left. And he was so funny. He made people laugh; he was sensitive, passionate and loved his kid. He so loved my mom and dad. It broke my dad's heart because a few nights before he overdosed, Joshua told my dad: "Papa, I am going back to college to better myself so I can take care of you and mama." I'm sorry this is so long but I wanted to share my story with y'all. I can only say for ME today it is better. My dad died in January of this year. I miss him so but what comforts me the most is that he is there with Joshua watching over him. I miss my son so much, but part of me says he does not have to suffer in this world anymore...

Remembering Lost Promise

The Pease Family

Dave Pease, Died Age 23 Heroin

the voice said, "Your son Dave is here and there has been an accident." She added, "Is there someone who could come with you?" At that moment, I knew. I woke up Casey and we drove in silence to the emergency room. We were brought to a waiting room where a distraught young couple sat holding hands. They had been with Dave in New York City, and had driven him to the hospital. After about 10 minutes, a nurse arrived and asked me to come with her. As she led me into a nearby room, the hospital chaplain appeared and took my arm. In a split second, my heart, and my life as I knew it, had stopped. The sight of Dave's lifeless body was jolting. I wasn't sure I could or wanted to take another breath. As a practicing Catholic, I instinctively whispered the Act of Contrition in his ear, asking God to accept it as if it were coming from Dave himself. The hours and days that followed are still a blur. I learned Dave's friends had driven him around for hours before seeking help. They had been at a bar in the city and claimed Dave returned from a trip to the men's room saying he had just done some "stuff," felt weird, and then collapsed on the floor. They were afraid of getting themselves or Dave in trouble, so they carried him to their car and drove him back to Connecticut. These were wasted, precious minutes that likely would have saved his life had they acted more responsively and sought medical help immediately. Brian took Dave's death particularly hard. They had gotten very close the previous year, playing guitar together, talking about music and rooting for the Dolphins. Casey stepped in and played a major role helping Brian get back on his feet. Two years later in 1999, Casey graduated from UCONN as a New England Scholar and began a career as a computer consultant. In June of 2001 he hosted Brian and me to a Father's Day lunch. He had recently been hired full time by one of his clients and he felt flush and wanted to celebrate. I rejoiced in the role model he was becoming for Brian. On September 9, 2001, Casey and a dozen of his friends rented a van and a driver to go into New York to

For reasons that will become clear, I have chosen to tell you first about Brian, the youngest of my three sons. He could not have experienced a more horrific adolescence, and yet he continues to press on. I am so incredibly proud of him for what he has endured and how he continues to display courage in the face of unimaginable pain. Brian was born when his oldest brother Dave was 8 and Casey, his middle brother, was 4. His first six years were happy and normal, competing with his brothers and desperately wanted to be older, to be just like them. My wife and I divorced when Brian was 7 and it sent shock-waves through the rest of the family. Dave was 15 at the time and trying to find himself. He spent most of his remaining teen years looking for answers in a mixture of marijuana, cigarettes and alcohol. His drug use became evident over time, and I butted heads with him constantly. In retrospect, I was good at confronting--but not at addressing and solving the root problem. Dave was bright--extremely bright. We had lived in Holland his first year in school and he was judged to be gifted by the American School in The Hague. He was articulate and a strong debater, and resisted all our attempts to reason with him. I will always regret not having been strong enough to insist that he get help for his substance abuse problem. His mother and I had tried on many occasions but Dave protested vehemently and dug in his heels. We just never fathomed that his need for a buzz would lead him to experiment with heroin. Dave was now 23 and working in retail and Casey was 19 and attending college at the University of Connecticut and doing well. Casey had just returned home for summer break on Memorial Day weekend of 1997. Having been born in Miami in 1973, while I was business manager for the Miami Dophins, Dave grew up big Dolphins and Miami Heat fan. He Heat had just won the NBA playoffs, and Dave arrived home with a friend and a bottle of rum he had won on the series They had a drink, toasted the Heat's accomplishment, and poked fun at Casey for being "Mr. College." The phone rang at 4 a.m. the next morning. It was Stamford Hospital and

Remembering Lost Promise

The Pease Family

Casey Pease, Died Age 24 Alcohol-related Auto Accident

celebrate his 24th birthday. At approximately 8 a.m. the next morning, the Wilton Police came to the house to tell us there had been an accident, and that Casey was in critical condition. Brian could not bear the sight of Casey so banged up. He sat in the waiting room and was comforted by Casey's friends, as word of the accident spread. It was then that we got some of the details: The van had returned to Connecticut in the wee hours and while most everyone slept, Casey sat up front and kept the driver company. When they arrived at the drop-off point in Stamford, again most everyone chose to sleep there. Casey decided he preferred to sleep in his own bed and left to drive home--he never made it. Casey had fallen asleep at the wheel, impaired from a night of binge drinking. He hit a tree and snapped a telephone pole that fell on his car. He was not wearing his seat belt. He had massive head injuries and two broken legs. The report from the neurologist was grim. The extensive head trauma and swelling had pushed Casey's brain down into his brain stem, cutting off the flow of oxygen. They could not control the swelling and the damage was complete and irreversible. Removing Casey from life support was a decision no parent should have to make, but I knew he would not have wanted to exist in a vegetative state. Casey died the morning of September 10th in our arms. The following morning, September 11, 2001, his mother and I were at the funeral home making arrangements when the World Trade Center was attacked. Within the hour, the rest of the world joined us in shock and disbelief. ~ David R. Pease

Remembering Lost Promise

Dominic Pelicano

Died Age 23 Heroin

Dominic is not here to share today with me. He died May 11,2004 of a drug overdose. He was a talented compassionate young man whose life was cut short by heroin. He was a senior in college, on the deans list with much promise. I live my life everyday as if I have had a part of my body amputated. I now have to learn to live life with a part of me missing. His website is People can view his art and his gift of friendship and love to he gave to others. [From Dominic's mother, Therese] Dominic was a gentle loving spirit who struggled with drugs. He was intelligent and talented as a student and artist. He departed us at only 23 years old, and I am left an only child. Thank you for honoring these souls whose loss is so devastating, though the circumstances of their death carry such a stigma in our society. [From Dominic's sister, Erin]

Dominic Pelicano suddenly passed away May 11, 2004 at 23 years old. As a senior at the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore, Maryland, he studied fine arts with aspirations to one day teach at the college level. Dominic was a gentle soul with passion for his music and art. He is greatly missed by his family and friends. Established by Dominic's family, the scholarship memorial fund is associated with MICA (Maryland Institute College of Art). The Dominic Pelicano Memorial Scholarship will benefit students attending MICA's study abroad painting program in Sorrento, Italy, which Dominic attended and loved. Dominic was also a musician and was a founding member of Cops and Robbers Band . I am his father and a police officer, so we were in the band together. The band is still playing. I also think it is important to remind police families that they are not exempt from this problem and it should not be kept secret nor covered up. [From Dominic's father, Rick ]

Remembering Lost Promise

Irma Perez

Died Age 14 Ecstasy

were charged and are fulfilling their sentences. Two eighth grade girls pleaded guilty to two felonies--furnishing a minor with a controlled substance and cruelty to a child likely to cause harm or death. The judge demanded that they cooperate with the DA's office during the other prosecutions related to Irma's death, attend an 8-month rehabilitation program known as GIRLS, write a ten page essay on the dangers of Ecstasy and send a letter of apology to the Perez family. A 20 year old man, Anthony Rivera, admitted that he provided the Ecstasy pills to Irma's friends. He and two friends arrived at the home where Irma and her friends had taken the Ecstasy and stayed between 2:30 and 5:00 a.m. He gave Irma water and marijuana to help her get through her "bad trip." Angelique Malabey, 18, was sentenced to six months in jail for helping Rivera hide his drugs after Irma died. I am speaking out about the terrible suffering Irma went through. I want to educate other teens about the dangers of Ecstasy ­ and the dangers of doing nothing to help a friend in need. ~ Imelda Perez

My sister, Irma was a 14 year old girl from Belmont, California who took an Ecstasy pill on April 23, 2004. She became sick immediately--vomiting and writhing in pain--yet her friends did not seek medical help for her. Instead, they gave her marijuana, thinking it would relax her and possibly help her because they had heard it had medicinal qualities. Irma suffered for hours and when she was finally taken to the hospital the next morning, she was in terrible shape. Five days later she was taken off life support and died. After her death, several of her organs were donated to five other people. How did Irma actually die? Dr. Leslie Avery and Dr. Peter Benson, a forensic medical expert, say that Irma's brain swelled from a lack of oxygen. "Her cerebellum dissolved as her brain tried to escape its confined space," Benson said. (quoted in the San Mateo Daily Journal article "Teen's Torment Revealed" by Michele Durand, September 2, 2004). Irma's friends and family are still grieving and her classmates at Ralston Middle school poured out their emotions in memorials and their yearbook. Irma would have graduated in June. The tragedy does not end with Irma. Because a number of her so-called "friends" were involved in Irma's death, they were arrested and put on trial. So was the dealer who supplied the Ecstasy. Five people in all

Remembering Lost Promise

Richard Weeks Perry, Jr.

Died Age 22 Heroin

My beautiful nephew, Richard Weeks Perry Jr., died of a heroin overdose three years ago in June, at the age of 22. He was a handsome, bright, gentle and kind young man who loved his family very much, and who was loved in return. His parents now head up NOPE, Narcotic Overdose Prevention and Education, in West Palm Beach, Florida. It is a grassroots effort to combat this tragic and growing problem by families who have lost kids to drugs. ~ Nancy Graham, his aunt

Richard Perry Jr. was born in Walnut Creek Ca. May 1, 1982, he moved at age 2 to Tequesta Fla. Rich attended Cardinal Newman High School and Valencia College. He loved movies, Golf and most important his family, Cousins and friends. Rich was a kind and gentle person, he touched every one he met with his warm spirit and ever present sense of Humor. Rich began his Drug use at age 16, with pot- this lead to pills, cocaine and finally heroin. Rich struggled for five years with his addiction and finally lost the fight on June 28th 2003, at the age of 21. Our hearts will forever be void of our beloved son, brother, cousin, grandchild and nephew. We miss him everyday. ~ Karen Perry, his mother

Remembering Lost Promise

Jason Petro

Died Age 25 OxyContin

We lost our son, Jason, on Good Friday 2001 after a long and arduous struggle with his addiction to drugs and alcohol. We went through the peaks and valleys with him as we saw the light go out of his eyes during the worst times and the light in his eyes return during recovery. Jason was 25 years old when he died. After a year of sobriety he tried prescription drugs which carry the allusion of safety. He died of an overdose of OxyContin. Drugs don't just affect the person afflicted with the addiction. Family and friends suffer too. Jason left behind a family and many friends who love him deeply. He is missed. ~Brenda Petro

Remembering Lost Promise

Nicholas Pezant

Died Age 20 Methadone, Xanax

At the age of 20, our son Nicholas passed away on February 5, 2005 from a drug overdose of Methadone and Xanax. He had been clean and sober for 5 months and was doing wonderfully. He relapsed and a so-called friend gave him the Xanax which was a fatal mixture with the Methadone. Nicholas tried very hard to beat this addiction, but it was stronger than he. We lost a wonderful son, brother, and friend. He was loving, caring, and kind. He never got in any trouble; he just got addicted. I pray for all people who have addictions. It is a disease which can happen to anyone. I hope one day more people will be educated about this and realize the truth about this terrible disease. His mom, dad, and sister miss him terribly. It is truly unbearable at times. ~ Denise & Tony Pezant

Remembering Lost Promise

Kristin Pfaff

Died Age 27 Heroin

My daughter Kristen Pfaff was 27 years old and died of an overdose to heroin. She was bass guitarist in the band "Hole", (Led by Courtney Love). She was very talented, and is greatly missed. We love her and have not been the same. ~ Janet Pfaff

Remembering Lost Promise

Greg Reed

Died Age 21 Heroin

Greg by Steve and Jackie Reed

Our 21 yr old son, Greg, was living at home with us and his sister Natalie. Natalie just graduated from Carmel H.S. and was ready to start at Butler University in August. Greg had been drug free for approximately 18 months. We were overjoyed to have our handsome and lovable son around once again. Greg had always been a good student and Triple A hockey player until he started using drugs during his sophomore year at Carmel H.S. Greg had played other sports, played the Alto Sax, and guitar, but hockey was his true love. He played defense and played on Team Illinois' travel team when we were living in Chicago. Greg started playing hockey at age 7 when we lived in Shaker Heights, Ohio. He played on Shaker's Youth hockey. He was awarded the MVP several times. What a joy to watch him play! On June 7, 1999, Greg and I (his mom) were doing laundry; Greg had worked both his full-time and part-time jobs that day. He was getting ready to go to dinner with his boss, Laura. That was the last time I hugged and kissed Greg good by. I told him to have a good time with Laura and to really think about accepting the management

training position. Greg died on June 8, 1999, although we didn't know this until much later. On September 20, 1999, Greg's remains were found hidden off Observatory Road in Martinsville, Indiana. At the time they found Greg, we were in Indianapolis knocking on doors and handing out Greg's missing person's poster again at Brookside Park after receiving a phone call from a man who thought he had seen Greg play basketball on the previous night. He thought he recognized Greg from a missing person's poster. The three "friends" didn't call 911 when Greg had difficulty breathing after snorting heroin. Instead they all went to sleep to wake up later and discover Greg had died from the heroin used earlier. The "friends" chose not to do the right thing and decided to bury Greg under some leaves and grass in a remote AT&T cell tower location. They left him there for 102 days and never looked back. Greg had played hockey with a brother of one of the three involved while living in Shaker Heights. We found out on our local news that night that it was our son's remains from a pair of boots pictured. We buried Greg on October 8, 1999, 120 days after he died. We pray that by sharing our story we will help one child to think and think again before saying yes to drugs. May God wrap His loving arms around all of us and may He give us strength to continue on without our lost promises.

Remembering Lost Promise

Sean Remus

Died Age 23 Heroin

My son, Sean, died New Year's Eve, 2005 alone after trying heroin for the first time. The police are still investigating and are hoping against hope that they will be able to arrest his dealer, who had been in prison for 9 years for drug dealing and was out on probation. Sean was 23 when he died. He was a tall gifted young man who loved to write, study foreign policy, cook for his friends and family. His soul was so gentle. He was my soul mate and friend. His dad and I have found out too late that he had been smoking crack cocaine and had told his friend that he wanted to try heroin.

I would do anything to bring him back, but since I cannot, I hope to be part of some cause that gets these drugs off the street and holds drug dealers responsible for their actions. I would also like to educate parents to the hard drugs that are out there and are tempting our best and brightest. ~ Linda Remus

Remembering Lost Promise

Ryan Adam Richter

Died Age 18 Fentanyl & Heroin

stop them. You don't hear anything on the news. The police detectives say they are working on it, but still nothing is being done to let these kids and people know what's going on. I recently pulled up the Sun Times newspaper in Chicago and read where they are arresting these people for the same thing-selling heroin and Fentanyl--and they are charging them with murder. I wish they would do the same here; they have this guy's cell phone number from my son's cell. Ryan's girlfriend can take them right to the house where they had bought some from. Yet, nothing seems to be getting done. Thanks for listening, ~Randy Richter

My son, Ryan Adam Richter, died on February 27, 2006. He went to sleep on a Sunday night and never woke up the next morning. We found out that he had taken heroin which was laced with a drug called Fentanyl. It was the Fentanyl that killed him. Ryan would have been 19 on May 18th. He was a truly gentle soul who never hurt anyone and would do anything for you. He just graduated high school in June of 2005. He worked steady at his job and had recently started college in January. He was going full time. It's hard for me to talk about Ryan's death without getting mad as hell that this person would sell someone a drug which killed him and about 28 to 30 other people in the area. I feel like no one is trying to

Remembering Lost Promise

Shelly Sanders

Died Age 19 Heroin

closed to prevent children from slipping through this crack to their death. A simple bipolar family history screening could have prevented this horrible addiction to opiates. Shortly before Shelly's death she said to me," Mom, I have changed my mind about being a physician. I want to help a lot of people who struggle with addiction and bipolar. I have a mind for molecular biology and I believe the answers lie within the genome." We hope by Shedding Light on Shelly's Little Secret, that she can accomplish her dream of helping a lot of people even in her death. Shelly was doubly embarrassed by her conditions. She did not want people to know that she had a drug problem much less a mental illness. She kept her secret from many of her friends, family, teachers and co-workers. She was able to maintain her sobriety for approximately one year while a freshman at college. She expressed how difficult it was to maintain sobriety on a college campus when even a residential life advisor would ask her for a joint! Some of her last words were," Mom, I need help, I'm coming home, I'm coming home!" Five days short of her coming home on November 17, 2005 she died in her college dorm bed from a heroin overdose. ~B. J. Sanders

What image pops into your mind when you hear about a 19 year-old girl found dead in her college dorm bed from a heroin overdose? Would it be a child like our Shelly, described by her teachers as a teacher's dream a complete package? In high school and church she was involved in everything! She was popular with her peers and was elected class secretary. Shelly was academically gifted and was chosen to attend a residential public elite school for students gifted in science and math. So, one must ask what went wrong with this child brimming of promise? Central themes run through Shelly's story that we discovered in retrospect: early innocent experimentation with marijuana at age 14, increase use of marijuana while at the residential school with less adult supervision, experimentation with other drugs, peer code of silence, etc. However, Shelly's drug use was intertwined with another disorder that went undiagnosed by nine professionals until two months before her death. Bipolar in adolescents can have addiction rates as high as 50-70%. Now we understand that no matter how much drug intervention she received she faced an 85% chance of relapse without treatment for her bipolar. There is a great chasm between Psychiatry and Drug Counselors. This gap must be

Remembering Lost Promise

Samantha Sandler

Died Age 23 Heroin

papers over and over until she got an A. She started having panic attacks. In October, 2002 she called me sobbing that she was having a breakdown and would kill herself if I didn't come and get her. I drove immediately to her dorm, slept and held her sobbing all night, then brought her home. She felt like a failure even though we assured her we were still proud of her and wanted her to be happy. She became very depressed and finally, not knowing what to do, I brought her to The Institute of Living in Hartford, Connecticut, a mental Health facility where she stayed for two weeks. They kept her drugged most of the time, and diagnosed her as bipolar. She came home with lots of medication for depression, but it didn't seem to help. They kept changing medications because she kept having bad reactions such as terrible mood swings with manic depressive behavior. They told me tokeep her as stress free as I could, so we decided to not send her back that semester. While she was at the Institute she was housed in a coed adult floor because she was over 18. It was there that she befriended another patient that introduced her to Chaz Gillette, a heroin addict and dealer. She was feeling like a failure and in a down moment he convinced her to try heroin. She was addicted immediately. The lying and stealing started; heroin took my daughter from me. I brought her to treatment programs but my insurance would only pay for outpatient care. The director of the program begged, as well as Sam herself, for Connecticare to pay for inpatient treatment

The best day of my life was July 28, 1982, the day my beloved angel child Samantha was born. She was everything any mother would want, a dream baby. Beautiful, easy, cuddly. After two brothers and two sons I was thrilled for a daughter. I nursed her for 2 years, just holding her and looking into her eyes- all the hopes and dreams! She excelled at everything she did. She would always say," I did it for you mom; I want to make you proud!" A prouder mother I couldn't have been. She attended the Masters School grades 1-8, a small Christian school with good values. She loved horses, and became the Hartford County Jr. horseback riding champion. She graduated with the award for the best all around student in the school. She went on to Miss Porter's School in Farmington Ct.It is probably the most prestigious girls school in the country. Jackie Kennedy went there. She graduated at the top of her class in 2000, president of the student council and disciplinary committee. She was compassionate, nurturing and dedicated to helping any living thing, be it someone in need or a stray animal. She was generous and loving and would use her last dollar to help someone else. We were thrilled when she got into Brown University. Her older brother Josh, was at Bowdoin College, Zach was at Wesleyan University. Always being an overachiever, she became stressed at Brown. She wouldn't settle for any grade less than an A. She did

Remembering Lost Promise

Samantha Sandler, Cont'd. 2

but our insurance refused stating that she hadn't done enough outpatient care first. She refused to allow us to pay out of pocket. My husband and I joined Families Anonymous so we could learn how we could help her. I took away her car and money. I drove her everywhere, watched her constantly. We were going to lick this together. If she had a craving, she would call me. She promised! She started having accidents and lost her license but Chaz found ways to deliver drugs to my house. I lived in Hell worrying about her, watching her sleep. I checked her over and over to make sure she was breathing at night. I even videotaped her high so she could see what it did to her. Her two older brothers and two younger sisters were getting very angry because she took so much of my time and energy. I was terrified to leave her alone. She convinced me that she could lick this and I was there to help her every step of the way. She had always been able to conquer anything she tried in her life. She was strong. Samantha loved school and desperately wanted to return. She went to University of Massachusetts for a while but relapsed, overdosed and had to be taken to the hospital by ambulance. She almost died, but she said she learned her lesson and would never touch it again. Finally she found Hampshire College in Amherst, Mass., a small $45,000 liberal arts college in a country setting. She believed this idyllic campus would insulate her from the temptations and availability of drugs. In May she borrowed another student's car and bought drugs, got arrested with a hypodermic needle and cocaine in her possession, and ended up on probation. She said she absolutely learned her lesson and would never do it again! She promised over and over!!! I believed her. She seemed to be back on course finally. She spent most of the summer of 2005 in China, going to school and working in an orphanage. She loved children and was getting her degree so she could work with troubled teens. She wrote me this email on June 11, 2005 while she was in China: "MOMMY sorry it's taken a while. I have so much to tell you. I can't thank you enough for enabling and allowing me to take this trip; it is the single most healthy and life-enriching experience I have ever had. I wake up every day exhilarated, with energy and a natural high that is more sensational than anything that could ever come from a dirty poder. I have been slowly learning to speak the language, going to festivals, exploring the city, meeting and spending time with the locals, and more. I get up early and am active all day. I bought a rescue cat named Shao mao at the market and it follows me everywhere and sleeps in my arms (it already has a home when I leave) and I am buying a vespa for very cheap (that a friend will buy from me when I leave) today so I can drive through the cities and see as much as I can. Tomorrow I am going with a few students picked to visit an ancient village and temple, and then to a traditional Chinese wedding. I feel no anxiety, cravings, inhibitions .etc....this place makes me want to make the most of each moment and embrace all this diverse world has to offer me in my lifetime. Hope all is well. Send all my love. Hope you're feeling better. I can't apologize enough for what transpired right before my departure ...I hope you will soon see I am no longer the same person. I am looking to see if I can stay a few weeks longer. Dzai jen, love always, Sammy." The day after she came home she relapsed again. She got herself back in a program at Rushford that I drove her to everyday. We talked, I pleaded, I begged. I was terrified. She finally admitted she was an addict. I brought her and her boyfriend to NA and AA meetings which she hated. She said it was easy to get drugs there and it didn't help. FA is a 12 step program where I learned that I could not control her life so I had to trust her to make the right decisions. She came home for Thanksgiving and all was wonderful; she seemed better than ever, and determined to lick this problem. She was getting all A's in her classes and even filmed a movie using her sisters for a class. It was brilliant! She also found a doctor that could prescribe an opiate blocker. We got the blood work on Thanksgiving break and picked up the prescription before I brought her back to school. When I drove her back to school I talked to her boyfriend, Jessie Johnson, and told him about the drug blocker and that Sam could be emotionally fragile and to be very careful as I worried about a relapse. I emphasized that he could call me any time day or night. I felt good because it was only two weeks before she came home for Christmas vacation. I sighed with relief. I talked to her several times and

Remembering Lost Promise

Samantha Sandler, Cont'd. 3

everything seemed to be going well. She assured me over and over that she was doing well. I decided to plan a Christmas party for all my friends as I hadn't done it in years. I had been too stressed. I decorated the house and tree, and my guests were to arrive on Dec. 16, 2005 at 7 pm. It was almost 6:30 pm when the doorbell rang. I opened the door and 3 policemen came in. They asked me if Samantha Sandler was my daughter and did she go to Hampshire College? When I said yes, they proceeded to tell me that her BODY had been found by her roommate at 9am that morning, deceased in her bed at the dorm of an apparent heroin overdose. Apparently Jessie had borrowed his parent's car and drove her the night before to buy drugs in West Hartford. He said she just wanted to do it one last time and to celebrate the end of the semester. She decided to wait and start the blocker drug during Christmas break. He proceeded to bring her back to the dorm. Tucker, a student passing by, helped him get her to her room on the second floor since she was not able to walk or talk. Tucker said she just moaned and he tried to convince Jessie to call the EMT on campus or bring her to the hospital. Jessie was very adament about knowing how to take care of Sam and finally Tucker, who had never met either one of them before, reluctantly left. Evidently so did Jessie. He left to return his parents car. When he returned the next morning it was too late. He called 911 .Paramedics came and attempted CPR with no result. She was taken to the medical examiner at 9 am and I was never contacted by the school or police until 6:30 that night. My family's nightmare began. It became surreal, we ere living in the twilight zone. Police treated the case with indifference and apathy. My family-- her father Jim, brothers, Josh 28 years old, Zach 27, and sisters Sloane 19, a college student in Montreal and Sierra 13, an eighth grade student--were all devastated. The funeral, the numbness, disbelief, shock, pain, writing an obituary for your child. Calling her brother, Zach, who was living in France, to come home. No investigation, no blame--she used drugs and the Amherst Massachusetts police were not going to waste one minute of their time on this case. Michael D. Ford, Dean of Hampshire College, did not bother to contact the family; he never questioned the staff, students or security personnel who were first on the scene. Nobody cared. Their attitude was she chose the drugs and paid the price. December 16, 2005 was the worst day of my life, the day I lost my beloved angel, my best friend, Samantha. I will love and miss her every moment of every day until I die. My beautiful baby, Sammy. I was a nurse, school and sexual assault counselor, PTO president, Girl Scout leader, and there everyday for my children. Being a good mother was my full time job. I drove them to school everyday and picked them up. Was always there for them, to talk and help them with any problems they had. They were our entire lives. My husband and I have been together 33 years. He is a Princeton, Harvard Law graduate. We were at every swim met, lacrosse game, school play, profusely read to them, and patched every scraped knee ourselves. We had family vacations, lots of pets and lived in a beautiful home in a lovely neighborhood. They all did community service. Nothing was more important than being a good parent. I know there are no guarantees, but in my wildest dreams NEVER EVER did I think this could happen to us. I would have bet my life. Impossible! Not us! The truth we all now know is it can happen to anyone. Addiction will rip your heart out. No discrimination here. It's an epidemic- in every school, public or private. Its five dollars for a bag of heroin. It can kill the first time you use it. It's taking our beautiful, brilliant children, our future. It's Satan. It is HELL on earth! IT CAN HAPPEN TO ANYONE! It leaves shattered families and breaks hearts. IT KILLS anyone that gets in its way. Every day another parent will endure the excoriating pain of a knock on the door or phone call informing them that their child's body is in the morgue. You will never be the same, raped of innocence and forever wondering how could this happen to me? We loved Samantha more than life itself, as she did us, and we said it constantly. We would have died for her if we could have. Samantha was 23 years old when we lost her .If she only knew when she took that first snort or used that first syringe the torment and pain she would put her family and friends through, she would NEVER have chosen to use. She, as well as us and countless others, became victims.

Remembering Lost Promise

Daniel Alan Sangillo

Died Age 32 Cocaine & Morphine

My son, Daniel Alan Sangillo, died of an overdose of cocaine and morphine. He was 32. He was in a car accident, was prescribed OxyContin and became addicted. When he ran out he took everything from Methadone to morphine. He was a wonderful giving person who took care of his family very well. He was a hard worker and was loved by all who knew him. His struggle to get clean went on for years. His family misses him something awful and I feel, at times, I might not make it. How can this keep happening in our country? Fighting for our freedom? What about the fight to keep our kids off drugs? We will never be protected from terrorists because the real murderers are the drug dealers who live right here in this country. Not enough money and energy is being spent on this cause. I've worked hard all my life to raise my kids, paid taxes, and yet, I tried to get help for my son from everywhere--to no avail. It's too late for my Danny, but maybe not for someone else's child if only the right people will listen. How many deaths is it going to take? My son worked very hard and he was very proud: proud to be an American, proud of the work he did and the man he was. But a doctor prescribed medication for him that is killing thousands of people. He was not monitored whatsoever. He had a home, a future wife, and a beautiful and very promising future. His family had to sit by and watch his life be destroyed by drugs. Where have we gone wrong when our children are killing themselves right before our eyes and there is nothing we can do about it? Is there help out there? Help for parents? Help for the addicts? I heard so many times, "He has to want to stop." Of course he wanted to stop, he just could not. That's addiction.

Remembering Lost Promise

Justin Luke Scancarello

Died Age 21 Cocaine & Opiates

I lost my beautiful 21-year old son, Justin Luke, two years ago. He had an adverse reaction to cocaine and opiates. To this day, I am heartbroken and distraught. My life will never be the same without my beautiful son. Drugs kill and destroy the families left here to grieve. My loving son, Justin Luke is forever in my heart, Mom ~ Linda Scancarello ~

Remembering Lost Promise

David Schmidt


My beloved son David died February 2, 2006 from a time-release morphine overdose. Our whole family is grieving the loss of David--now and in the future. He had so much to give and a granddaughter Emmalee he dearly loved. Whose lap will she sit on to learn to write her name as she did with her Poppi? What about graduation and marriage? What about Joseph, Sara and Kristen as they go through life without their father? What about Dave's mother, father, stepfather, 3 brothers and a sister who loved him dearly. The people who supply these drugs go on with their lives as if nothing happened, while Dave's family are living one day at a time. ~ Patty Schmidt

Remembering Lost Promise

Ephraim David Schultz

Died Age 21 Methadone & Opiates

My 21 year old Son Ephraim David Schultz died from a massive overdose of opiates and Methadone. My life will never be the same. He purchased these drugs from the son of a mother who was given these prescriptions from two MD's without just cause. We need MORE effective rehabs in this country, and tougher laws against prescription and other drugs being abused. ~ Mary Jo Alessio

Remembering Lost Promise

Stephen Rhett Sharpe, Jr.

Died Age 21 Heroin

and remember how much he loved him. For his story to be on this memorial wall is cathartic and offers hope for all of our children in the fight against drugs. The addiction was a very lonely world but I am determined his death will not be in vain or go unnoticed. So this is my tribute to you, Stephen, my sweet, sweet son...we wish you peace and tranquility. 1-19-1983 ­ 7-24-2004 ~ Pris Sharpe

He was 21 years old when he overdosed on heroin. He didn't want to be an addict, but the disease and a series of choices overtook my only child. Two weeks prior to his death, he wanted to be admitted in a 2-year program, after three failed attempts in outpatient rehab. He got there but was denied because of a 4-week old wrist fracture. He was so sure he could kick this, but he couldn't...and now, his Dad and I will forever feel this heartwrenching loss. There isn't a day that goes by that I don't miss his laugh or the smell of his cologne or look at his cat, Gremlin,

Remembering Lost Promise

Tracey Sloane Sheridan

Died Age 35 Xanax, OxyContin, Cocaine

Tracey did love her children so much! Now I am left with no one, as are my grandchildren, now orphans. She fought a 20-year addiction that she couldn't shake, no matter how hard she tried, and I know in my heart that at the end she felt totally hopeless, and could no longer see the possibility of getting her children back, or regaining the trust of a single soul. Please pray for her children & me if you would be so kind. Tracey was such a vital young woman and so intelligent. She managed an internet company. She was a smiley, happy child and always had a multitude of friends who all came to her for counsel--until she became unmanageable. Her first husband left her when Ryan was a baby and never

heard from him again. Her second husband, a professional man, tried everything to help her including "intervention." He took her baby away. My husband and I raised the oldest until the age of 8 and I became ill. The family became totally fractured, and there seems no end to this story. I am completely broken hearted. Thank you for bringing the faces of addiction to a world that looks down at our children as if they were they lowest creatures on the earth. Not so! They were just in a pain that they didn't know how else to handle. ~Tracey's mom, Agnes Sparnecht Tracey's children: Ryan Paul Cotton & Sloane Taylor Sheridan

Remembering Lost Promise

Scotty Simmons


William Scott Simmons who was born in Van Nuys, California on October 22, 1957 and passed away In Santa Cruz, California on October 16, 2004 at the age of 47. Although Scott and I were separated, he has always been very dear to my heart. He is survived by his three beautiful children: Cheyenne 17, Michael 16, and Chyna 14 and his brothers, Gary and Andrew. He was loved by many, both family and friends. We will remember him forever. Scotty struggled with addiction to Methamphetamine AKA Crank, Crystal, Meth. Ultimately he lost his life to the drug he loved so much. As long as I knew Scott, he always snorted and, on rare occasions, smoked the drug. I understand that lately he had been shooting up, and as a result, got a bacterial infection, cellulitis. He probably thought was just an abscess, and he more then likely tried to treat it himself. By the time he realized that he couldn't, and it was getting worse, and went to the hospital, he had waited too long. It had turned into staph and necrotizing fasciitis. He lived for seven days until his body went into septic shock and he had a cardiac arrest and died. Scotty was a wonderful person and loved to be helpful. If Scott's death can reach out and help just one person then he died not in vain. Methamphetamine does not discriminate. No matter your race, creed, or age .. No matter how you use it. Meth Kills.

Remembering Lost Promise

Smith Family

Three Members Died Alcohol, Crack, Cocaine

I lost my mother to drugs six days after I graduated from college, then lost my oldest sister to cocaine a few years later, only to lose my youngest sister,(who was an all American in college) to crack after her second year. I took my oldest sister's two daughters afterwards and proceeded to raise them as a single man, fresh out of college. It was only with my grandmother and by the Grace of GOD that we successfully broke the chain. My two nieces are now happily married and both living in Norfolk, Virginia. I just went down last year and gave my youngest niece away to her new husband. One has two beautiful girls who are attending a spiritual school and the other has a beautiful daughter who will start school soon. They both are very thankful to GOD for bringing them through and we love each other dearly. They both refer to me as their dad and it makes me very proud. I continue to pray for both of them and their families everyday! I am going to try to find a photo of my mom and sisters for the wall because I think they just didn't know how much they were loved and how much of a loss they would leave in the hearts of so many people. People never realize that when they do drugs and hurt themselves...they aren't just hurting themselves... they are hurting all their love ones as well. It was extremely hard for me because this is my field and I have helped so many people... yet I could not do anything for my own mother and sisters. I am not bitter at all because I have too much to be thankful for now and I give thanks every single day! To all those and all mine who have fallen prey to the deadly disease of drugs...may you rest in peace and may GOD grant peace and serenity to your family and love ones. PEACE ONE LOVE, Art Smith Left to Right: My mother, Cora, died Age 36 from alcohol; my sister, Noravena, died Age 26 from Crack; my sister Deborah, died age 37 from Cocaine.

Remembering Lost Promise

Gregory Paul Sonderegger

Died Age 24 Heroin & Cocaine

My 24 year-old son, Gregory Paul Sonderegger, died of acute cocaine and heroin intoxication on November 13, 2005. He struggled with his addiction to heroin for 7 years before it took his life.

Remembering Lost Promise

Patrick M. Stewart

Died Age 24 OxyContin

4/27/80-7/9/04 remove OxyContin (and generics) and Palladone from the market until changes related to safety and prescribing parameters could be changed. While the FDA has temporarily removed Palladone from the market, OxyContin and generics remain on the market and continue to be prescribed inappropriately for moderate pain. Please contact the FDA and your U.S. Congress members in support of Citizen Petition 2005P0076. Thank you. ~Patrick's Mom, Barbara Van Rooyan

On July 9, 2004 my 24 year-old son, Patrick M. Stewart died after ingesting just ONE OxyContin. His toxicology report indicated no other drugs in his system and a blood alcohol level equivalent to one beer. Patrick was an SDSU graduate, graphic designer, and certified personal trainer with great promise and dreams to fulfill. In February 2005, my husband and I filed FDA Citizen Petition 2005-P-0076 requesting that the FDA temporarily

Remembering Lost Promise

Steven Randall Stone

Died Age 39 Heroin

December 21, 1966 - September 17, 2005 Los Angeles, California

My son Steven died of a herion overdose on September 17, 2005. In his teens and early adulthood Steven struggled with drugs and alcohol but Steven wasn't satisfied leading that kind of life. At age twenty one he entered rehab and remained clean and sober for sixteen years. During those years he was an active member of Alcoholics Anonymous. He also was employed as an intake couselor for two different rehab centers and was the director of People Against Drugs, a non profit organization. In Steven's short life he helped many people find freedom from drugs and alcohol. After many years of sobriety Steven relapsed and died from this cunning, baffling and powerful disease. Now as a MOM I'm struggling. How do I pick up the pieces of my life? How do I laugh again? What went wrong? The answers will never come and even if they did, it wouldn't change anything. ~ Carol Winship

Remembering Lost Promise

Jason Surks

Died Age 19 Prescription Drugs

Jason was 19 years old when he died of an overdose of prescription drugs that he was taking recreationally. He was in his second year of college, studying to be a pharmacist. He whole life was ahead of him ­ we just didn't know that his whole life would be so short and end so abruptly. Jay was a people magnet. He was just as comfortable talking to an adult he'd just met as he was talking with one of his many friends. He had an enormous "buddy list" both on and off his computer. His cell phone was glued to his ear. Jay had an uncanny ability to always land on his feet. No matter the adversity, no matter the deadline, the lights always turned green as Jay approached them. He reveled in this remarkable circumstance. It gave him confidence while his grades only gave him aggravation. Despite being just an average student in a household that had above average expectations, Jay knew he would be a success in life. We discussed it many times. His innate abilities and just plain luck seemed to work in his favor. There was the time he had a car repair bill for which he had no money. The same day he won just what he needed in a scratch-off lottery ticket. Or the time his bike was stolen outside the building where he worked. Six months later it was returned to the exact spot. Jason was a caring person who loved life, loved his family, and respected family tradition. He grew up in a happy and enriching environment with a strong religious and moral compass. He had a great sense of humor and always had a smile on his face. He was tall and handsome and friendly. He loved children--he worked at a day camp for several summers and babysat for two little boys who adored him. There are so many people in this world who miss him. We have all lost so much. His sister has lost the life-long companion that siblings grow into. At ages 15 and 19, with Jason off at school, their relationship was just beginning to mature. His parents have lost the opportunity to see this fine young man mature into a husband, a father. His life potential was limitless; there was such promise--now lost. ~ The Surks Family~

Remembering Lost Promise

Tony Sweeney

Died Age 19 Heroin

On October 30, 2006, it will be 7 years since we lost our son, Tony. He was 19 years old. He died from a heroin overdose. He was handsome, athletic, and social. He never admitted to his addiction. He used one last time after six months of being clean. Our lives will never be the same without him. We miss his big hugs and his beautiful smile. We feel his absence every day. There is always sadness even during special family times like weddings, birthdays, and holidays. Our lives will never, ever be the same without Tony. We will always think about what could have been if he didn't become addicted to heroin. We have to believe that God saved him from a life that was ruled by this horrible addiction. It's the only way we can make any sense of losing Tony this way. ~ Linda Sweeney

Remembering Lost Promise

Jeffrey Taylor

Died Age 47 Cocaine & Methamphetamine

Jeffery Taylor was my beloved little brother. He was 47 years old; he died April 30, 2006 from a drug overdose. You see, Jeffery was addicted to crack cocaine and meth. Jeff loved animals, and I thought he loved his family. Now, he has left behind a mother, father, sister, brother and many friends who mourn him every single day. Jeff had been addicted to drugs for most of his life. Everyone turned a blind eye to the tragedy, especially my mother. knew one day drugs would kill him, and they did. They consumed his life and eventually took his life. No one is immune from drugs. Look around you. Your brother, sister, or friend might be using drugs. I beg any one who reads this... if you know someone who uses drugs, please, please urge them to seek help. My brother is gone, taken from us too early in his life. It is too late for me to help him, but, hopefully, one person will read this and seek help. Believe me..... drugs kill! ~Charlotte Bradshaw

Remembering Lost Promise

Joey Taylor

Died Age 22 Heroin

My son, Joey Taylor, overdosed on heroin September 19, 2005. He was 22 years old. He died at home in his bedroom. His father found him in the morning. Joey had been clean for 7 months. Joey was gentle, kind, and compassionate. He was a poet, musician, and artist. He was liked by all and loved by many. He loved animals and nature. He had a smile that lit up a room, and it seemed he was always smiling, on the outside at least. Joey is my son, the light of my life, my very best friend, my teacher, my conscience, my heart. He, like the others, had so much ahead of him. He would have been a great father and husband. The beauty has gone out of my life. ~His mom, Leslie Taylor

Remembering Lost Promise

Keith Tedesco

Died Age 18 Heroin

I think it's important for people to see this because so many people think only BAD kids do drugs...this kid was the all American boy. The typical boy next door. Keith always loved and participated in all sports and dreamed of a football career. He was also on the weight lifting team and was number 1 in his weight class. He won many awards and trophies in baseball, football and weights since the age of 5. He LOVED sports and he was so good. Where did it all go so terribly wrong? I wish I knew! ~ Pam Tedesco, Keith's Mom Keith Tedesco October 14, 1978-June 9,1997 HEROIN OVERDOSE 18 YEARS OLD Left broken hearted...Mom, Dad, Brothers, Jesse, Tommy, Joe, Nieces,Jordyn,Tiffany,Lana. His loving PAPA! Many Aunts & Uncles, Cousins and so many friends. Our lives are forever changed. Drugs destroyed our once happy family!


Remembering Lost Promise


Xanax & Methadone

In May 2003, my boyfriend and I both overdosed on methadone and Xanax. I lived, he didn't. I stayed in ICU for 9 days. I couldn't attend his funeral. He loved me totally with all his heart. I miss him every minute of every day. I wish I could tell him what he meant to me. I wish I could have told him I loved him one more time. I wish I could talk to him right now. For those of you who are with the ones you love, please always let them know how much you care. I can't and it hurts so bad. Thad has a 16 year old daughter. Pray for her and his mom. I dream about him, I hear his voice. I still haven't gone to his grave. I will when I'm ready. I often wonder why God took him and not me. I have to tell myself that God has a purpose for him in Heaven.

Remembering Lost Promise

Michael Paul Tiedemann

Died Age 15 GHB

tell her. It would be 12 long agonizing weeks before we would learn that Michael had died from GHB. We learned everything we could about this drug and were educated about all of the other drugs out there stealing our youth. We started "Michael's Message" A Drug Awareness Program in March of 2000. We have had the honor of testifying before Congressional Hearings in Orlando and Washington. We have shared Michael's Message with just over a quarter of a million students in Florida, Georgia, and Illinois and hope to take this message nationwide. www.michaelsmessage. org Michael was a kind, loving and very giving young man. He was wise beyond his years. He was an old soul. ~ Michael's dad

Michael Paul Tiedemann died October 2, 1998. His cause of death was GHB Toxicity. Our son was only 15 years of age. Drugs have stolen many lives our son, brother, uncle included. Michael was all of these characters in life and a friend to many. Michael was a sophomore in high school with dreams of one day becoming a doctor. He was an honor roll student making the deans list. He was a mentor for a young boy who was withdrawn and frightened and gave him confidence in himself. He was an athlete achieving his black belt in April 1998. Michael was and will forever be a handsome young man. Loved by his family and many friends and missed by all who knew him. hat morning we lived every parent's worst nightmare. I opened Michael's bedroom door and found our son 15 year old son dead in his bed. The toughest assignment I have ever had was waking his mother to

Remembering Lost Promise

Rachel Fay Timmington

Died Age 25 Ecstasy

Remembering Rachel to us is not about the drug, but the love she gave us and the love we had for her. We need to reach out to people and tell them that taking any kind of drug is Russian Roulette and life is better than that. Rachel will always be in our hearts. God bless her. ~ Sandy & Mick Timmington ~

We lost our daughter, Rachel Fay Timmington, on July 31, 2005. She died from Ecstasy. Rachel was only 25 years old, and a beautiful young woman who had so much going for her. She made a wrong choice that killed her.

Remembering Lost Promise

John Stewart Towns

Died Age 30 Xanax, GHB, Cocaine

hold on him, that he couldn't do it on his own. John's kind and gentle spirit will be missed by all of us, especially his parents and siblings. No one should have to deal with this kind of pain, and I hope that John's story can prevent just one young person from choosing drugs. ~ Ann-Marie Boemio

My brother, John Stewart Towns, age 30 died April 26,2006 of a drug overdose. John was always such a smart kid and a computer wiz. He always liked to build things and figure out how things worked. He was so funny and caring, and loyal. John was very shy, and when he discovered Xanex at the age of 18, he realized that xanex could help him with his social life and with his ability to talk to people. He got hooked to Xanex very quickly, and he also began to use GHB and Cocaine. He struggled with addiction for more than a decade. John wanted to get off the drugs, but they had such a strong

Remembering Lost Promise

Brett Matthew Tozzo

Died Age 22 Pain Pills

Tozzo Brett Matthew 9/8/82 to 6/19/05 I had no idea Brett had turned to drugs for comfort from a hurtful breakup until a month before his death. He said it was pain pills...I asked him how he planned to conquer it and he said he had a plan, a program that would help him. He said it was helping him...I questioned him over and over again but he never told the truth... the program did NOT work...buprenorphine should have been given on an inpatient basis--not an outpatient basis! His experiment with drugs was quick and lethal... and he died alone on the bathroom floor on Father's Day. Now he is with his Daddy, finally at peace, and in Jesus' arms. He is greatly missed, and his bright smile and incredible humor has left a void on this earth. Rest in Peace my son.... Love, Mom

My son Brett lost his dad when he was only six. Throughout the years I struggled to be both parents to him... but he longed for his father he never got a chance to know. He spoke openly about wishing he could remember more... and feared forgetting the few treasured memories he kept locked inside. As a teen, Brett started getting anxiety attacks... mostly due to his belief that he could not be who he wanted to be...could not be the success he knew his dad was, and his belief he was failing at everything he tried. It was not true...but there was no convincing him.

Remembering Lost Promise

Jerry Trowbridge

Died Age 21 Xanax

My son Jerry passed away on May 28, 2004 at the much too young age of 21. Jerry died from an addiction to Xanax. Jerry is sadly missed by his only brother and his family and so tremendously missed by me and our two puppies, and I'm sure my shining star is above us watching over us... I love you son and miss you more than life itself. In Peace and Love Jerry's Mom--- Margie T.

Remembering Lost Promise

Charles "Ryan" Untz

Died Age 19 Pills & Alcohol

At a 6th grade parent/teacher conference I was told that the power of Ryan's charisma was almost "scary". This teacher had never seen such a young person draw the admiration and respect of his peers, en masse, has Ryan did. There was truly something very special about Ryan. Small children were attracted to him, older people enjoyed his company, and he was immensely popular with his friends and deeply loved by his family. After a traumatic loss of an older cousin from a heroine overdose, Ryan, instead of receiving support from the Catholic School system he'd grown up in, was treated with intolerance and his self esteem began deteriorating. This was when "everybody" was trying out partying, horrific timing in a young male's life. Ryan was knowledgeable about addictions and alcoholism. He grew up knowing his father preferred a beer can to him, his brother and sister. Ryan tried so hard, over and over and over, to overcome his increasing drug use. He sought treatment on more than one occasion. In May of 2004 when Ryan was in the hospital from a pill and alcohol overdose, he solemnly promised me that if could not beat his problem, "this time", that he would go into long term treatment. The summer of 2004 was a very happy one for us. Ryan got a job he was proud of and worked so hard at. He was attentive to his family, especially his older brother Karl who was recovering from a major accident and to his younger sister, Kerry. He took it as his personal responsibility to watch

out for her, in the absence of a father figure for her. Ryan came home every night, as that is where his heart was. He wanted to watch the Braves with Karl, lie on the couch with his girlfriend, Lauren, and watch a movie, or to entertain us at the kitchen table over dinner. I was pretty good at detecting renewed and or increased drug abuse, through little signs such as his coloring, mood, dramatic increases in candy eating, but the week of August 2, 2004 was more hectic than usual. Ryan went out Thursday night, August 5th but did not come home, a very disturbing fact to us. On Friday, August 6th, we began calling him repeatedly and began a search for him. This time, when Ryan relapsed, he used with kids he didn't know very well, and really didn't care for. When he went into convulsions, the fear of legal trouble prevented these kids to call for help for my son. When the medics did arrive, Ryan was technically already brain dead. We caught up with him, (or his tall handsome physical self) in the Intensive Care Unit. We released him to God on Sunday, August 8, 2004. Our priest told us the Church had more people in it than any Christmas Mass, I believe because Ryan whistled louder, walked taller and sang with more heart than anyone we've ever known. 10.25.84 08.08.04 "One Love" ~ Karl Untz

Remembering Lost Promise

Scott Vance

Died Age 35 Died Drug Overdose

I lost my 35 year old nephew, Scott, to a drug overdose on December 2, 2005. He was such a fine young man and had so much to offer the world. I loved him and miss him terribly. My sister and brother-in-law are also devastated. His untimely death has helped to make me even more committed to making a difference in the drug prevention arena. Thank you for all you're doing to help honor his memory and the memories of others who have died from this terrible disease. ~ Becky Vance

Remembering Lost Promise

Gino Joseph Ventimiglia

Died Age 26 Heroin

10-08-1977 thru 10-23-2003

Gino was my first born son. He was gentle, loving, and talented. Gino lost his life when he checked into a hotel room with 12 bags of heroin. Though we don't know that he planned suicide for sure, we believe that fearing going back to jail he chose to end his life by overdosing on all twelve bags of heroin. Gino died alone in a hotel room without anyone around him who loved him. We were not notified of Gino's death. My beloved son lay in the county morgue for nine days and no one let us know. We had called the morgue and were told they had no one matching my son's description. My baby died alone in a hotel room, and then lay dead and unclaimed for nine days because no one cared enough to think that this addict had a family who loved him and was desperate to find him during those nine sleepless nights of hell. The police, the county coroner, no one cared because to them he wasn't a person, he was just a junkie. Our family has been destroyed because of our son's tragic death. I cry everyday for my son. I can't come to terms with his death, and I am overwhelmed by this tremendous grief that is never ending. I swore that I would not let Gino's life and death be in vain. Please, if you suffer from the disease of addiction reach out for help before it is too late. Don't put your parents through the hell of losing a child to substance abuse. ~ Gino's Mom

Remembering Lost Promise

Chad Joseph Wagner

Died Age 37 Heroin

our food; we scrapped the coins from under the car seat to buy it for you." From and old neighbor: "Chad will always be my guardian angel. One time when I was stuck in the snow, Chad came to my rescue. He wouldn't take any money (I probably only had a couple dollars in my purse), but Chad pulled me out and saw that I got home safely." From a friend of Chad's sister: "I did everything wrong after high school, and when I returned home with an out-of-wedlock child and a divorce behind me, my friends would insist I go to parties, weddings, etc. I always felt out of place, but inevitably Chad would be there and sincerely ask me how things were going; he would look at pictures of my son and be sincerely interested. He would then pull me into the conversation with a group of others and go off to save someone else, no doubt. I always though Chad would be a PR guy or something. I always wished I had a brother like him. In church, I kept thinking that if Chad were there, he would have introduced me to those around me and made a place for me in the pew. CHAD'S LOST PROMISE.... Chad would have been an awesome sponsor to those struggling to overcome this cunning deadly disease called drug addiction. His father and I are trying to take his place, with his guidance, we started the Foxfire Foundation, Inc in Fort Mitchell, Kentucky to educate the public that DRUG ADDICTION IS A DISEASE and to help those who might start down that path--not to go there. ~ Carol Wagner

In describing Chad's lost promise, I as his mother, shall not use my words, as they would be very biased. Instead I shall use words taken from letters I received after his sudden and unexpected death. From a childhood friend: "My first meeting with Chad, was when we were about 4 or 5 years old; it started with two boys scuffling on the ground (to this day I cannot remember what the fight was about), but it ended with a handshake and a friendship that lasted a lifetime." From one of Chad's girlfriends in high school and college: "Chad was my first love, in driving back to the University of Kentucky, I got sick and was laying in the back of the jeep, Chad kept checking on me to be sure I was alright. Chad seemed to really know how to live; he helped me learn that you have to live life to the fullest. He was so nice to everyone and never judged people. He was liked by everyone and was very popular. One of the things I loved most about Chad was his inability to include everyone and treat everyone equal. Chad had such a sense of humor, he would always make me laugh; in re-reading his letters, he would say such things as `Remember, Julie, pigs get fat; hogs get slaughtered.' or `Dr Chad J. Wagner, Professor of Psychology, with degrees already in spelling language skills, etc.'" From his sister: "Whatsup?" Chad was a special brother, son and father.... One time on his way to a hockey game, he and some friends stopped to get a hamburger; money was short, but they each got their fill. One leaving the McDonald's, there was a homeless man begging. Chad instigated his friends to gather up the change they had to give to the homeless man. The man was not really looking for food, but wanted money, (no doubt to buy alcohol) and when he said "I don't want any damn food." Chad said, "Please sir, take

Remembering Lost Promise

Justin Walker

Died Age 17 Heroin

Justin came to Minnesota from rehab in Florida on January 20, 2006. He battled addiction for about 5 years and really wanted sobriety . On Sunday, January 22nd, a police officer came to my house and informed me that Justin had died. Justin died of a heroin overdose. I'm so devastated. . Also to add to my pain, his two best friends and two adults were present, but no one called for assistance because they didn't want "TO GET INVOLVED." So, Justin died that night. He was only 17 years old. ~ Corrine Walker

Remembering Lost Promise

Scott Cole Walker

Died Age 20 Suicide / Drugs & Alcohol

My nephew was a young and very talented musician. Drugs and alcohol played a deadly game with him. He completed suicide at the age of 20. He is loved and missed by all who knew him. I often wonder if Scott would still be alive today if he had been able to get help for his drug and alcohol abuse. He did try to get help through a program that his job offered, but when he asked for the help, he was told that there wasn't anything available to help him at that time. Two months, later Scott took a handful of pills and drank a lot of beer and then took his life with a 12 gauge shot gun in his mouth. 10-28-1976 ~ 08- 17- 1997 Mississippi , USA Aunt Wanda

Remembering Lost Promise

Timothy Parker Walters

Died Age 22 Heroin

September 16, 1983 - December 31, 2005 loved his truck and was very proud of it. We guess he started experimenting with drugs, but we had no idea. He lived at home with us and seemed fine. There were no signs of drug abuse. We are devastated over the loss of Tim. Our lives are forever changed. He was a good kid, just becoming a wonderful man and we are forever proud of him. We only wish we could have helped him that night to not experiment with the awful drugs that killed him and so many other good kids who have no idea of the consequences. We love Tim and wish that other kids learn from his mistake. It only took one time for us to lose the best part of our life. We know Tim didn't want to die. He loved life. The horrors of drug abuse took him from us. Kate Walters (Mom of Tim)

Our son, Tim, 22, died from an accidental heroin overdose on Dec. 31, 2005. We believe he had done heroin once before, but this time, he was injected by a person he had known since kindergarten. He died immediately. Tim was a trusting person, who saw good in everyone. We believe he only let this person inject him because he had known him for so long. Tim was in college studying graphic arts and working for the family business in construction. We had no idea he was getting high or using any kind of drugs. The coroner's report showed heroin, marijuana, and alcohol in his system. He was a good son and friend who was willing to help anyone. He was friendly, with a contagious smile that everyone loved. He

Remembering Lost Promise

Ricky Weldon

Died Age 24 Heroin

We lost our son Ricky in July 2003. He was 24 yrs old. He died from a heroin overdose.

He had been in recovery, but was in a serious accident, he broke his back and his foot, I guess that he had so much pain and he knew what would help. So nine days later he died of a heroin overdose. He had so much to live for; he loved boating, dirt bike riding and just being with his family and friends. We all miss him; he lit up a room with his energy. ~ Chris Weldon

Remembering Lost Promise

Matthew Casey Wethington

Died Age 23 Heroin

In February 2002, Casey came to us for help. Before we left for the treatment center, Casey looked at us and said, "I just want to be normal." He stayed six days at the treatment center, just long enough to detox. I'm sure that Casey did not understand the magnitude of his disease any more than we did. Casey's drug use, which began at the age of 14 or 15, progressed to dependence; and, after a year of being addicted to heroin, Casey died. Casey lost his battle with addiction after his third and final overdose and ten days of being in a coma, just six short months after we learned of his disease. We actually lost Casey long before he physically died and even more tragic is that Casey lost himself. Matthew Casey Wethington died on August 19, 2002 at the young age of 23, a life of lost promise. Matthew Casey Wethington will never be able to develop the writing talent that his high school teacher recognized, increase the computer skills his employer at the University of Cincinnati valued, hone the "natural talent" that he had as a guitar student, or become another "Tony Hawk" on his skateboard. None of these talents and abilities will be realized because Casey lost the fight of his life in his battle with the disease of addiction. Even more than the loss of his talents and abilities, is the loss of the spirit that was Casey. I used to tell Casey he should be a comedian. He had a wonderful sense of humor that would catch people completely off guard. When you thought he wasn't even aware of the conversation, he would come out with a one-liner that would cause uncontrollable laughter. Casey was a source of joy to everyone who knew him. I used to

Matthew Casey Wethington was born to Jim and Charlotte Wethington on December 1, 1978 in Covington, Kentucky. He came into this world with red hair and a strong will. He developed a personality accentuated by his winning smile and infectious laugh. Casey had two half-sisters who loved him as a "brother" and a "granny" who adored him. Casey was a happy little boy who, through most of his days, truly lived life. He enjoyed all kinds of sports. He played soccer, baseball, basketball, and earned a yellow belt in Tai kwon do, and participated in the Junior Wrestling Program in middle school. He enjoyed time spent riding anything with wheels and a motor, but eventually found that the activity he liked best was skateboarding. Casey was an average student throughout his school career. As a teacher in his elementary school, I was able to stay very closely connected to Casey and his friends. Even though Casey had never been fond of school, he had been raised by parents who valued their education and had used it to provide him with a comfortable life. So, upon graduation from high school, Casey enrolled at the University of Cincinnati. He completed three years at U.C. Even though he attempted to earn a degree, he never graduated. Casey's drug use progressed to addiction and heroin and replaced everything in his life: his family, his friends, girlfriend, education and hobbies. Casey and I discussed many times which came first the depression or the drug use. I'll never really know the answer to that conundrum. What I do know is that Casey couldn't remember ever being that happy little boy or what he liked "to do to have fun anymore."

Remembering Lost Promise

Matthew Casey Wethington, Cont'd

say that it was like Christmas when he came home for a visit. Now, the "Christmases" are gone, a grandson, a half-brother, uncle, or friend. He was all those things and so much more. Casey was passionate about social justice and nothing disturbed him more than life situations that just weren't "fair." Casey cared and that caring could have led him to be an agent of change. We'll never know the extent to which Casey could have changed the world, but I do know that Casey's life and death has made a difference in other lives in danger of being lost to drugs. A law that was passed in the state of Kentucky in 2004 is known as the Matthew Casey Wethington Act for Substance Abuse Intervention. Casey died and an advocate was born. Thank you, Casey, for causing people like your mother to step "out of the box" so that we can continue to fight the battle. ~ Charlotte Wethington ~

Remembering Lost Promise

Greg Weyant

Died Age 26 Heroin

I lost my 26 year old son Greg Weyant on January 24, 2005 from a heroin overdose. He was my only child and my life. He had been clean for 18 months. Doing great. Working, spending time with his daughter and all of his family. When God took Greg , he took a big part of me with him. I will never be the same again. I miss him so much. I can't wait to see him again and give him a hug and see that great smile of his. I love you Greg. Mom ~ Dorothy Meade

Remembering Lost Promise

Jennifer Caroline Wittberger

Died Age 20 Heroin

mined to quit drugs. She would go to live with a brother and his wife and enter a rehab. When Scott arrived at JC's apartment, it was to be met by paramedics rushing her to the hospital. Jennifer Caroline had taken one last heroin trip. She was pronounced dead shortly after arriving at the facility on May 18, 1994. She would have been 21 in two month's time. The young man?... he took his own life almost two years to the day of the later. We share our daughter's story to hopefully deter other young people from experimenting with any substance. They MAY be lucky and unscathed..but...on the other hand..? Here was someone who had so many talents, was a vibrant, lovely young woman of promise with a terrific zany sense of humor. Someone who always cared for others and even had 6 cats at one time. Loved Life.....until...? drugs. A delight to know when not under the influence of

Jennifer Caroline was welcomed into our family and this world on July 19th, 1973. The youngest of six children, with four older brothers and a sister who doted on her. Jennifer was an extremely intelligent child who communicated easily with everyone from children to adults. By age three she was already showing interest in Ancient Egypt, which later developed into a love of history, anthropology, and archeology. Equally loved was swimming and horse-back riding, although she was adamant about not competing. An avid reader, Jennifer began writing and illustrating her own stories from age eight, which later developed into poetry, also. From ten onwards, she kept an almost daily jounal that, in teen years, would be dedicated to "Norma Jean"... her idol, Marilyn Monroe. Because of her dramatic personality, it was no surprise that she wanted to pursue an acting career as I, her mother, had been a professional actress. By this time, in 6th grade, Jennifer was known to family and friends as simply JC. JC was definitely talented, winning an award for her portrayal of Ariel and was an oustanding Kate in `The Taming of the Shrew.' A headstrong, intellectually mature teen at 15 years, it was puzzling and surprising to learn that she had tried marajuana at a party (Let no one say that this drug does NOT lead to breaking down barriers to be an entry drug to more powerful substances). It was easy for JC to be persuaded to try LSD next and when she `fell' madly in love at 16 1/2 years -the pressure to experiment further eventually led to heroin. Our home had become a battleground as we fought for our daughter and tried to help her quit all drugs. JC hated being a junkie by age 17 years. She tried many times to free herself from addiction while living at home with the family or away. Every day was a struggle. Finally, JC began a relationship with a wonderful, (drug-free) young man whom she'd met in college two years previously. They planned a future together and she was deter-

We welcomed her, loved her and in spite of the `torture years' from 15-18 (at 19-20 we thought we were winning!)-we, her daddy and I, brothers and sister, would do anything to have her back with us again. can't bargain with Death. JC....thank you for being a part of our you well know, we love you forever. Your mummy and daddy. We feel that our daughter is very much continuing and influencing part of our lives in many ways. For the past three years, we have been telling her story in schools and other facilities to steer young people away from her path. Our loved ones continue to be with us in many guises. God Bless you all for continuing to love and keep them close. Warm embraces to you all. ~Pat and Russ, Jenny's parents.

Remembering Lost Promise

Richard Charles Young

Died Age 23 Cocaine

Richard Charles

August 26, 1952 ­ August 31, 1975

Richard Charles Young

Remembering Lost Promise


Vigil for Lost Promise: Virtual Wall

180 pages

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