On September 10, 1996, we lost Ian to an accidental drug overdose from heroin and valium. Today is the 18th year of his death. I take this opportunity to share with you not how Ian died but how he lived.
All who knew Ian would agree that he had a special way to make everyone feel important. He was very sensitive. He listened and cared about everyone very deeply. I think this was because of his sister Candace who was born with Down Syndrome. He had an insight on life well beyond his years. He said Candace was his heart.
I know his family and friends miss Ian especially on this day. It’s hard to go back and remember this day 18 years ago. I miss Ian the same amount I loved him.
Let us all pray that the children of this world will no longer be touched by the temptation of unhealthy decisions to use drugs and know that whatever turn they take will affect their family, friends and community as well as themselves.
It was told to me shortly after Ian’s death that I would receive gifts. It was not too long after that I became aware of what these gifts would bring. The gifts were understanding, support, love, encouragement and the belief in my mission to empower youth to be drug-free. I could not carry out this mission alone.
It takes a village, a community, a state and a nation to recognize that we all have to join together to make changes. I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has touched my life and helped me on this journey. There are so many old and new friends that supported me and my family to help move our mission forward.