Legacies Of Hope
Eric, our son, passed March 4th, 2017. As we reflect on who our son was and always will be to us, we would like to share him with you. Eric was only 29 years young when he lost his battle to the disease of addiction. In honor of his angel-versary, we are choosing to be a sponsor for someone wanting recovery. We strongly feel his guidance around us as we choose to help another in need.
Our son Eric was a kind and caring man with a great smile and a soft hug. He was a smart, handsome, creative, sensitive soul with a great work ethic who loved to build with his hands. He helped us with many projects. He liked to fish and would love to experiment with new cooking recipes. His love for animals had always stood out, always choosing to rescue an animal and give them a home. He had a special bond with his dog Mischa.
Eric had his challenges in life and ultimately fell victim to them. We are not sure how and when he became addicted to opioids and then heroin, but he was really struggling the last few years of his life. He fought the battle hard every day and even through his tough times he was always there for his friends in need to give them support and advice when asked. Always and forever his loving parents- Mary & Kevin Kennedy
My son Vaughn passed away from a heroin overdose July 17, 2015, 4 days before his 25th birthday. His addiction to opioids began after having several back surgeries. Oxycodone was given for the pain. My son was one of the most compassionate people I have ever met. His smile and laugh were infectious. Throughout his addiction, he was able to help other people struggling but unfortunately was not able to help himself in the same way. This may sound strange, but I believe there was a bigger purpose to all of this.
My sons passing was a catalyst for me. It made me a better person. It changed my direction and attitude about life. As devastating and sad as it is that I lost my son, I have to thank him for the gifts he has given me. I loved him when he was alive, and my love for him continues to grow stronger every day. Thank you Vaughn, for being the person you are. I love you. -Janet
When you hear that someone is struggling with drug addiction, you immediately feel sympathy for their parents and/or spouse. What you may not realize is that another family member is equally affected if not more affected; the siblings of the addict. Your sister is your first friend, the person you grow up with and the person that you're closest to. Most sisters are best friends; someone who you can turn to when you need to complain about your parents, when you can't sleep, or when you just need a laugh. Having your sibling, your best friend kidnapped by this disease is devastating; like having a part of your heart and soul ripped away. You get so worried that you take on a parental mindset of constant worry and need for control, therefore losing grip of the special bond and relationship that exists between sisters.
We're here to tell all of the struggling siblings out there that there is HOPE; the hope of getting your sibling back, hope for your future nieces and nephews, hope for recovery. A Sister’s Hope is a recovery scholarship, especially for women battling addiction, inspired by a sibling who is eternally grateful that her sister is clean, serene, and back to herself.
James passed away at the age of 28 from a fatal overdose of fentanyl laced Heroin. This is a fact. This fact does not define who James was. James was a son, brother, grandson, nephew, cousin and friend to many.
James grew up just like anyone else. He played the trombone in middle school, Little League, lacrosse (briefly) but he exceeded at roller hockey. James always had a love for animals. He had every pet imaginable. He left behind his best companion Roxie, a German Shephard.He was an artist, it was a natural talent he possessed but never pursued. He loved cars and video games, especially Zelda and his passion was his motorcycle. James once said to me “My greatest high is when I am riding my bike”. He often told stories of he and his friends going on rides and meeting up with other bikers. That was when James was at his happiest. He felt like he was a part of something bigger than himself. It gave him freedom from the pressures of daily life.
We all miss you, your sisters Jenni and Meaghan and your brother Steven and countless others. I am happy you are at peace and undoubtedly riding the ultimate bike on the most amazingly beautiful highway you could ever imagine.
But you….my first-born child…Have left me with unforgettable memories. “Remember Mom…. When it was just you and me..?"
Kyle Elliott Tilley
Kyle was a people person. Even at a young age, he always wanted to interact with others. Kyle never met a stranger. He had a way of making people feel comfortable around him and would strike up a conversation with anyone. It mattered none to him if you were rich or poor, well dressed or tattered, male, female, on cloud nine or in a ditch.He had an unassuming smile that put people at ease.
Kyle was also a “Good Samaritan”. He would help anyone…even if it made a hardship for himself. I never knew him to be confrontational toward anyone. Kyle never really cared about material wealth. It was never a driving force in his life. He cared about and wanted the things that money couldn’t buy; like happiness, close friends, a womans’ love, a wife, children, and family. He traveled all over the United States…was never fearful of a new location, a new job, or to meet new people.
A good portion of his life here on earth was troubled. He had his demons. He had to “pull himself up by the bootstraps” many times and try again…but he never gave up wanting his life to be “normal”. He had his failures…failures that would have beaten a weaker man…there was no “quit” in Kyle.
Until his death, we were not aware of the many people he had met, influenced, or helped during his short life. My heart tells me that he would have wanted people to remember him as… “a good guy, someone who would be there if you needed him”. I think he accomplished that, and of this, we are most proud of our son. -Henry & Annette Tilley
Quentin “Q.J.” Marais
He was a friend, a nephew, a brother a father, and our beloved son.
“The one I loved the most” was how he referred to his precious daughter Jayden Elizabeth Marias. He was a hands-on Dad and Jayden was the center of his universe.
On March 11th 2017 our world went dark.
He did not answer my call, and I knew immediately (a mother’s intuition) he was gone forever. And 23 was all he will ever be.
Q.J. was smart, hard-working, looking to go to college, loved cars, passionate about his aquarium, and there was no picture he would ever post unless it had the perfect filter! He was a listener, a kind and gentle soul, humble and always grateful and never ever did he have a malicious word for anyone, not even to those who hurt him
His death was shocking, not only to us, but to his closest of friends as Q.J. struggled silently and intermittently.
He always wanted to help people, and in honor of him I will help those in need, if there is a breath in one’s body there is hope, and until I take my last breath, Q.J.’s legacy of helping others continues.