There is no single answer as to why Rob began his substance use. Rob's chronic disease started with college drinking and gradually progressed to prescription opioids and finally to heroin. He had no way of knowing that opioids would eventually change his brain structure in such a way that drugs became necessary for him to just "feel normal." His addiction was not a moral failure. Whatever he did to overcome his addiction, we know he did his best. However we tried to help him, we know that we too did our best with the knowledge that we had. There is no blame. There is only love. Rob fought bravely, he struggled, but the drugs overpowered him. Ultimately the disease took his life but it could never take our love for him. We will forever be proud of him and we will forever love him.
Rob's death should not define him. He lived a remarkable life filled with joy and love. He was warm, caring, and compassionate to others, friends and strangers alike. He could "dazzle" us with his beautiful blue eyes, and keep us laughing with his quick wit. He was so smart. He had a bright future in finance. He had a vast knowledge of music, books, technology, sports, cooking, and all things Pittsburgh. He loved discovering new restaurants. He loved to snowboard in Colorado, where he lived for a few years. He loved going with his friends to as many concerts as he could... live shows were a true passion. He was interested in photography and took endless pictures of his adopted home of NYC, and of his nephew, Sammy, whom he adored. He would have loved having two nephews (Theo was born two years after Rob died, and shares so many characteristics of his Uncle Robbie, especially his humor!). He loved to travel and meet new people. He had known love and suffered some heartbreaks along the way. But most of all, Rob had a fierce love for his friends and family, especially his parents and his twin sister, Katy. He lived an amazing life for 35 years, one that we were all blessed to be a part of.