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Ephraim Schultz
Age 21
21

Ephraim David will be forever 21 yrs old. He was polite, compassionate and a hard worker. He always was available to help someone in need and it wasn't uncommon for him to go out of his way to be helpful to his family and to others. He had dreams, hopes and aspirations.

Ephraim was introduced to marijuana while in 8th Grade at Catholic Academy in Buffalo, NY. He then moved to the Clarence, NY area where he was introduced to other drugs. In 2003 he was in a car accident and was given a prescription for opiates for pain. He quickly fell into abusing them and in 2005 he was found deceased by an overdose of poly pharmacy.

He smiled most often when he saw me or my mom. He loved his Nana! He loved animals and he loved competing with his father at a chess game!

I miss his hands. His smile. His chuckle and the way he said Ma to me.

Introduction

I miss his hands. His smile. His chuckle and the way he said Ma to me.

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Emmett Scannell
Age 20
20

Emmett was a 20-year-old college sophomore studying computer science on a full academic scholarship. He had an amazing spirit – with an infectious smile that could just light up a room. I can’t even begin to tell you about him in three minutes - but bottom line – Emmett was the average American teen. He loved video games, hanging out with his friends and BMX biking. Em was an accomplished student, graduating high school as a member of the NHS (and a 4.27 GPA which he loved to brag about). He was the best big brother that his 9-year-old sister could ever ask for – often spending hours bouncing on the trampoline and mastering new “tricks” with her. He enjoyed spending time with his father and 18-year-old brother – watching movies, going to football games, hanging at their lake house in Maine. He was that polite, respectful young man that you wanted your daughter to bring home. Until Heroin found him.

Within 6 weeks of beginning college, Heroin found my son Emmett and for lack of any better word, he became enslaved by this drug. It dictated how his money was spent, how his time was spent, even when he saw his family & friends – Em was no longer a free person. As parents, we did EVERYTHING in our power to help our son –unfortunately, because he was 18yrs old and still living what appeared to be a “normal” life to outsiders (great grades, never in trouble with the law, no threats of violence) our options was extremely limited. Beyond two “spin-dry” detox stays (the second of which Em signed himself out of early), treatment wasn’t deemed “medically necessary” by our insurance company – and the $30,000 price tag was financially prohibitive for our family. And so this horrible dance with the dragon continued – Emmett lied, he stole, he manipulated those around him – worst of all he shut out his father & I – I knew in my heart that this wasn’t MY son, this was his disease. Heroin had found him…and within 18 short months…it killed him.

Throughout the progression of his disease, Em sold almost all of his personal possessions, and those not worth any money were essentially discarded. Three things he held on to – his prized BMX bike that he had built and re-built numerous times over the years – a wonderful reminder of hours spent with his best friends, and two framed photographs – one of he and his sister, Alice (the love between them just radiating out through their smiles) and one old photograph of he and I – he must have been just 4 or 5. The frame of the photo contains the beginning lines to the song “You are my Sunshine” – a song I sang to him frequently as a child. Emmett will forever be my sunshine – and no matter how grey the skies, I will work to shine his light into the lives of others.

Introduction

Throughout the progression of his disease, Em sold almost all of his personal possessions, and those not worth any money were essentially discarded. Three things he held on to – his prized BMX bike that he had built and re-built numerous times over the years – a wonderful reminder of hours spent with his best friends, and two framed photographs – one of he and his sister, Alice (the love between them just radiating out through their smiles) and one old photograph of he and I – he must have been just 4 or 5. The frame of the photo contains the beginning lines to the song “You are my Sunshine” – a song I sang to him frequently as a child. Emmett will forever be my sunshine – and no matter how grey the skies, I will work to shine his light into the lives of others.

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Ellen Hassinger
Age 22
22

Ellen was a very loving person. she would always have a smile, and try to cheer up others. She left behind a beautiful young daughter, whom she loved very much. She had been a top notch swimmer, before her addiction. She held statewide and club records for her speed. Once she reached high school, everything changed, but her heart was still loving and kind, and her smile, beautiful!

Somehow, her self confidence and interest in her future came tumbling down. Her mom was a single parent, and tried very hard to give her good life. Ellen's compassion for others led her to befriend the downtrodden, and spend time with people who were not the most upstanding folk... She made bad choices. She began to use drugs in high school, and her family helped her to attend a recovery program/school, out of state, for 18 months. She did well there, but had relapses after she graduated from high school. Once she was 18, there was little her family could do, other than to tell her often how much we loved her, and encourage her to get help. Though she dearly loved her daughter, she was not able to get herself clean, and maintain custody. She moved out of state, and rejected all attempts by her loved ones to help her find a new path. Unfortunately, she died of an overdose of heroin, presumed by police to have been mixed with another lethal drug. Her family (mother and brother) are raising her daughter, and cherish the memory of the sweet, kind girl that she was.

Her daughter, friends, butterflies

Everything. She was my niece. My daughters grew up being good friends with her. They miss her terribly. We are all so sad that there was no way to save her...she just did not want to be saved, she did not think this could happen to her, she thought some day she could stop.

Introduction

Everything. She was my niece. My daughters grew up being good friends with her. They miss her terribly. We are all so sad that there was no way to save her...she just did not want to be saved, she did not think this could happen to her, she thought some day she could stop.

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Elizabeth Guay
Age 29
29

Caring, kind, selfless, loving, sweet, stubborn, determined, strong, beautiful, resilient, captivating, passionate, funny... Elise was by far the most amazing person I have ever met, I told her this daily. Her smile was so genuine and warm. Her eyes were the bluest blue and so full of life. Elise had the biggest heart and never ceased to amaze me with her capacity to care for others. Elise have hugs that were out of this world and was always so positive. She loved music and animals. Despite her quiet demeanor she had a powerful way with words. She spoke eloquently and wrote beautifully.

Elise endured a 10 year battle with her addiction. At the time of her death she was 6 month away from celebrating 5 years of being clean. She is the strongest person I've met.

Her dog Mackipoo, Dallas Cowboys, her Jeep, music, sunglasses, dancing, her perfect hair, her brother, her fiancee, butterfinger cups and cookies!

I miss her laughter and hugs. I miss seeing her smiling face after a long day at work. I miss waking up next to her beautiful, sleepy face.

Introduction

I miss her laughter and hugs. I miss seeing her smiling face after a long day at work. I miss waking up next to her beautiful, sleepy face.

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Dusty Johnson
Age 25
25

Dusty was a son and a brother. Dusty was fun loving, kind, generous and a friend. He made so many close friends in his life. He was very loyal to his friends and family. He was a good person who never meant to hurt anyone. Dusty was a natural athlete and loved soccer. He participated in club soccer and it was his identity for a long time. Anything he wanted to do he would excel at. He was so talented at everything he did. He loved the outdoors and animals. He helped so many people and touched so many lives.

Dusty was a heroin addict. He started with opiates and progressed to a heroin addiction. He got on a methadone treatment voluntarily and then relapsed. Dusty would steal to support his habits and faced legal ramifications. He was eventually sentenced to a state substance abuse program and was very successful in the program. He completed the program and transferred to a halfway house and served a successful year of probation. He overcame so much and there so many additional stressors through his recovery. In the past few months we heard less from him and he ran from his obligations. We know that so many factors contributed to his decision to take his own life. Dusty wrote a few journal entries while he was locked up I want to share. "I was actually about to just leave one day cause I had 4,500 dollars saved. But I didnt and I spent it all on heroin in a week and a half. What was I doing? I dont know how Im still alive." "Beyond the reach of human range, A drop of hell, a touch of strange..." "But now I see, I saw, experienced, felt something more powerful than earth, it was heaven, GOD, Jesus Christ, angels, H-O-M-E..." (Heaven on Mother Earth) "Then he showed me Proverbs 21, I told him that warmth was the only word me and others with the same experience of death could explain it with."

Family and friends were Dusty's life. Dusty was always spending time outside, playing soccer and golf and he was a natural athlete. He loved music, books and movies. He loved jokes and pranks with friends.

We miss seeing and hugging Dusty. We loved his laugh and his smile. Dusty was a hard worker and would selflessly give. He would help those in need and we know he changed so many people's lives.

Introduction

We miss seeing and hugging Dusty. We loved his laugh and his smile. Dusty was a hard worker and would selflessly give. He would help those in need and we know he changed so many people's lives.

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Drew Miller
Age 27
27

Drew was an AMAZING man. He was a father, husband, son, brother, and friend. He was the kind of person who would have given you the shirt off his back. He absolutely adored his daughter. He enjoyed showing and teaching her his love for the outdoors. He would take her fishing, hunting, and taking her for walks in the woods. He was the best husband and father I could have ever wished for!!!

Drew struggles with addiction for years. It started in High School and just continued to get worse over the years. The last three years were the worst though. That was when heroin came into the picture and it was a downward spiral. He had very small periods of being clean, but it never lasted too long.

His and family, friends, and being outdoors were the light of his life. That's what made him happy and that is what he spent all his time surrounding himself with.

What I miss most about Drew is watching him with our amazimg daughter Rory. They loved playing together and swing dancing together. I miss our conversations we used to have and his hugs and kisses. I miss seeing him on holidays, birthdays, anniversaries, and most of all I miss him EVERY day.

Introduction

What I miss most about Drew is watching him with our amazimg daughter Rory. They loved playing together and swing dancing together. I miss our conversations we used to have and his hugs and kisses. I miss seeing him on holidays, birthdays, anniversaries, and most of all I miss him EVERY day.

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Doug Miller Jr
Age 30
30

Ive been reading many of the loved ones entrys here and I find it amazing that there seems to be so many similarities amongst our lost loved ones. Doug was such a kind, loving and gentle soul. He loved to write and play music ( guitar, piano and drums), loved to cook and was so very creative in the kitchen, loved to eat a good meal too! He was a person that could just light up a room when he walked in, his smile His laughter was contagious and he always wanted to make others feel good. I have heard from so many since he passed about how he reached out to them, supported them in their time of need. I saw him on Facebook that just one hour before he passed away, he was wishing someone a Happy Birthday. That's just how he always was. Doug was my first born child, he and I were inseparable throughout most of his younger years. Where ever I went, he always wanted to go too and I was happy to take him. We developed a deep friendship and could laugh and be goofy one minute or have deep philosophical conversations over mugs of coffee and a smoke. He was always very expressive with affection and was NEVER shy to hug and kiss anyone, male or female! He just made you feel like you were the most important person when you were in his presence. Even at the height of his addiction, he never abused or was disrespectful of his family. Not long before he passed away and as he was working his 4th and 5th step of the AA program he came to me crying, making amends for anything he may have said or done to hurt me. I told him I had already forgiven him, that my love for him was unconditional regardless of the outcome of his disease. I still feel this way today. I have no regrets as I know as he took his last breathes on this earth he knew he was loved by not only myself, but many many others!

Doug began using marijuana and alcohol after his father I and separated when he was about 15. There is an extensive history of alcoholism/addiction in our family tree. Im sure it started out as fun and probably was for quite a long time as his usage of chemicals progressed from cocaine to opiates ( prescriptions) to finally heroin ( when pills became too hard and expensive to buy). He began smoking/snorting heroin and was actually introduced to IV use by an addicted police officer he met in a treatment program. Doug was in jail treatment, prison alternative treatment, and IOP. He attended 100's of AA/NA meetings and attempted to work the program. He loved recovery and all that came with it however his addiction fought for its own survival. He had a lot of stress due to all of the mess that needed to be cleaned up. He was sober for six months when he relapsed. He passed away at the home of his girlfriend Helga and her children. Doug loved Helga very much and cherished both her and her children. I know that he would not have ever hurt any of them intentionally, although his death has brought much hurt sadness and yes even anger at the senselessness of it all! I think the fact that he made promises, that he spoke of wanting to live and knowing that one more use could result in his death, speaks to just how powerful, baffling and cunning this disease is.

Doug was ALWAYS smiling! He had the most wonderful beautiful smile, perfect straight white teeth! Being with family and friends, hanging out with his brother Michael, being with his girlfriend Helga and her children, playing guitar, listening to music he loved, watching movies or funny videos, being in nature.

I miss everything about Doug! The way he made me laugh or our deep conversations. He had the most fantastic hugs. I miss him playing music and me singing with him. I miss his cooking. I miss thinking about him getting married or the grandchildren I would possibily be able to enjoy that he helped to create. I miss having hopes and dreams for his future, of the career he could achieve, of seeing him happy and successful! I miss his phone calls or texts or him just saying " I love you mama" Not a day goes by that I dont miss my son....;(

Introduction

I miss everything about Doug! The way he made me laugh or our deep conversations. He had the most fantastic hugs. I miss him playing music and me singing with him. I miss his cooking. I miss thinking about him getting married or the grandchildren I would possibily be able to enjoy that he helped to create. I miss having hopes and dreams for his future, of the career he could achieve, of seeing him happy and successful! I miss his phone calls or texts or him just saying " I love you mama" Not a day goes by that I dont miss my son....;(

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Donna Cassenti
Age 57
57

My Mother was Born in 1956. My mother was A beautiful, caring empathetic person who'd give her shirt off her back for anyone! She worked in a hospital for over 20 years and won the "Care Award There". The qualities people see in me come from my mother. She loved to cook and was A great cook. She loved music, her friends and family most. The best quality about her was her smile and laugh! She could light up a room with her smile and turn someone's bad day into a good one with her laugh. I truly miss her but, the best part of her is in me.

My mom had the stomach surgery in 2005 and after she developed a taste for alcohol and become addicted. The addiction was always there... The door just needed to be open. In the end of her life she was addicted to anything that would help her sleep

Her family, friends, puppies

I miss joking around with her and just being with my mother. I miss her over all presence in the physical form... The flesh.

Introduction

I miss joking around with her and just being with my mother. I miss her over all presence in the physical form... The flesh.

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Donald Fuller
Age 28
28

Donald was the most loving, kind hearted person in the world. He would do anything to help anyone in need. He loved football and baseball and most of all his beautiful daughter.

Donald became addicted to heroin in 2007 after his dad was in a coma for 5 weeks from pancreatitis and is grandfather passed away that same year. It was all too much for him to handle.

His baby girl. She was everything to him.

I miss his warm hugs. I miss him calling me mom. There are no words that can express how much I miss him, EVERY day.

Introduction

I miss his warm hugs. I miss him calling me mom. There are no words that can express how much I miss him, EVERY day.

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Derek Sprouse
Age 31
31

He was one of the most amazing people I've ever met. He had the biggest heart in the world. He was just him and that's what made him so unique and special.

He wanted so badly to stay clean, he had several severe issues that messed with him mentally and physically. His addiction took him and would not let go. We tried some many things, but it always found him.

He loved music,and playing guitar. He sang like an angel. He loved just hanging out with his friends.

Everything! We are together for 8 years. We had some crazy ups and downs. I wouldn't take any of our time together back. He made me wiser. He taught me. He loved me with his entire being;as I did him. I know he is in heaven ;he always told me -God had a plan for him, he just want sure what it was yet- Rest in peace my love.

Introduction

Everything! We are together for 8 years. We had some crazy ups and downs. I wouldn't take any of our time together back. He made me wiser. He taught me. He loved me with his entire being;as I did him. I know he is in heaven ;he always told me -God had a plan for him, he just want sure what it was yet- Rest in peace my love.

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Dennis McGettigan Jr
Age 24
24

DJ was a kind and loving person who was passionate about so many things in life. His ability to make anyone laugh will be remembered forever. He loved sports, he loved learning new things, he loved using big vocabulary words and he loved his family and friends!! He also loved the thought of overcoming his struggles in life and he loved helping others- it made him strong. We are so grateful that he was able to help so many people find recovery and the strength to keep working so hard.

DJ worked very hard over the years to find his place in the world. His spirituality was strong and admirable. AA helped him to have years of sobriety and to feel good about his accomplishments. He believed in AA deeply. Unfortunately, his ADHD was a constant struggle in his life and the unrest in his body was too much to bear. His relapse occurred after obtaining a prescription for ADHD medicine. He was very overwhelmed by the thought of losing the years of sobriety he had worked so hard to get. His friends were a huge support for him and he had his bags packed for rehab... sadly, he never got the chance to go.

Talking sports, making others laugh, playing jokes on people (especially me), his sister, our dog Quincy, Deana, fishing with Dave, eating Chipotle, and going to the gym with his buddies!

I miss his spirit, his will, his determination and his desire to make such a great life for himself. I miss his smile and his laugh and the look on his face when he was so proud and grateful. I will miss his phone calls and texts and his singing and dancing in his car. I will miss his persistence. I will never ever forget the impact he has had on my life. DJ, I love you forever and always. xoxo

Introduction

I miss his spirit, his will, his determination and his desire to make such a great life for himself. I miss his smile and his laugh and the look on his face when he was so proud and grateful. I will miss his phone calls and texts and his singing and dancing in his car. I will miss his persistence. I will never ever forget the impact he has had on my life. DJ, I love you forever and always. xoxo

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Debbie Dahlquist-Dovidio
Age 43
43

Debbie was a beautiful and talented woman. She was bright, a gifted seamstress and a loving sister.

Debbie struggled with her addiction for years.

Family made Debbie smile. She had a heart of gold!

Her generous spirit.

Introduction

Her generous spirit.

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Mason Wojciechowski
Age

Mason is so loved and is already so missed.

I created this page so we can have a place to remember, to reminisce, and to celebrate a life that was lost too soon. For those of you who know Mason, you know he loved spending time with friends, family, and his dog, Peanut, going to Laker games, surfing, playing poker, eating steak dinners, and above all, helping those around him.

Unfortunately, on October 1, 2016, we lost Mason to the power of addiction. Addiction is a disease that affects 1 in 3 Americans, and when we unite as a community to share our memories, we all grow stronger.

Together, we can change the conversation about addiction. Our family's prayer is that this tragic loss can help others who are suffering and in need. In lieu of flowers, we kindly request that those interested make a donation to Shatterproof in Mason's memory through this page.

Shatterproof is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to reducing the devastation the disease of addiction causes to families. Shatterproof fosters community, provides families with resources based on the latest science, and advocates for policy change on the state and federal level.

We are so grateful for everyone's love, support and prayers.

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