Submitted by: Tonda DaRe
My Tribute: Holly was very active in Speech and Drama in school. Everyone who met her (even if only once) loved her dearly and would tell you how a smile from her could change even your worst days into the best days. Like her father she had a laugh that was completely infectious! She won the Bell-Herron Idol her 8th grade year and from that point on her life was centered in music and the stage. She had no bias toward people and loved everyone no matter their race, religion or sexual orientation. She had roles (some leading) in each play and musical put on during her high school years. She was voted by her peers her senior year for Homecoming Court and Prom Court.
In March of 2011 she gave birth to a beautiful baby boy. That April she turned 20.
For her 20th birthday she went out with her fiance for the weekend and I kept the baby. I found out later that she had already made arrangements to try heroin for the first time. It was her choice. No one forced her. She wanted to know what it was like.
Holly used heroin for only 4 months when we figured out what was going on. We got her the treatment she asked for and she was clean for just over a year when outside stresses made her feel she needed to use again. The best we can figure out between timeline, friends, coroner and doctors is that she used approximately 3-4 times in the last 2 weeks of her life and the last time the heroin she was sold was more pure (the coroner said three times the normal and he had never seen that before ~ in Stark Co alone, there were 13 deaths due to accidental heroin overdoses in 24 hours that day) than she had ever used. Without her knowledge she used what was a “normal” amount for her and it killed her instantly.
I like many others am now a soldier in a war I never knew was coming. I fight to change the face of heroin addiction, to bring awareness and education to those who think it could never happen to them and to be a pawn for anyone in need who has begun this fight before me to help them in their cause. I am a fighter and will continue to be for my husband, my other daughter, my grandson… my angel.