David “DJ” Griffiths

Submitted by: GC
Born: 1978
Died: 2011
My Tribute: David “DJ” Griffiths
Born: November 28, 1978
Died: February 17, 2011
Dj was my friend and father of our 7 year old son. He had a kind heart, and loved his family very much. He got hurt at work and was given Oxycontin. He became addicted, got clean, and relapsed 6 months later, never to wake the next morning. He is missed greatly everyday and words cannot express the loss we have suffered because of addiction.

Wentzel Van Der Berg

Submitted by: GC
Born: 1984
Died: 2012
My Tribute: Wentzel Van Der Berg
February 23, 1984 – February 25, 2012
Age 29

Hey you guys don’t feel guilty, It was just my time to go. I can see you’re all feeling sad, I can see the tears still flow. My life’s journey ended early, … The path I chose was short. You all tried your best to change it, But in the end it was for me to sort.I know I caused you sadness, I know caused you pain, But I was captured by these demons, They wouldn’t set me free again. They took away my freedom, They took away my choice, And when they got their hooks in, You could hear it in my voice. There were times I tried to fight them, There was a time I nearly won, But they came back and overpowered me, I had nowhere left to run. I haven’t really left you guys, I am closer than you know, I will be the whisper in the wind, I will be everywhere you go. one day you will all forgive me one day you will understand and when your time on earth is done I will be waiting to take your hand.
Author; Jacqueline Grieve

Mark Jeremy Susong

Submitted by: GC
Born: 1990
Died: 2012
My Tribute: Mark Jeremy Susong
6/5/90 – 2/10/12
By his own admission, our son Mark didn’t get hooked on drugs because of some trauma in his life; he met one wrong person, tried it, and was hooked. When he died, he’d been clean 18 months, had a job, car, new girlfriend, and was 5 weeks away from completing a program that would have put an end to his legal issues. Best explanation: An “overconfident overdose,” (addict is doing well/believes he can safely control his use). Mark was kind, sensitive and quick to say, “I love you.” We’re forever changed; there will always be a hole in our family. Mark Jeremy Susong

Sarah Sonneborn

Submitted by: GC
Born: 1989
Died: 2012
My Tribute: Sarah Sonneborn
April 18, 1989 – January 30, 2012
Age 22

My daughter Sarah passed on January 30.2012 from Oxiintoxication. Sarah fought her addiction for 4 years. 5 rehabs later she is gone If there is one thing I learned from all those meetings is once an addict always an addict. A recovering addict is just that if they follow their program. Once piece of advise given to Sarah from all of her sponsors was do not go back to your old habits. Start a new life in a new location. If you go back you will fight the old habits that brought you here. I firmly believe that. Unfortunately she went back and did not make it another year.

Michael Francis Pelone

Submitted by: GC
Born: 1987
Died: 2010
My Tribute: Michael Francis Pelone
January 23, 1987 – August 20, 2010
Age 23

Michael fought hard against the disease of addiction that started with Oxycontin and moved on to Heroin. It was a five year battle- he was doing well, had a job, living in a sober living house and was happy. He relapsed and overdosed. I had the joy of seeing him the day before he died and the last thing he said to me was, “I love you, Mom.” I’m really grateful for that! While I miss him every day, I’m glad that he doesn’t have to face the shame, guilt and horror of this disease every day. I love you, Michael…but you already knew that.

John M. Perkins Jr.

Submitted by: Liz Perkins
Born: 1981
Died: 2011
My Tribute: John M. Perkins Jr.
April 16, 1981 – May 5, 2011
Age 30

Our son, John M. Perkins Jr., lost his life to a heroin overdose on 5-5-11. John had turned 30 years old two weeks before on 4-16-11. He was our only son, our first child. He grew up as a typical boy. Always pushing the envelope on either his bicycle, dirt bike, or snow board. He lit up a room and made friends with everyone. He felt a loyalty to old friends, and he made us cry but he also made us laugh. We loved him dearly and will miss him every second of the rest of our lives. Dad, Mom and Sis

Anthony Harting

Submitted by: GC
Born: 1981
Died: 2012
My Tribute: Anthony Harting
December 1981 to June 2012
This picture says so much about you. Anthony loved to joke, both his girls adore him, everyone who knew him saw the love he had for his girls….and they for him. He’s my only son and is missed beyond words. He fought several years with addiction and struggled to win the battle that finally took his life. A very liked and loved young man. A brief bio for a brief life….with neverending love for my son. Ma.

Richard F. Demoss III

Submitted by: GC
Born: 1988
Died: 2011
My Tribute: Richard F. Demoss III
April 1988 to June 2011
Age 23
Ricky was born on Easter Sunday April 2, 1988. He had a great childhood. He traveled to the islands, went to the beach and got to Disney on family vacations. He was a good friend to anyone. He stood up for the underdog. Always there with a smile on his face and a helping hand. He had a fantastic sense of humor. He loved doing impressions of people. He was great with children, animals and his family. His true passion was music. He left us on June 13, 2011 at the age of 23.

Mary Mickelson

Submitted by: Marie Minnich
Born: 1976
Died: 2009
My Tribute: Mary Mickelson
December 1976 to August 2009
Age 32
Marie Minnich lost her 32 year old daughter, Mary Mickelsen, to a heroin overdose on the night of August 18, 2009. After 5 days in coma, Mary succumbed and passed on August 23, 2009. Mary’s 16 year-struggle as an addict consumed both her life and Marie’s life. During these years of watching her daughter struggle with the torment of addiction, Marie formed strong opinions about current Drug policy in the United States, and is irrevocably convinced that drug addiction is a health issue, not a criminal issue. There is an urgent need for humane medical treatment for addicts,

Although having no prior formal educational background in medicine, or psychology, these conclusions are based on the experience of living with her daughter’s addiction. Marie’s formal educational background includes a Bachelor of Science in Interior Design, and she is a candidate for Masters of Science in Interior Design. Although immersed in the Design world by vocation, she in no way feels that her professional vocation is incompatible with her newer avocation working with Broken-no-more. It is Marie’s sincere desire to help effect changes to current Drug policy, as well as help transform society’s attitudes towards suffering addicts.

Stephen Michael Spory

Submitted by: GC
Born: 1983
Died: 2012
My Tribute: Stephen Michael Spory
September 16, 1983 to December 8, 2012
Age 29

How do you describe someone you love so much with a few words? Stephen was my son. He was fun-loving and had tons of friends He loved Michigan football, basketball and hockey. He loved to party and absolutely loved Christmas. Outside, he was confident and thoughtful but inside I think he felt he wasn’t “good enough” which I believe came from having no contact with his biological father since he was 4 yrs old. So to mask this, he drank. He was the life of any party. He knew he had a problem and was going to start treatment. We thought we were going to have time. He died after having a week of “flu-like” symptoms. In reality, his liver shut down. The medical examiner told me he’d never seen a 29 year old with a liver this bad. We never thought his drinking was killing him. . He was 29. I still hear his voice when he would call, “Hey mom!” I miss him every day.