Our son Michael was our first born and only son. Life was full of adventure with him around. He had the kindest green eyes and was quick to laugh. We enjoyed hiking together and going to the beach. Not a rock in our path was safe from being turned over by Michael as he looked for salamanders. He adored his sister, Daria, and his dog, Jack. He excelled in football and loved his teammates. My husband coached him for many years. The evil influence of drugs entered our precious home when Mike was in his mid-teens. He intended to experiment--not to become addicted. When I realized he was struggling, I learned all I could about addiction. I am a board member of a non-profit called “The Roadway Of Hope CT,” which aims to help raise awareness about substance use disorders in Connecticut and save even one family from the horror of addiction, yet I could not save the person who was most important to me. Mike lost his life on a beautiful Monday morning. He had been clean for two months and things were starting to come together--he had a lot to look forward to in his life. They always say, “where there is breath there is hope,” but I have learned to look beyond that. There has to be hope for families like mine that have suffered this gut-wrenching blow of losing a child. The hope is that no other family has to endure this hell.