Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us,--Hebrews 12:1

Thursday, February 2, 2012

If you lost a loved one to teen substance abuse...

...please help me raise awareness of the dangers of kids abusing alcohol and drugs.

We're just barely over a month away from our next big race--the Little Rock Marathon--and things are looking great. God has blessed me with a fantastic, injury-free training period so far. I'm really looking forward to the race.

"So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be awake and sober." -- 1 Thessalonians 5:6

Most of you know that part of our mission is to raise awareness of the dangers of teen substance abuse. I believe that Jesus has planted an idea in my head that will help me do a lot better job of that when I race. At Little Rock, I'm going to wear a laminated photo of Amanda pinned to my race shirt.

You might be thinking, "One photo of Amanda may catch a few eyes, but won't draw a lot of attention." I'm thinking the same thing. That's why I'd like to have more pictures, more pictures of more victims of teen substance abuse, to wear pinned to my shirt when I run on March 4th.

"Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship." -- Romans 12:1

If you have lost a child or any family member to teen alcohol or drug abuse, and want to help warn others of the danger, I'm asking for your help. If you send me their pictures, I'll print them, have them laminated, and pin them to my shirt on race day. One picture of my beautiful daughter may catch an eye or two, might even make someone stop and ask about her, but if I had dozens, or hundreds, or even thousands of pictures of victims hanging off my shirt at the race, people will notice!

Please help us raise awareness of the dangers of teen alcohol and drug abuse. If your child or family member died at the hands of a drunken or stoned underage individual like Amanda did, I'd like to wear their picture when I race. If your young son, daughter, brother, or sister committed suicide because of alcohol or drug abuse, I'd like to wear their picture. If your friend or family member was killed, intentionally or accidentally, by a kid under the influence of drugs or alcohol, I'd like to wear their picture.

Before Amanda was killed, I was completely unaware that more than 5000 young people die each year as a result of underage drinking. That's just from kids abusing alcohol! It doesn't include those who die as a result of other drug use. Too many others are also unaware, and will remain unaware, unless we do something about it!

So please, if you've lost someone to teen substance abuse, directly or indirectly, please consider letting me wear their picture when I race. God gave me a mission after Amanda was killed, a mission that includes working to save others from falling prey to this dreaded plague of teen alcohol and drug abuse.

When you send your pictures, please include their name, date of birth, and date of death. If you would like your story shared on this site, please include details you would like others to hear. Many continue to believe that teen drinking and drug abuse is a rite of passage, a phase they will grow out of. Too many of us know that, for some, they never get the opportunity to grow out of it.

Please help me spread the word. Help me warn others. Help save lives of future victims of teen substance abuse. Share a picture of your family member who died because of teen drug or alcohol abuse. I'll laminate and wear that picture when I race and together we will help save others!

You can send your pictures as an attachment in email to or you can post them to our Facebook page and I will download them from there.

"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."--Philippians 4:13

We can't bring our kids back, but we can see to it they don't die in vain. May God grant you all peace and strength in your journey of grief.

If you don't know Jesus as your personal savior, if you're missing the faith, hope, and love written about here, if you want the peace that we as Christians have in our lives, please visit our Got Jesus? page for step-by-step instructions on how to accept Jesus Christ as your personal Savior.


  1. Raising awareness for substance abuse and other harmful abuse is not enough to stop it. It is better to raise awareness and introduce a solution regarding the problem. If solutions are made then it should be implemented to test the effectiveness but if it isn’t that effective then constructing an alternate solution then should be made so that we can stop substance abuse.

  2. Thanks Elsa. You're right. We do need solutions once the problem has started. My focus on raising awareness is to hopefully prevent some teens from ever starting down the path that leads to a need for the programs at your link. Unfortunately, we'll probably never stop all teen substance abuse, but we can do what we can do. God bless you ma'am.


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