Overdose Awareness Day hits close to home - Wandtv.com, NewsCenter17, StormCenter17, Central Illinois News-

Overdose Awareness Day hits close to home


One young man's life was in the spotlight Saturday, but his story is one many people can relate to. On Overdose Awareness Day, people are remembering loved ones lost to addiction.

In a crowd there were recovering addicts, listeners and supporters, and then there was Kathy Burkham.

"It was very shocking and a very big tragedy," she said holding back tears.

Burkham lost her son Tyler Yount to a drug overdose four years ago.

"Addiction will pick anybody," she explained. "It doesn't matter your color, your income, where you live, what kind of parents you had, how you were raised."

"I am a recovering addict," said Dawn Longwill, recovering addict.

She shared her story, along with others about their struggles with addiction.

"I think every day about the pain and sadness that I caused my family and that I can never take that back," Longwill said.

But Saturday was about moving forward. Burkham held the event to raise money for the Tyler Yount Foundation and to educate others.

"If I saved one life then maybe Tyler's death wasn't in vein," Burkham said.

Lori Brown also speaking out after she lost her son two years ago to a heroin overdose

"I wanted to help people," Brown said. "I felt alone and I didn't want any other parent to feel alone as I did in that grief."

Saturday she was not alone. And with each shared story those that were gone too soon were always in the peripheral .

While Saturday was about raising awareness for drug overdose, Burkham said her oldest son died this past June. Justin Yount was in a car accident and wasn't wearing a seatbelt. His death was on the same day her middle son died of a drug overdose four years earlier, so she's also encouraging everyone to wear a seatbelt.

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