This month marks the 2nd anniversary of my cousin Jani's death. Jani was a sweet, compassionate, and wonderful girl. She was loved by all that knew her. It was 2 years ago that the 19 year-old fatally overdosed on heroin, the day after checking herself out of rehab. Now my uncle, Lance Merrill, has made it his mission to bring down drug dealers, like the one who supplied lethal drugs to Jani. He created a website called dadsagainstdrugdealers.com or DADD. Through this website people can receive a $500.00 reward (supplied by local charities and public donations) for tips leading to the arrest of a drug dealer.
My uncle Lance has been so successful in this that he was chosen as the 'Hero Among Us' in this week's People Magazine. It is a great article, so I recommend checking it out. You can also read about Jani's tragic story that led to my Uncle's fight against drugs on abc.com - here is the link:
I just want to say how proud I am of both my aunt and uncle for the way they have channeled their anguish and pain into a powerful way to help others. I love Jani, and she will always be sorely missed. Her parents are so strong and they have given the community so much more power over drugs by creating DADD. I know that through their hard work and their incredible honesty, other teen's lives will be spared. They are truly heroes.