You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.
IN MEMORIAM OF JEREMY CASTRO
The Jeremy Castro Foundation was created in Jeremy’s honor with the mission of ensuring individuals who struggle with substance abuse can seek and receive treatment and support.
He was our beloved son and brother who battled against heroin addiction. He passed away on April 26, 2017.
Jeremy grew up in Newbury Park, California. He was a dedicated soccer athlete, and like many others suffering with addictions, lived an apparently normal life.
Raised in a loving family, with traditional values, Jeremy enjoyed a safe, secure and carefree lifestyle. His personality was quiet by nature, with a witty sense of humor and a big heart, always willing to lend a helping hand.
He was also kind, loving, smart, funny and compassionate. He had an infectious laugh, a captivating smile and showed love for his family, friends, his dog Gus, and playing soccer.
As he shared with us, one night at a party when he was about 21, he was asked "Do you want to feel the best you've ever felt in your life?". While he thought about the question, he ultimately said yes. That was the first time Jeremy was introduced to heroin and the last time he had full control over his life. It was that simple to become addicted.
Jeremy battled with his addiction for the remainder of his life. He entered rehab several times, moved out of state, completed school and aggressively pursued his chosen career, all in the attempts of staying clean.
Like all of us, Jeremy had passions, fears, regrets, and dreams.
In fact, the day Jeremy passed, he was due at his new job as an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT), on his way to becoming a fireman. Jeremy always believed that if he could make it to this point, he could and would kick his habit. We all thought it was a new beginning, a great new chapter in Jeremy’s book.
Finding him that morning and feeling the intuitive panic of calling his name with no response is a pain no one should have to endure. We knew he had lost his long fight against heroin.
Jeremy’s passing was devastating. It tore a hole through our hearts that nothing else will fill. But while it was heartbreaking, Jeremy’s story also offers us a glimmer of hope. A hope that through our experiences and loss, others may find their way out of addiction.
If Jeremy taught us anything, it is that there is no shame in addiction.
It can happen to anyone. Heroin addiction is not reserved for run-down houses and dark alleys.
It finds its way into white picket fences and suburban cul-de-sacs just as easily.
The face of an addict is not the face of a dangerous criminal.
It is the smiling face of a young man, excited about his new job.
It is a face that needs understanding and direction more than fear and discipline.
This is our message to everyone coping with addiction: Being an addict should not and does not define a person. You are not helpless to its power. You are not hopeless; you are not alone.
“If Jeremy’s legacy is anything, let it be a legacy of the people helped in his name. Of reaching out to those who need it most. Hand in hand, we can make heroin addiction a thing of the past.”
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