Mom creates foundation to continue mission of son who died from overdose

NOW: Mom creates foundation to continue mission of son who died from overdose


GRANGER, Ind. -- A Michiana mom is doing her part in the fight against drug abuse and addiction after losing her son to a heroin overdose last Christmas.

Two months after losing him, she has created a foundation in his honor. It’s called the Nick Willard Live Again Foundation, and with it she hopes to shine a light on an issue that changed her life forever.

“It’s a life of missing him, a life for me,” said Debbie Campiti. “I will always miss him. I will always have that pain. I will never have my son again.”

Campiti is now left with the memories of her son and the pain of losing him.

“It’s a pain that is indescribable,” she said. “You just cannot imagine what it’s like.”

Debbie’s son, Nick, battled with addiction for years.

“We had him in numerous detox rehabs, outpatient facilities,” said Campiti. “He could always get clean, and then when he would come home it would be back to using again very quickly.”

Finally he moved to Atlanta to get a fresh start. His mom says for nine months that move turned things around.

“He was happy again. He could live without the chains of addiction there,” she said.

It was during a visit home for Christmas last year when he died of a heroin overdose.

“You never get through it,” said Campiti, who says losing him has left a void in her life. But she’s trying to get through it by working to keep another family from feeling the same pain she feels.

“What we want to do is offer people a way to get to another area to start over again,” she said.

Because going to a new physical location was key for Nick, Campiti’s foundation is working to be a guiding hand through long term recovery in a new location. She says she hopes to cover transportation costs to a facility for those seeking recovery and possibly even cover a few months’ worth of rent.

“We just want to help somebody get going,” she said.

Campiti just finished creating the foundation. She hopes to be a resource for people to find long-term help. That’s something she said her son had already made business plans to do.

“Because that’s what he wanted to do, I feel like I want to continue that battle for him,” said Campiti.

With the foundation, she’s hoping to build up a blessing for others while keeping her son’s memory alive.

“He’s not defined by his addiction. He’s defined by his generous loving spirit,” she said. “By helping others, will help him be remembered in a positive way.”

Although her life has changed, she says she’s found a renewed purpose.  

“We’ll just keep going, she said.” It’s our battle now. It’s my battle.”

Despite just finishing creating the foundation last week Campiti says donations are already pouring in and she’s already working to get some fundraisers going in the community.

For more information about the foundation or to donate, click here.


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