Local parents talk about coping with heroin deaths

ST. CHARLES (KSDK) - Some St. Charles County parents say they're breaking the silence. They've lost children to heroin, and they want everyone to know that the problem is everywhere. So, they're coping with grief by taking action.

They gather at the Mid Rivers Mall every Tuesday night, bearing t-shirts with their message, to stop heroin. It started with one mom, just walking in her neighborhood and it started spreading -- fast. That mom is Gee Vigna. Her 20-year-old daughter, Nicky, died of a heroin overdose in January of last year.

"I don't get to see what kind of woman she would have become, [whether] she had become a mother. There's all those things that you never will have... There are no seconds. There are no seconds," Vigna said.

And just like Nicky, there are no seconds for 25-year-old Steven. He died in October of 2012, leaving behind loving parents, his wife of just one day, and his little girl.

"We miss him a lot," his mom, Cathy Windes, said as she choked back tears.

While they can't bring their children back, they can walk together, spreading the word, that in the places where you'd least expect it, the heroin epidemic is spreading. They say, if they had known, their families may still be whole.

"Never in my lifetime honestly would I have had the conversation about heroin because I didn't know it even existed in our area," Vigna said.


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