ST. LOUIS - A local mom found her daughter dead of a heroin overdose in their home. Now she's on a mission to save other families from the same pain.
The mother says she underestimated her enemy. She knew her daughter had addiction problems and had battled them for three years.
They walk, walk to gain attention, walk to remember and walk to help themselves.
"It saved me, it truly saved me, I would have not ever survived this, I never would have survived the loss of my daughter I really wouldn't have," said Gee Vigna. "Every day is, every day is a struggle for me."
Vigna lost her 20-year-old daughter Nicky last year to a heroin overdose. Just four months after her death, Vigna, her family, and friends hit the pavement. Now they walk at least twice a week raising awareness.
"At our age it's very much surreal to find out that we are not invincible," said Casey Christiansen, who's a Lindenwood University student and organized Thursday's walk on campus. She grew up with Nicky and says she was a caring person, always thinking of others.
Christiansen says heroin is all around even if you don't see it.
"It that could have passed it right under my nose, but it just looks like your everyday ibuprofen," said Christiansen.
Vigna says after her daughter's death she and her family felt alone, until they started walking.
"I can't change the whole system, but I can do one thing, I can get out there in a very bright-colored shirt, and draw enough attention to myself that people wave and honk," said Vigna.
Hoping to get the message across about her family's story and hoping to save another family from the pain they've felt.