(WJBK) - Detroit Red Wings TV Announcer Ken Daniels and family have founded a new foundation in memory of his son.
In 2016, while receiving treatment for addiction, 23-year-old son Jamie became one of the many victims of the nation's opioid epidemic. His cause of death was acute heroin with fentynl, the worst nightmare for any parent of an addict.
“We think of those fighting cancer as brave and heroic,” Ken says. “We think of those battling drug addiction as weak and hopeless. We will save so many lives when we drop the notion of what we think an addict is and provide them with the proven care they need.”
Their family's new foundation, The Jamie Daniels Foundation, will work to end the shame, uncertainty and limited resources that are fueling the addiction crisis. It's in partnership with The Children's Hospital of Michigan Foundation. Ken announced the foundation Monday at The Fisher Building.
Ken has been traveling the country sharing his son's story.
His parents believe his addiction began when he was a senior. They believe he became addicted to the painkillers he got after getting his wisdom teeth pulled.
Jamie had made it to the "other side" of his addiction. He had been sober for seven months before he died.
"To [Jamie's] credit, which is another reason why we're speaking out about this now, he tried. He tried so damn hard to get clean and he did it. Then, circumstances took over, probably beyond his control. He was too easy to go back and kids in his state, and all kids who are addicts -- and let's not be ashamed about it anymore; there are too many -- they need direction all the time," Ken said back in November when he first told us about his son.
Ken says he'll continue to share his son's story to help others understand the road to addiction recovery, and the potential pitfalls one can face.
If you'd like to learn more about The Jamie Daniels Foundation, click here.
If you or a loved one has an addiction, you can seek help with the Hope Not Handcuffs program in southeastern Michigan. You can learn more about it here.