After a 10-year struggle, my younger brother, Steven, lost his battle against drugs. In 1988, he died of a cocaine overdose in the back seat of a police car. Steven left behind a beautiful 5-year old daughter, a loving wife, and his family. In 1994, my other brother, Eric, committed suicide. For 10 years, he suffered from a severe case of depression. Doctors said that Eric's depression - and death - were very likely linked to his long-term drug use that began in high school.
Following the loss of my brothers, I realized that they might have steered clear of drugs had they seen and heard how drugs would affect their lives - and how the devastating effects of drugs would end their lives.
My family was very close to Steven and Eric. The reality of my brothers' drug addiction and mental illness became an on-going struggle for the family. For 11 years, we searched to find adequate care-giving resources to help Steven and Eric get well.
Our search took us from one dead-end to the next. Finally, we stumbled onto a few benevolent visionaries who ran privately funded programs that offered free treatment to young people suffering from substance abuse. These nonprofit centers encouraged us as we saw dozens of young people getting quality help that changed their lives.
My family also made another discovery during its search. We found drug prevention programs that targeted young people were not having lasting impact. We believed we could change that. After thoughtful discussion and consultation with education and drug experts, we decided to start the Sundt Memorial Foundation because we believed we could make lasting change in the lives of children.
Many of us have loved ones or friends whose lives have been ruined by substance abuse. But through effective prevention, we can save lives and help families create happy memories with their families, not sad ones.
Together, we can make a difference.
President and Founder