Teams and Walkers

Select A Team:

Donate Login
Edit in profile section

In memory of Steven Cowan

Created by Family Of Steven Cowan

Steven Cowan

Steven was my younger brother and we grew up in a small town in central Florida with our sister Amanda and our brother (his identical twin) James. I remember the crazy stuff we did as kids, particularly a bad habit of mooning. He even mooned people in the car, pressing his behind against the window of our mom's minivan. He was a funny guy. We had a hard time finding a picture for his obituary because he never took a serious picture. He was the kid who was always building ramps for his bike and taking the inevitable tumbles, including falling into a cactus patch once. He was a great uncle to my sons who he adored as if they were his own. We fought as all siblings do but at the end of the day, no matter what, I knew he loved me. It's hard for me to write about what he was really like because I don't know. He started using when he was 12 and so his constant drug abuse prevented it. He started with marijuana and it quickly led to crack. His behavior had changed and he seemed alternately angry and depressed and we chalked it up to puberty and my parents' divorce. He finally came clean to our mom about it one day and thus began the first of many trips to rehabs and psychiatric facilities. Over the years he used and abused every drug he could get his hands on. He couldn't hold down a job, he never had a real relationship with a woman, he never finished high school, and he never did any of those things that you assume everyone does. He was frequently suicidal, violent, and generally horrible to be around. Every time he went to rehab we hoped against hope that he would be able to hold it together. He never did for long. I am grateful for the brief periods of sobriety because the little I knew of him as an adult came in those periods. He was deeply regretful of his actions and never wanted anyone to do what he did. When he was sober he was loving and funny again and we all lived for those times. But, addiction is a disease that gets worse over time and every time he relapsed it was worse. He popped handfuls of pills, mainly tranquilizers and pain pills. He was also shooting heroin and drinking heavily. His addiction was killing him and everyone who loved him. We tried everything we could to help him and I mean everything. As much as he loved his nephews, he showed up to my home blasted. My older son is nine and sat and cried in my arms asking me why Uncle Steve couldn't just stop and I had no answer for him. Just a few months before he died he went into treatment again and was sober for a while in which time hope surged in us all that this was it. We had Steve back; he spent time with his nephews, got a job, and seemed OK. He was living with our mom and had been told very strongly that if he used again, he was out. He was an adult and he needed to take responsibility for his life. He apologized to us and, again, he seemed OK. For whatever reason, he started using again a day or two before he died. He went out with some "friends" and came home late and totally wasted. My mom got up the next morning, angry with him but thinking he was sleeping it off. Around 1:00 she went in to wake him up and found him cold and blue in his bed. She called 911 but told them he was dead. The paramedics came, ran into his room with all sorts of equipment, and left less than 30 seconds later saying he was dead. My mom was alone with his body and a police officer for a while before the crime scene unit came and did their investigation. They found pill bottles, needles, and spoons in his room. My mom called me at work and I rushed to be with her and sat with my mom while they carried his body out of the house. I will never ever forget that day as long as I live. On some level I hate him for it. I miss him though; he was my baby brother after all. Now I sit and listen to my mom cry. She says she feels like someone ripped a hole in her heart and she is just bleeding and no one can fix it. I am a mommy and I lie awake at night scared to death for my boys and hoping against hope they won't take the same path. I wonder if there was something else we could have done that we didn't and I know that none of us will ever see Steve again. I have learned that life is short and you only get one shot at it. I have learned that a decision made at the age of 12 can determine the rest of your life. I have learned that there are hurts that never go away. I am grateful, however, that as a teacher in a middle school I have the opportunity to share this with kids the same age as he was when he started using and with any luck a few of those kids won't make a huge mistake. I hope so, it would give some meaning to his life and his death and Steve would like that. He always wanted something to be proud of.

Partners for Hope raise critical funds on behalf Partnership to End Addiction – the nation’s leading organization dedicated to addiction prevention, treatment and recovery. Every dollar raised on behalf of the Partnership* will help ensure free, personalized family support resources, including our national helpline, peer-to-peer parent coaching, customized online tools and community education programs, can reach those who need them most. Please consider donating to this fundraiser and sharing this page.

*Donations made to Partnership to End Addiction are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law. All contributions are fully tax-deductible, as no goods or services are provided in consideration in whole, or in part, of any contribution to this nonprofit organization.  EIN: 52-1736502

Guest Book


1. James Cowan
Steven was my brother and I miss him everyday. Life is hard now without my twin, but it has made me realize that life is too short. I always told him to slow down, unfortunately he rarely did. I hope people understand that drugs lead to a hard, heart broken life. I miss him everyday espeacialy when I look in the mirror. I remain a sober person and know I never want to end up that way. He is missed but will never be forgotten. May he rest in peace. Love his only brother. JLC. 8/05/1980-5/01/2008
2. Jason Barnhart
Pam, please tell your mother how sorry I am for her loss. As you know, Steve and I were friends since age 9 and this was a total slap in the face for me as well. Mostly I keep James in my prayers now. Anyone who knew them knows how much they depended on each other whether or not they were arguing at the time. Let us all be grateful for having been able to share the time we did with those we've lost. And let that loss help us to appreciate those we still have even more.
3. Lisa Silvano
I am so very sorry for your loss. I lost my identical twin sister Michelle 9 years ago at age 19 to a heroin overdose. It was, and still is, extremely difficult. Time may heal, but it never gets any easier. My heart breaks for your family and I wish you all the best. If I can help in any way, please let me know. I know that it is still very fresh for you, so let me know if you ever need anything. I've been to that place before. It is hard, but you will survive.
4. Kelly Scott
Pamela, I also lost my brother to heroin, and his name was Steven also. He passed away just 2 months ago. I just made a memorial for him, so I guess it takes a few days to be posted. His name was Steven Parker. It is so hard to accept. I am sorry for your is so hard to lose a sibling.
5. Joe's Wife Jaynie
Pamela, I know your pain. I lost my husband to this disease and not a day goes by where I don't wonder why him, or how did this happen? We can only tell their stories and pray that it helps another. You and your family are in my heart, thoughts, and prayers.
6. Elaine Davidsmama
Dear Pamela, These stories are so hard to tell, but tell you must. Someone will listen, someone will be changed, someone will be saved. We don't know why addiction does what it does to those we love and leaves us with so much 'rubble' afterward. Love that you love him and remember the sober times when you saw & enjoyed the real Steven. Thank you for sharing your story with us. Peace & comfort. It never gets easier but life changes and we're still in it. Stop
7. Angela Gwynn Mother Of Dallas Nguyen
Pamela, thank you for sharing Steven's story. Please know it will make a difference. I admire the honesty in your story, it is the most painful story you will ever tell. Don't stop. I am so sorry for your family. For losing Steven. And for Steven not reaching the rainbow at the end of the darkness. Love and Peace and Hope to you and your family.
8. Theresa Basting Mother Of Jason Basting
I am so sorry for you and your families loss. Unforntunately your brother's story is far to familiar. Now because of you, your brother's life and death will make a difference. God's peace be with you and yours.
9. Pamela Arnold
Well Steve, it's been a month now and I still can't believe you're gone. I hope that wherever you are, you are at peace and know how very much you were loved by us all. Love, Pamela