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In memory of Travis Maddox

Created by Laura Vanallen

Travis Maddox

Thank you for visiting the memorial I created in memory of my loved one.

My worst nightmare became a reality on March 8 2014 when my beautiful son Travis died of an opioid overdose at the age of 20.
My story differs from many in that I didn’t know he had been experimenting with drugs. That phone call ripped my existing world into shreds. The shock tore my mind and heart into pieces and I found myself on a journey I never wanted to walk. I have cried a river of tears; and every tear is love for my son. Missing him is my living hell. Living life as a grieving Mother since that day is living in what I call an alternate reality. Nothing is normal anymore. Knowing my son is no longer part of this world is often beyond belief.

I am a different person now. My outlook has changed. I have a deeper understanding for suffering. I feel more deeply and have a deeper need for spirituality, with more desire to help others that are in need.
However, I also have an anger that I didn’t have before. Anger that drugs are so accessible. Our kids have easy access and doctors have been known to give them out like candy. I am angry about this.
I have learned more about the drug crisis going on in our society- something I never wanted to look at before. “Not my son”, I always would have thought. The drug problem was never something I wanted to think much about until my own son overdosed. Even then I didn’t want to think about it. But I have slowly decided I need to do something with this anger. I have learned how naive I really was to think he wouldn’t never have turned to drugs. I have learned it truly is a disease. I want to be an advocate and turn my anger into a proactive approach. I want to unite with other parents in getting our voices heard. I never knew I would feel so strongly about something I knew so little about. I am still learning. I hope to make a difference.
You can hate the addiction, but always love the addict. Many that turn to drugs think that it won’t happen to them. It happened to my son. I want every son and daughter out there to know my story, and think about their Mother and Father before taking another hit. It could be their last. I want to see the stigma taken out of the of disease of addiction and see changes in treatments. I advocate keeping nalaxone on hand. I wish my son could have received that. I honor my son in every effort I make.


This Memorial was created to commemorate a loved one's life and to let other families know they can turn to the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids for help when struggling with their son or daughter's substance use. Please consider sharing this page to increase awareness of substance use disorders and to provide hope and healing for others.

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