Jacqueline Dobson’s 32 year old son, Jared Norwood, died last month. However, Jacqueline doesn’t believe in coincidences; afterward, a series of events led to a proposed substance abuse home for teens and she believed that it was a signal that she needed to get involved. She found out about the entire opportunity by accident when she picked up a flier that was announcing a fundraiser for the substance abuse program, assuming that she was actually picking up a menu. The importance of the fundraiser hit instantly for Jacqueline because the loss of her son was still so fresh in her heart and in her mind. She had learned about the importance of having transitional housing available for addicts by watching what her son had to go through for a period of 12 years of his life.
The Constantino Del Signore Foundation, responsible for the fundraiser, is trying to raise $500,000 to build a transition center for eight to 10 teenagers who are recovering from substance abuse on a 37-acre farm in the area. When Jacqueline’s daughter had asked what she could do for her mom’s birthday, she suggested that she could make a donation to the foundation instead. The mother also wrote donation check, but she wanted to do more than just donate money to the cause. The CDS Foundation stated that they were hoping to open the transition house within the next two years.
The mother explained that everyone always assumes that when it comes to drug addiction, it’s only going to affect someone else’s son or daughter and not their own. She went on to share the story of her son, an individual who was very active in sports at school and was known for being a bright student. It was during his second year at his university that someone had introduced him to using cocaine and he became addicted. Another possible connection was found in the fact that his brother had died from complications of muscular dystrophy when Jared was only 13 -- an experience that might have been very traumatic for him emotionally and led to possible addiction.
Jared struggled and fought with his addiction for many years. He went throughout numerous rehab programs and from one program to another, always trying to get help and struggling to stay sober. He had always felt ashamed and disappointed with where his life was going based on his drug abuse, according to his mother. Those emotions likely also caused him to abuse drugs more often because it was a form of escape for him. Although he had some success with a few programs in the area, his mother noted that there really weren’t enough programs available for young people who were dealing with addiction. As a result, she decided that volunteering and helping with the CDS foundation program would be a good way to help her deal with the pain of her loss of her son while ensuring that other people wouldn’t have to suffer that way.