Sunday, February 06, 2005

This Is What Keeps Me Going

Star Isford, who helps tell the story of her sister Cathy in True Stories of Ecstasy & Ketamine, received this email after being profiled recently in the OC Register:
Hi Star, my name is Shay Covington. I am a freshman at El Toro High School. I became aware of Cathy when my dad bought "Voice of the Victims" online. I have a cousin that is currently enrolled at Foothill. My dad bought the DVD to educate and inform my brother and I about the risks involving designer drugs like Ecstasy and Special K.

My dad tells about the DVD and Cathy's story to as many people as he can. We have been to the "Voice of the Victims" website and even signed the guestbook. After reading your article in the Orange County Register (wednesday. feb. 2, 2005 edition) we visited Like the DVD, it was a very touching and emotional experience for both my dad and I. By reading the article, I found out that you recently spoke at a church in Rancho Santa Margarita. My family attends the Crystal Cathederal in Garden Grove. If ever you are going to speak at that church, or any church in the future within Orange County, (we live in lake forest), please send me an e-mail at least 2 weeks in advance just so my dad has time to ask for that day off so he can take my brother and I to hear you and hopefully meet and talk you. While visiting, I learned how to get to Cathy in Santa Ana. I plan on having my dad take me to give her fresh flowers. Thank you for your time.
And here's Star's beautiful response:
Shay, thank you so much for writing me. It means so much to me and my family to know that Cathy's story is truly touching people like you and so many others. It was a devastating to loose my sister when we did. It took me so long to get back to my life. I mourned harder and longer than most people and through my mourning I made Cathy's website, learning as I went along. Honestly, Cathy's story brought Beth (The producer and creator of Voice of the Victims) and I together. We are now close friends and I work with her daily. From there I created their website and have been working with her, helping out in whatever ways that I can.

I would be honored to speak at the Crystal Cathedral, but I don't know who to contact and if they would be interested. I can only pray that God does help us to spread and help as many families as possible. If your Dad knows a contact there that I can call or if he could give my information to someone there, I would be thrilled to speak, I know Beth would also.

Voice of the Victims right now is really hurting. Beth worked so hard and actually took out a loan on their house to produce these movies ($200,000.00) and so far we have made about $20,000 of it back, after almost 2 years. She wants to make another video that covers the dangers of DXM (a drug found in Robitussin), GHB and Alcohol. It is just as touching as the first one and I have had the privilege of meeting a lot of these families. The only problem is that not a lot of people know about the first video, and with that I hate to say it but without selling the first one, there is no financial way to make the second.

I know these stories make a difference; I know Cathy made a difference to so many people. After Cathy died I tried to tell everyone I could about what happened, we went all over the news, we even went on VH1 a special called "Hooked on club drugs", but still no one was telling the story the way my family wanted them to, instead it was more like, "This poor girl did ecstasy and died, too bad! Now lets talk about this addict that is being forced into rehab…". They treated my sister like it was no big deal. I stopped fighting to get her story on TV because of it, next thing I know Beth got a hold of us and the rest was beautiful.

I want to see the stories on the video spread all over the country. I want everyone to see what can happen and the truth, the reality of the loss caused by these drugs. It hurts and everyone should know that it's reality and will happen.

God wants everyone on this earth to learn from each other and be there for one another. I feel that by sharing Cathy it helps my family and I to heal, feel stronger but above all it make a difference to those that watch it. They become part of our family and they can feel the pain that we have gone through. They feel what it is like to loose someone they love and can only imagine what their family would go through if it was their own death God could have chosen so many different ways to take Cathy home, why this mistake, why that night?

My Family and I believe it was because God wanted us to use her story to make a difference. I am glad that it has made a difference to you.

Tell your dad that by him buying the DVD and sharing it with everyone he can; he has made the Isford family very proud and happy. I know Cathy would have wanted this and I know God has moved me to do this.

Please have your family pray for Voice of the Victims. I know that it has made such a difference and I can only pray that it continues to grow, but God has the power to make it spread and reach more teens than we can ever imagine.

Thank you and God bless you.

Star Isford

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