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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Wednesday's Angel ~ Kevin Tork~

Every week these posts get harder and harder to do without tears, thinking of each of these children that have suffered or died from a preventable risk taking behavior just breaks my heart. I am sure not as much as these parents have had to endure though, the loss of their child. That is why we her at Ed4Ed4All continue our battle to prevent useless injury and death from deadly youth risk behaviors.
This week's Wednesday Angel is Kevin Tork the son of our dear Ken Tork, and has a special place in all of our hearts just like last week's Angel : Braden did, he was the grandson of Lyndi Trost. So many Angels.............why do they have to die?


This is quoted from Ken's blog about Kevin : "For Kevin's Sake" 
Our family experienced a horrible tragedy. We lost our 15-year old son Kevin on a Monday night to a craze that has invaded our children’s lives, called “the choking game”. Before I tell you about how he died I would like to tell you a little about how he lived.

Kevin was the perfect son in every way. He was happy and fun loving and caring, He would be the first to jump in without being asked and help where needed. He loved his family fiercely. He loved to laugh and make others laugh. He was in several plays in school. He loved music, basketball, writing poetry and stories. He loved making swords and models and he was the most honest young man there has ever been. He truly was perfect in every way. We told each other several times a day that we loved each other and we hugged multiple times a day.

Everyone I have talked to has told me how special he was, and you just felt it when you were in his presence. I am just now finding out how truly amazing this kid was. His classmates got to see a side of him I never did because at home he was our baby boy. Home was where he came to be a kid. When he walked out that door every morning he turned into this strong young man that I can now only know through his friends' stories or his journals. His love for other people just reached out to you with out you even knowing it. One of his classmates told us that 5 minutes after she met him she felt she knew him her whole life. 

The finality of burying your son:
A headstone was finally added to Kevin's burial plot after 2000 kids were informed by Ken about the Choking Game.

This is KING-5/Seattle's coverage of that April 30, 2011 event:


A message from Ken (Kevin's dad)
Please don’t go back to your lives and forget Kevin Tork. He would have sacrificed himself for any one of your children and never thought twice about it. Cherish every second you have with your child. Our world changed on Monday March 30th, 2009 at 6:37pm. Will yours' change? Will one of you be next? Let's work together and stop this deadly, fatal activity before it takes your child. 
Let me leave you with this: I had a customer email me about a conversation that took place in the back of her best friend's car. Her friends daughter was sitting with a friend and the friend said ”Let me show you this neat game I learned today. I put my hands around your neck and squeeze until you get dizzy. Its really fun and it feels good.” Both girls are 7 yrs old. So if you think it cant happen to your child ... think again. 

Educate yourself, Educate your kids, Save a life! Angels need to stay a while here on earth until it is really time (God's time) for them to go.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Wednesday's Angels ~ Braden Erickson (1992-2005)

~~Braden Erickson (1992-2005)~~

No farewell words were spoken........
No time to say goodbye........
You were gone before we knew it
And only God knows why.

His family is convinced that he died engaging a particularly lethal type of risky behavior. It is known as "The Choking Game", "Pass Out". "American Dream", "Flatliner", "Space Monkey" and various other names. Kids have been participating in this activity for generations. Frequently, deaths caused by this game are mislabeled as suicides by the authorities. Kids believe it is a safe activity. Obviously, that is not true. The weapon in the campaign to stop these deaths is information. Most adults have no idea that their children are doing this. For more information about this lethal activity, go to   

Click link to view In Loving Memory of Braden Euqene Erickson.  This video was created by Denise Bruckner, Austin Bruckner's Mom.  Austin also died participating in the "Choking Game"   Thanks so much, Denise.

He was such a sweet, funny, loving, intelligent generous person just undergoing the transition from boy to young man. He had started wearing cologne but he still slept with his little brown stuffed bunny. He had endless patience when it came to something he really wanted to do. Fishing for example, or stalking dragon flies or lizards.

He had many friends in Alaska, on the island of Maui where he lived with his family for two years, and in Tolleson, Arizona where he and his family had lived for the past two years. He kept in touch with his friends in Alaska and Maui.

Braden loved life and he loved all of God's creatures. He had a special affinity for reptiles and was the proud owner of a ball python named Squeeze, a monitor lizard and another smaller snake. The family also has a black toy poodle and a pot bellied pig both of which Braden played with and helped to care for.

Braden was born on February 19, 1992. His little brother, Jesse was born on February 20, 2002, ten years and one day later. Braden thought of Jess as his birthday present and watched over him like a guardian angel. Jess misses him so!! He has told his Mom he doesn't want Brady to be in heaven any more. He wants him to come home.

Shortly before he died, Braden used his Birthday money to pay for some of his friends to get into a dance at school. He was always willing to share whatever he had with others. He would not stand by and watch a bully torment a smaller or weaker child, and he would not back down from a bully.

The ongoing theme in all of the letters his family received from his friends and classmates after his death was that he made everyone laugh. He had an off-the-wall sense of humor. which he used to brighten the world around him. The outpouring of affection for him was amazing. His classmates organized a car wash. His teachers purchased and delivered to his family a package of school pictures which he had not yet picked up. His friends in Tolleson and Wasilla had tee shirts made in his honor and wore them to school. There was standing room only at his service. Several of his classmates spoke. The school that he attended in Kehei, Maui sent two fresh flower leis.
Family Tree

Our Angel this week reminds us why we are thankful for small blessings

All I Want For Christmas

I know you feel this is the first Christmas without me,

And all these Christmas decorations you can’t stand to see._

I know you keep asking God “why?”,

I also know you sometimes late at night you lay in your bed and cry.

I know this will be hard but there are some things I need you to do for me,

This Christmas do a little make-believe.

I want you to smile, when you want to cry,

I want you to live, even when you feel like you want to die.

When your heart has no song, I still want you to sing,

When your hands don’t feel like cooking,

I want to make that sweet potato pie to bring.

I want you to laugh when the kids sing Jingle Bells,

And I want you to get your Christmas cards done and mailed.

I know this seems like a lot to ask of you,

But in return this is what I will do.

I will be there to wrap my arms around you when you are down,

I will make sure you hear a joke to make you smile instead of frown.

I will help you remember the words to even the hardest Christmas song,

But most of all, I will help you understand that Heaven is where I truly belong.

So this Christmas season, I’ll still be there,

I will be the cold wind that blows you hair.

I will be in the twinkle in the lights on your Christmas tree,

I will be in the sound of the children’s voice as they sing,

And I will be in the giggle you hear when they open the gifts you bring.

I’ll be in the scent of Christmas dinner in the air,

And when you feel that special “warmth” you’ll know I am there.

So this isn’t the first Christmas without me,

Just look around and there I will be……..

by Rachel

Do you have a child or teen that has died and been lost to a senseless act of youth risk behaviors, we would love to have permission to feature their story and help their
legacy live on to help others. Please email me Leslie and I will be glad to help you.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Are smart kids more likely to use drugs?

Fact Sheet

Are smart kids more likely to use drugs?

 An ambitious new study suggests a surprising link between a child's IQ and his use of illegal substances as an adult

Classroom know-it-alls may be more likely to experiment with drugs as they enter adulthood, according to a new study.
Classroom know-it-alls may be more likely to experiment with drugs as they enter adulthood, according to a new study.
Smart kids are more likely to use drugs such as marijuana and cocaine when they grow up — and the likelihood is stronger among females than males — according to a new British study published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health. Researchers have previously posited that children with a high IQ can grow up to be heavier drinkers. Now drugs, too? A concise guide to the findings:

What was the study's methodology?Researchers tracked about 8,000 people across three decades, recording their IQ scores at age 5 and again at age 10, says Makiko Kitamura at Bloomberg Businessweek. As adults, "participants were asked about use of substances including cannabis, cocaine, amphetamines, ecstasy, LSD, hallucinogenic mushrooms, crack and heroin."

And what did they find?
Subjects "who had high IQs when they were aged 5 and 10 were more likely to use certain illicit drugs at age 16 and at age 30," says Denise Mann at Web MD. In particular, women with high IQ scores at 5 years of age were "more than twice as likely" to have smoked marijuana or tried cocaine by age 30 than women with lower IQs. As for men who tested well as kids, 50 percent were more likely to use amphetamines like speed, 65 percent more likely to have tried ecstasy, and, overall, 57 percent more likely to have used two or more illegal drugs by the time they hit 30.

Why are smart kids more likely to use drugs?
While parents may find the results "surprising at first glance," intelligent children fit the "established" profile of drug experimenters in many ways, says Karen Kaplan at the Los Angeles Times. Among the social factors that can lead individuals to try drugs are boredom and a "tendency to be teased" by peers as a child. (Drugs could be used as a "coping strategy.") Moreover, smarter individuals are typically more willing to try new things. As the researchers note: "High-IQ individuals have also been known to score highly on tests of stimulation seeking and openness to experience" — which illegal drugs can provide.

What do you think? 
Sources: Bloomberg Businessweek, LA Times, Web MD

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Wednesday blessings ~~ Our angels

10/11/97 - 6/13/11  

Another Angel in Heaven because of the Choking or Fainting game, another kid dead, yes, he is really gone! This does not have to happen, Joshua was only 13 yrs old, his entire life was in front of him. News Article about Josh's death with a video

Each Wednesday instead of a senseless picture posting we will feature one of our Angels, kids that we have lost due to youth risk behaviors, poor choices and lack of knowledge. Hopefully this will be an important reminder to parents, teachers and kids that "games" that involve "risk taking behaviors" such as the "Choking Game" , Pharm or pill parties, Self Destructive or mutilation behaviors, Huffing and inhalant abuse, synthetic drugs such as "bath salts" or K2 are only a road that leads down a "dead end" street. Death is not selective, it can sneak up on you the first time you make a poor choice or the 100th time you do, so why play Russian roulette with your life?
Educate yourself, your kids, your students and save a life. Might even be your child's life.

More information and downloadable free educational materials available on our website here 

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Now there is "Fake weed" with real dangers

We worry about marijuana and other drugs, but now synthetic versions of these dangerous substances tease our kids and send invitations out to party, only to leave
them with an invitation to a Russian roulette party game that they did not plan on playing. Educate yourself on these newer forms of dangerous substances, here is one article about K2 or "fake weed" ........ more to come...

There is a new and dangerous “fake weed” drug known as K2 that is becoming popular among America’s teenagers. Although it’s referred to as “fake,” the dangers to teens are very real. The marijuana-like substance can cause hallucinations, vomiting, agitation and other dangerous side effects, according to Fox News.
What Is K2?
K2 is a mixture of herbal and spice plant products, but it is sprayed with a potent drug that is causing many adverse effects. It sells for about $30-$40 per three-gram bag, and is more potent than marijuana. K2 is made to be a potpourri or an incense, and it can be burned in a small burner. However, a growing number of teens are choosing to smoke it. K2 can be purchased in local smoke shops.
The Dangers of K2:
K2 “fake weed” causes the usual side effects of marijuana, like sleepiness, relaxation, reduced blood pressure, and at high doses, hallucinations and delusions. However, unlike marijuana, K2 also produces increased agitation, elevated blood pressure and high heart rates. Leading physicians agree that the “fake weed” is dangerous. "It's like playing Russian roulette. You don't know what it's going to do to you," Clemson University’s organic chemist John Huffman told Fox News. In Missouri, a 14-year-old vomited, suffered seizures, and even quit breathing after smoking a small amount of K2. He remained unconscious for five hours and spent the night in the ICU. Similar cases are being reported across the country, including 14 right here in Georgia. A teen in Atlanta went into a coma and almost died this past weekend. He has since recovered fully, but he considers himself lucky and is telling other teens about the dangers of K2. Georgia legislators are currently trying to ban the synthetic pot.
K2 Usage is on the Increase:
Because K2 is generally considered an “herbal smoke,” reports of its increased usage are cropping up all over the country," explains Dr. Anthony Scaizo, a professor of toxicology at Saint Louis University. "I think K2 is likely a bigger problem than we're aware of at this time," he added.
What’s a Parent To Do?
Be sure to research K2 and become familiar with its dangers. Talk to your teenagers about this latest herbal drug, and why it is so dangerous. Hopefully, armed with information, your teen will choose not to abuse. K2 is no laughing matter.
To read more about K2, click here to read the complete report from Fox News. Click here to read more about the teen from Missouri who almost died from K2.
Click here to view a local report about K2 from WSB-TV in Atlanta.
Sources: Fox News and KY3 TV

Video you need to see:

Stay safe and educate

Thursday, November 3, 2011

A Challenge for YOU! We Can Do this!!

 National Choking Game Awareness Conference for Advocates to convene!! We need to reach far and wide! It's FREE , just takes a second of your time. Placing 2 votes, every day will be my routine for the month - will you take on the same challenge? 2 Votes every day: AND Text* 109321 to Pepsi (73774) We can do this! Vote, Share, repeat for 30 days :)
Please Please vote and help us spread the word, working together advocates can help end the deaths of kids by the "Choking Game" and other risky behaviors.
Leslie Block RN - Ed4Ed4all- Injury Prevention Specialist

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