RICHMOND, Va. -- Pain gives this mom`s message power.
“I lost my son, let me help you save yours,” says Jennifer Tolson.
Her son Blaize Torrence, a former Henrico High football standout became hooked on prescription drugs, and he lost a scholarship to play football at Penn State.
“Because when you think of an addict, you think of someone on the streets that`s homeless; you`re not thinking of a stellar student who`s getting ready to go off to college,” she said.
She said that dropping grades, staying out late and a change in appearance were telltale signs.
His death prompted her and Blaize`s friends to create BAAD, or Blaizin` Awareness Against Drugs.
They worked on a commercial in partnership with Richmond Behavioral Health Authority, hoping to shine a light on the drug epidemic.
“When you lose a child, you always have two choices. You can stay in your bed, cry and wallow and you can keep your story to yourself,” Tolson said.
“He wouldn’t want us to mope about it,” said his friend Miquel Nelson. “He would want us to stick to the fight and make more people aware and save as many people as we can.”
On May 13, BAAD will host the Blaizin` Trails 5k. It is the first ever 5k in Virginia to spotlight drug addiction and the family hopes it will be the one to save lives.
All the proceeds will go toward putting a young adult struggling with addiction into rehabilitation.
“We want to be that vessel for someone,” his mom said. “To make a difference in their life.”
The run will take place on May 13, 2017 at the L. Douglas Wild Middle School. Click here for more.