My name is Frankie Andrews, my sister’s name, who many of you may know, is Diane Andrews.
I would love to have the opportunity to talk with you about something very near and dear to my heart. In 1986 I was introduced to drugs, not introduced in the way some may think, by taking them, but by the effects the drug user has on a family.
Growing up, I have always been an avid sports fan and my passion for my teams is like nothing I could ever put into words. Being from Maryland, I was and still am, an avid Maryland Terrapin fan.
The year as I stated above was 1986, one of the greatest if not the greatest, Maryland basketball player ever to put on a uniform was Len Bias. He had just been drafted by the Boston Celtics and I was elated to see one of what I considered my own, do so well. Only to wake up a couple of days later to find out Len Bias, had just died of what we later found out, was a cocaine overdose.
I, like many other people, was devastated. Although I was never one to do things like that, rest assured this most definitely scared me enough to never even be around it. I thought at the time, how could his mother and father keep going on and I realized God had a plan for them.
Lonise Bias, is one of the most vocal people out there on the war on drugs. She has lectured all over the world on the effects drugs play on the person taking them and the families of the users.
1986 Crack Cocaine was one of the drug problems many people faced from day to day.
Here we are now, twenty-four years later, still having drug problems. Crack Cocaine and Crystal Meth are just a couple of the problems out there; in my opinion the real problem today is Prescription Medicine.
Now allow me tell you of a story of someone who has endured enough pain to last ten life times, my sister Diane. She is my JOB. For many of you who know the Bible you know JOB lost his seven sons and three daughters and endured a long time of suffering but in the end JOB stayed committed to God.
Well, back to Diane. She has three children, all who graduated from Alleghany High School.
Matthew Absher, who played sports, made very decent grades and graduated. He had a love for basketball like no other. Mountain Dews and Pizza were his favorite foods. As my sister Diane once wrote “He would have been happy to have those for Thanksgiving dinner. I say those things to make you realize that he was a good kid and is human like all of us.
Once out of high school, Matthew faced many of the same obstacles many of our young people today face and we all know them. First, what am I going to do with my life, then there is the peer pressure from our so-called friends to party and then, some of them get introduced to drugs and someone will say to them try this drug; it will relax you or make you feel great.
What starts out as something so innocent can end up as a travesty. This happened to Matthew when he got out of school and faced many of the problems I stated above. On August 22, 2006, I lost my nephew and watched my sister, Matthew’s Mother, Diane lose the life that she once knew.
Matthew was first introduced to prescription drugs from a doctor and many times thereafter he continually would go to a doctor for what may have been a real problem only to have a doctor prescribe him some medicine to take the pain away. Between that and his so-called friends he really faced an uphill battle.
For almost four years, I stood back and watched my sister Diane do the best she could do and always wanting to help her if I could.
She still had her daughter Tonya Moxley, who also graduated from Alleghany High School, and her youngest son, Brandon Moxley.
Brandon, as many of you know, was truly a bright light in many people’s bad days. I am not sure I ever saw him when he wasn’t smiling. Many of you may also remember him for his passion in wrestling. I remember him for being the mischievous one who always tried to act innocent. I also remember him for his willingness to help others, and I know where that came from. His mother Diane has a heart as big as Sparta.
I speak of Brandon now because in less than four years after Matthew had died of prescription drugs, Brandon died the same way.
I know many of you on the outside think this could never happen to you. Well, I am here to say it can! Matthew and Brandon were both very good kids who just got mixed up in the wrong things.
I never feel like our kids fail us, I always feel like we fail them. As I stated at the start of this letter when Lonise Bias lost her son Len to cocaine, everyone and their brother was on the “say no to drugs band wagon.” As time has gone by, I feel we as adults, have let this issue take a step back.
I sit and watch my sister everyday feel the pain of losing two kids in less than four years to drugs and I no longer want to sit here and wait for something else to happen.
The reason in writing this letter is that you will allow me, my sister, family, and community to start a Scholarship in the names of Matthew Absher and Brandon Moxley.
I also feel that Matthew and Brandon, who always would try to help someone when help was needed, are saying let us help one more time. I feel it is their way of saying please stay away from drugs.
And like JOB my sister Diane is as committed to God today as she has ever been in her life.
Thank you for your time, The Andrews, Absher, and Moxley Family