MIDLAND, TX (KWES) - One Midland family is speaking out after losing their daughter to drug and alcohol addiction, Kirby Collier, 22.
They're holding an event Thursday night, Jan. 18, where you'll get to hear from a police officer, Jermaine Galloway. He will speak to the Midland community about youth drug and alcohol abuse and how parents can take steps to prevention. It's all in memory of Kirby, who was also a Midland High School graduate but passed away in 2016.
Kirby loved animals, children and becoming a nurse was her ultimate dream.
"We had great times together growing up, family vacations, we had so much fun together when she was pleasant to be around," said her sister Ashley Collier. "She was great."
"We thought she was going to go to nursing school to have this amazing future ahead of her," said Kim Collier. "I think she truly wanted to do that."
It wasn't til later, Kirby would fall into the hands of addiction. She began drinking, smoking marijuana and taking Xanax during her freshman year of high school. She was sent to seek treatment over the years to get clean. She would do well, but would relapse from rehab facility to the next.
Her family learned Kirby began using meth and heroin. She went to Florida to another rehab facility where she completed a 30-step program and was doing well, until her family learned the tragic news of Kirby passing away from heroin overdose.
"Up until we got that phone call, I was hopeful for recovery," said Kim. "I lost my precious child. I'm broken but I have a passion to educate others so no other mother, father, sister or brother has to go through this."
It was many years where it wasn't only Kirby, but her family also struggled to help stop Kirby's addiction.
"I want people to look at that picture of Kirby and realize that was a heroin addict," said Kim Collier.
This is why the Colliers hold Tall Cop in the Tall City, so parents can learn about the trends in teen drug and alcohol use, but educate parents on prevention.
"I believe if we can stop this before it starts, that's the key to prevention," said Kim. "And people to know this is real. We're just a normal family who loved our daughter very much."
Although it's been close to two years since they last saw Kirby's smile, there's hope that by speaking out about the reality of addiction, it can save someone else before it's too late.
Tall Cop in the Tall City will take place at the Stonegate Fellowship Church in Midland. It starts at 6:00 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. Admission is completely free but they advise there is mature content so they ask you don't bring your children. For more details, click on this link.