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Family uses tragedy to help fight heroin abuse

Posted at 11:24 PM, Feb 23, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-24 11:42:56-05

It's been almost a year since 23-year-old Christin Tibbetts died from a heroin overdose in Falconer. It's because of that deadly drug that Christin's 6-year-old daughter has spent the last year, growing up without her mom.

On the young girl's bed sits a soft blanket, made out of a collage of photos of the young girl and her mother. Christin's mom says the 6-year-old sadly knows her mom is no longer with us.

"She picked out one of her mom's school pictures and put it on the wall next to her bed," said Kim Leach, Christin's mom. "She wants mom to watch her sleep."

It's the devastating reality what the heroin epidemic is doing to young people and their families---tearing them apart. Since Christin's death, her parents say two of her childhood friends have also lost their lives because of a heroin overdose.

"To those parents out there using, try to stop before the drug gets you," Leach said.

"Out life has changed," said her father Kevin Tibbetts. "It has been hard. I'm reliving a lot of those emotions, I think the whole family is reliving that day."

Her parents know the pain, and say they don't want another family to go through what they have.

Saturday, February 27, the family will be holding a candlelight vigil to remember Christin and bring awareness to the growing problem.

The event will be held with the Mental Health Association of Chautauqua County at the Northern Chautauqua Conservation Club, 1 North Mullett Street in Dunkirk, New York from 6:30-8pm.

Her family says they hope to bring awareness to the problem they say is a lack of treatment centers for those suffering from addiction.