After her son died from an asthma attack in October, one local woman is on a mission to make others aware and turn her late son's birthday into a chance to help others.
Stacy Reed and her husband started a charity two years ago to feed the needy, but her son's death prompted her to expand the mission to include helping those with asthma get the medical care they need.
She will be holding a fundraiser on Saturday at Blue Ridge Cutoff and Sni-a-Bar.
Damon Lewis, Jr. would have turned 25 on Friday.
When he died in October, he was visiting a friend. He had brought his inhalers, but not his EpiPen.
"He thought he was just going down the street and coming right back," Reed said. "That's how fast it happened."
Talking about his death online brought in comments from others that made her realize she could make a difference.
"It's so many people out here with asthma who don't know how serious it is," she said.
Lakesha Weathers met Reed through her awareness group.
"She gives us tips about triggers and different stuff to look for when you have a child with asthma," said Lakesha Weathers, whose daughter died from asthma.
Her 10-year-old daughter, Ennacent, died just a month after Reed's son died.
She used to sleep with her daughter to keep watch over her. Now, she clutches a photo-filled pillow at night.
"I'm just right at the three-month mark and it's still unbelievable some days," she said.
Reed's goal is to eventually buy a bus to get people to medical appointments and have the funds to help with what can be costly medication copays. Even with insurance, her son's medications were a costly $200 a month.
Essentially, she wants to make sure no one has a barrier to care.
"I don't want no one to go through what I'm going through," Reed said. "I smile every day, but I'm hurting."
The event is a dress-up affair with dinner and dancing.
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