The Addiction Recovery Foundation dba Samo's Soldiers is a foundation created in memory of Stephen Alexander Mehrer.
Our mission is to provide resources to those battling addiction in a variety of ways like providing sober housing, education, medication assistance and scholarships.
Here's Steve's story:
Our son Steve's 7 year battle with addiction ended when he died on October 8, 2017 in West Palm Beach, Florida. His story is one that is repeated way too often each and every day across the country. The story is more like a book because for 7 years he criss-crossed the country trying to outrun the disease. All the while, his Mom and I thought that with our prayers and God's love he could beat the beast. We were wrong.
Steve was born in Kansas City and lived in Houston, Detroit and Columbus during his time with us. He was the first born to my wife Cara and me and the first grandchild to both of our parents.
He made friends easily and often, having fun and excelling in sports. He played travel baseball for the Spring Klein Astros, the Dublin Greensox and the Columbus Cobras. The Astros and Cobras won World Series titles. He was so proud to represent the Cobras and win the HomeRun Derby at age 14 in the USSSA World Series.
But football was his true love. He played for the Canton Lions, Grizzell Rocks, Dublin Jerome Celtics and Kent State Golden Flashes. He earned All Ohio football honors at Jerome and earned seven Division 1 scholarship offers. He was so excited to keep "living the dream".
Then he severely injured his shoulder and required complete reconstuctive surgery. His season was over and so was his dream.
As part of the recovery, he was prescribed multipe prescriptions of Oxycodone for pain managment and was never the same again. The disease had started to control him.
He had to RedShirt his first year to rehabilitate his shoulder and that gave him too much free time. He fell into the depths of depression. Once the prescriptions ran out, he switched to illegal street drugs to feed his addiction. It was awful, yet there was nothing we could do.
He ended up leaving Kent State after his Sophomore season. Then after a few months convinced us that he wanted to give football another try. So he enrolled at the JUCO powerhouse, Iowa Western. They were notorious for feeding programs like Arkansas, TCU, Ole Miss, Kansas State and Iowa with JUCO transfers.
But he was addicted and this was just his way of masking the disease. He left school before the first game and moved back home to Columbus. Iowa Western went on to win the National Championship that season and 23 players were picked up by Division 1 programs.
After a few months of treatment and counseling, he convinced us he wanted to try baseball again. In our eyes he was always a better baseball player than football player anyway, so we believed. Mostly, because we wanted to and a number of his Greensox and Cobra teammates were playing college baseball at places like Michigan, Kansas State and Butler.
I shopped around for a few weeks emailing and talking with coaches to stir up some interest and because of his successful baseball background, I was able to land him an offer at Arkansas Baptist, a JUCO in Little Rock, Arkansas.
In his first at bat, at the first practice he got a fastball and ripped it 420 ft. over the left center field fence.......I'm in the stands thinking, "Are you kidding me? My boy is back!"
Unfortunately, that was the highlight of the Arkansas Baptist experience. It turned out to be the same story we'd been living. He started using again and eventually got busted for possession of Xanax.
Cara flew to Little Rock the next morning and we immediately enrolled him in a 6 month rehab program in California. This would be his first of 5 trips to rehab during his 7 year battle.
Please help us fight the good fight against this incredibly destructive disease. We can't give up. We believe that with funding and education we can help many others in need.
Steve we are proud of everything you were. You inspired everyone you met. We will continue to preserve your legacy by helping others fight their battle.
Love Mom and Dad.
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