Addiction Therapy and Research in honor of Ben Van Camp

It is with a heavy heart that I am telling everyone my younger brother Benjamin Van Camp passed away recently on March 27th.
He was my closest sibling in age and I will always remember the hell we raised as little kids together.

I do not want his death to be in vain and would like to share his story. Ben like millions of people across the United States and all across the world suffer from addiction. An addiction so cruel he wouldn't wish it upon his worst enemy. I want people to be aware of the effects of heroin use on people's lives. This is becoming a daily problem with kids all over the suburbs, cities, and even out in the country. It has been a problem with major highways from well-off suburban neighborhoods nicknamed the "heroin highway" to the inner city. People make their own decisions in life but this is a mistake that can hook you for life after the first time trying this terrible drug. I mentioned to my wife, that finally there is some sort of awareness with the new billboards saying "you don't take heroin, heroin takes you". You cannot summarize it any better than that. Heroin took a brother, son, boyfriend, a friend, a co-worker, a cousin, a nephew and a great guy with a huge heart. Nothing can bring him back but I want everyone's help in bringing awareness to this very real and very tragic problem. If an addict is lucky enough to survive, through several heart to hearts with Ben, he told me it was always in the back of his mind. I cannot imagine living with a constant temptation like that. It is a constant struggle that no matter how much happiness is in the person's live at the time, tries to take over.

Ben was willing to help anyone with anything he could with no questions asked, but in the end he could not help himself. He is now in a better place where he does not have a new battle to fight every day. He is free to be the happy, caring, fun-loving, free spirit he has always been. The stubborn bastard (I can say that because he is my younger brother) won a lot of those battles with his addiction but in the end it was too much. Our family has gone through a lot with Ben and if his death can help just one other person or family then it is a victory. Nothing can bring him back, so please spread the awareness of this terrible drug. 

He wanted to write a book about his roller coaster of a life in hopes of reaching and helping people stay on or get on the right path. He was taken too early for this to ever come to fruition. Some of the happiest moments I have seen him in the past years is when he started to work in the renewable energy fields, particularly for the install crews on wind projects. He was so proud of the hard work he put in and met so many great  people through Blattner. Blattner has become family to me and they welcomed Ben in as well.

I want to close with one simple thought.

Do not ever take a conversation for granted with your loved ones you never know what might be your last.

My last time I spoke with my brother on the phone was two days ago to tell him the storage place called about his locker. A conversation I never knew meant so much at the time until now. I make it a habit to tell my family members "I love them" before hanging up and I am glad I did not forget to tell him that during that seemingly unimportant phone call at the time.

I started this memorial fundraiser to help people that have gone through the same struggle and help addiction and therapy research groups. Depending on the amount, I was debating donating it towards a couple disc golf holes for the area. Ben was always happy to go and throw his discs and I feel it gave him a momentary break from his struggles. I understand we all go through tragedy and not everyone can give donations, but every bit helps.  

Please feel free to leave condolences, prayers, stories, or anything on this webpage in Ben's memory. Thank you everyone for all the prayers I feel we have the best group of family and friends in the world you all make times like this easier for everyone. We all did all we could to help him but God had better plans for my brother. This is a time to celebrate the good times with Ben because he would not want it any other way! 

Love Ryan

R.I.P. Little Bro We will never forget you!

If anyone has pictures with Ben our family would love them  please contact me through this website or on Facebook.
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Organizer

Ryan Van Camp 
Organizer
West Bend, WI
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