Pubdate: Mon, 26 Dec 2011
Source: Province, The (CN BC)
Copyright: 2011 Postmedia Network Inc.
Author: Vivian Luk, The Province 


Lost Their Teen Daughter to Drug on Dec. 22

An Abbotsford family struggling to cope with the tragic loss of their 
teenage daughter at Christmas is warning other parents and teens of 
the dangers of ecstasy.

Seventeen-year-old Cheryl McCormack died on Dec. 22 after taking 
ecstasy. She and three other teenage girls were at a sleepover a few 
nights earlier, where all four friends took an ecstasy pill to lose or 
man-age their weight, said Abbots-ford police.

At around 3 a.m., however, McCormack became unresponsive and was taken 
to hospital, where she remained in critical condition. She died just 
three days before Christmas.

"How can anybody be pre-pared to deal with this when you've got 
Christmas decorations up and lights through-out the city?" said 
Abbots-ford police spokesman Const. Ian MacDonald. "This young girl 
thought [ecstasy] was the gateway to weight management, and 
unfortunately sacrificed her life."

MacDonald said the other three girls were fine, even though they all 
took the same pill. Investigators are still waiting for toxicology 
tests to determine the exact cause of McCormack's death.

"I think what's important to remember is ecstasy or any illicit drug 
is not manufactured in a pharmaceutical plant," MacDonald said. "There 
is no quality control, there is no guarantee that what you think 
you're ingesting is in fact what you're ingesting. It's quite possible 
the drug could have been in varying amounts."

MacDonald also said this is not the first time the four girls took 
ecstasy in order to lose weight, though police are still trying to 
find out where they got the drug. He believes there may be more teens 
out there doing the same thing.

The family have requested privacy, but have indicated that they want 
the story of Cheryl's tragic death to be told accurately. They have 
also established a bursary in memory of Cheryl. The bursary will be 
for Abbotsford high-school students who are planning on attending 
post-secondary school and are in financial need.

"The family, despite obviously struggling and still coming to terms 
with this, has been extremely courageous," said MacDonald. "They want 
to warn parents like them-selves and teens like their daughter from 
having the same fate befall them."

Anyone wishing to express their condolences to the family, in lieu of 
flowers, can make a donation to the Cheryl McCormack Memorial Award. 
They can donate by calling 604-850-3755 or by mailing a cheque to the 
Abbotsford Community Foundation at 204-2890 Garden St., Abbots-ford, 
B.C., V2T 4W7.

The Abbotsford Police Department is seeking to identify the supplier 
and source of the ecstasy. Any-one with information should call the 
APD at 604-859-5225 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.
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