Pubdate: Sun, 11 Feb 2018
Source: Calgary Sun, The (CN AB)
Copyright: 2018 The Calgary Sun
Author: Yolande Cole
Page: 10


Following the death of her son Conner in 2013, Yvonne Clark has been
sharing her story with students and parents across the region.

In presentations to young people ranging from Grade 6 to Grade 12,
Clark talks about her family's experience, about the dangers of
fentanyl, and about the growing number of Albertans who have died of
opioid overdoses.

What she hopes to include soon as part of that presentation is a
series of images that will put a face to the fentanyl statistics.
Clark is appealing to other Albertans who have lost a loved one to an
opioid overdose to send her a photo of the victim, with the aim of
educating young people across the province about the crisis.

"Conner was one of 66 (people who died of fentanyl overdoses) in
Alberta at the time, and now it's gone up over 700 per cent in
deaths," said Clark.

"This is happening to 13-year-olds, this is happening to 60-year-olds.
It's a wide range and it could happen to parents, grandparents, aunts
and uncles."

Conner was 21 when he died. He had spent 22 months battling an
addiction to OxyContin, and spent two weeks without using before he
took a deadly pill containing fentanyl that he believed was Oxy, Clark

The young man was a power engineering graduate from

SAIT and was passionate about sports cars, driving quartermile races
in his vehicle. He was also fond of snowboarding and

"He accomplished a lot at a very young age, and I like to share his
story," Clark said.

She noted while her presentations used to consist almost entirely of
Conner's story, now she more heavily emphasizes the education component.

"I can definitely see how I've healed over the years," she

Presenting to students and parents over the past four years has been
therapeutic, she noted.

"It keeps him alive within me," Clark said.

She added students have been responding well to the presentations
about opioids, taking the information seriously and asking important

"They're worried about this," she said.

"The kids are scared." anyone interested in sending a photo of a loved
one to be included in the presentations can contact Clark through
email at  ---
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