Susan and Greg Korabek
How Landon's parents found strength and healing through helping others
Like any parents living with the loss of a child, Susan and Greg Korabek struggled deeply with Landon’s accidental overdose. Eventually, they found an outlet to dealing with their grief: celebrating Landon's life through music and educating young people about the dangers of using prescription drugs.
Our son Landon died unexpectedly at the age 17 from an accidental overdose of prescription drugs.
Just 3 months prior a 14-year-old died from the same high school, and a year prior a young girl died from another high school in the county. In the wake of too many young deaths and my own ignorance of how teens were experimenting, I wanted to find a purpose to help this community issue so others would not feel the pain of loss that my family endured when Landon died.
Within days of Landon's passing, NOPE gave a presentation for parents at Landon's high school. As I listened to the presenters explain the dangers and I heard other parents tell their heartfelt stories of loss, I decided that I wanted to tell our story. I wanted to do whatever I could to prevent any more teens from making the same life-ending mistake as Landon.
I am now a member of the NOPE Task Force and have told Landon's story to over 100,000 Pinellas county students. I describe the wonderful young man that he was, a fun-loving student just like them, but how one night cost him his life. I want Landon’s story and his picture to resonate in the students’ minds so they remember the risks when they are making choices to partake.
It's my personal mission to educate parents about today's drug environment and to help them stay current with what teenagers are exposed to, something I felt I did not do. My story and my admission that I didn’t know about prescription drug abuse gets them to realize that they need to have a heightened sense of urgency to understand the dangers.
Sharing Landon’s story is not easy, but the hugs, tears and “thank you's” help me to believe that my son is thanking me for helping others to learn from his mistake.
- Please remember Landon’s story, his picture and how his mistake impacted his family and friends.
- Remember that Landon was a risk taker, and just one night of taking prescription drugs was the biggest and last risk that ultimately took his life.
- Remember that Landon was a kid who is just like you—happy, fun and athletic. Wrong choices can have terrible consequences.
- Most importantly, remember that calling 911 will save a life and they must make that call.
- First and foremost, tell your children that you love them every single day and tell them with direct eye contact so they see the sincerity of your message.
- Second, talk to your kids about all drugs and alcohol regularly. Constantly stay ahead of what drugs are prevalent because your kids know more than you do.
- Finally, you have to trust your gut feelings. If you sense or see signs of behavior that are not normal, don’t wait to take action. Get help or get a drug test. You may get resistance but it is only because your child deep down wants your support.
We founded OneLove JamFest to celebrate Landon's life and his love of music. Our message is simple: Music Not Drugs. Playing, singing or listening to music is a safer priority than focusing on drugs. Education, awareness and saying “no” to drugs can save lives.
To request a NOPE presentation for middle or high schools in Pinellas County, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call Laurie Serra at 727-424-6906. Thank you.