Derrek's mom, Katie
Cape Coral, Florida
Derrek grew up in Cape Coral, Florida. From a young age Derrek was very special. He enjoyed playing football, hockey, and excelled at karate. However, his biggest passion, which followed him into adulthood, was music. Derrek would write, play and listen to music every day. I proudly watched my son grow up to be a man any mother would be very proud of. Sadly, I also had to watch him so bravely battle the disease of addiction. Derrek would always say he just wanted to be “normal.” On January 16, 2016, I lost a piece of my heart when my son lost his battle to an accidental overdose of heroin laced with Fentanyl. Derrek was 26 years old.
Derrek was an incredible person with a huge heart. He loved his family and friends and would do anything for them when they were in need. Derrek was a hard worker that strived to be the best he could possibly be. Derrek was loyal almost to a fault - he never wanted to let anyone down.
What we miss most about Derrek is his larger-than-life personality. He loved to laugh and make others do the same. Derrek had a great sense of humor, complete with a trademark smirk and witty comebacks. He could light up a room with his laughter or suck you into a discussion about his obsession with conspiracy theories.
Regardless of the occasion he would always keep us laughing. I miss him everyday. I have always been proud of my son and admired his strength in his battle against this horrible disease. In his honor we started an organization called Derrek’s Mission Foundation, to help others who also struggle with addiction. It is what Derrek would have wanted.
We love you D.