Over the years, we’ve shared numerous ways that families across the country have honored loved ones who have succumbed to addiction. And one recent story caught our attention, as well as the writers from USA Today. In an article that is now going viral, the famed newspaper site profiled Dan and Cindy Blom; two parents who have channeled the loss of their son into a powerful and inspiring charity.
In a unique twist, the Blom family is using music to help others battling dependencies. Their organization, titled E.B. Rooster Guitars, sells custom instruments and donates profits to recovery facilities across the country. It was built to honor their son Erik, who died of a heroin overdose back in 2014.
Raised in a happy family based in Tennessee, Erik was (by all accounts) not the type of child people would expect to get hooked on heavy drugs. His parents discussed Erik’s passion for art, his creativity and the shock they felt when he began going down a dark path.
“Erik was simultaneously grateful and hopeless,” Erik’s father Dan told the site. “He used heroin for the first time one week before his 26th birthday. He told me that when he used that day, he felt no pain for the first time since he could remember. He would go on to chase that feeling for three years. He never found it again. Instead, he found an addiction that brought him to homelessness, got him work as a confidential informant, landed him in jail, lost him friends and, at times, his family, caused unthinkable trauma and ultimately death.”
Throughout his battles, Erik did find solace in music; which was part of the reason his parents launched E.B. Rooster. After dealing with the excruciating pain of his death, Dan and Cindy took action to help the families of others dealing with these types of issues.
His mom became a Certified Professional Recovery Coach, working with local facilities throughout Tennessee. And his dad, who already had a musical background, laid the groundwork for E.B. Rooster. Their custom guitars are sold in shops throughout the state and online across the country.
All products are dedicated to Erik’s memory and 10 percent of proceeds from every guitar sold goes to support recovery. Other E.B. merchandise, such as shirts, takes 100 percent of the profits and applies it to sober facilities.
“We want to help others and their families the way our friends helped us care for our son,” Cindy added. “We hope to remove the stigma so people who are battling (addiction) illnesses that are trying to kill them will not have to fight the stigma, too.”