In January, 2014, we received this email from Grey Zorn-Ford.
I just wanted to tell you how much I appreciated you coming to our school Kelvin to do a presentation about your son T.J. I'm really sorry about what happened but his story literally saved my life.
I wrote a piece for a grade 12 English class writing assignment about the change. My teacher thought it would be a good idea if I shared it with you.
I hope you continue doing your presentation because there may be another me in the audience.
Once again I thank you so much and I feel like I can’t repay you for what you helped me through by giving me something to relate to, so thank you very much.
I called Grey that day, and since then, have met him and his family. I am so proud to know this young man, and I know that he will be a leader in the future. The TJ’s Gift Foundation has asked Grey Zorn-Ford to be an inspirational guest speaker to the thousands of kids at the MTS Centre for our Rockin’ For Choices Concert on April 15, and, as well, we have asked him to be a keynote speaker at our 8th Annual TJ’s Gift Gala Evening on May 14th. He truly is an inspiration to me, and its stories like this that help Karen and I continue to help kids to “Choose To Be Drug Free.”
TJ’s Gift changed my life. I saw the presentation at my school over two years ago in Grade 10. I related his story to my own personal story, through the drugs TJ was not only consuming, selling, and the lifestyle he was living. I was doing drugs everyday from weed to meth. I was selling drugs in sketchy situations, hanging around criminals, murders, and rapist. That would be the life I would be living now without TJ’s Gift.
That day, I sat, watched, and heard the words Floyd spoke and it felt like he wasspeaking directly to me. Telling me of his son and that I would end up just like his son if my chaotic life didn’t change. Before we all walked into the gymnasium, we all got a card that had TJ’s picture on the front, a pledge not to do drugs on the back with a place for you to sign. At the start I just didn’t think much of it. By the end of his presentation, I signed it.
That day was over two years ago.
During that day right after the presentation I was offered to go smoke up. I said no, that strength that the presentation gave me was astonishing. Normally I would be drooling over the fact of free drugs. Not that day, not any other day of my whole life. TJ’s Gift didn’t make me quit drugs, it was my choice but it gave me the strength to push through my temptations and wants. It gave me the strength to cold turkey, quitting drugs, with no rehab, just support from my family and friends.
That day was over two years ago.
The day I started drugs, I didn’t realize how many things I would throw away. I never thought about the impact it would have on my family and my parents, or how it would affect their lives. My mom would be up multiple nights crying, wondering were I was, and if I was even alive. I had a curfew of 11pm on weekdays and 12pm on weekends, which is very late for someone who was 15. I lost the respect and the trust of my parents. My parents have called the cops on me multiple times and I was sent to the drunk tank once. My parents had multiple opportunities to press charges on me like assault. But they never did cause they knew if I went to juvy I would come back worse then I was. I will never be the same person I was before drugs. Drugs gave me mental issues, they gave me anxiety, major confidence issues, and social problems. They gave me a reputation that I hate everyday. When people from my old school hear my name they don’t think of the person I am today. They think of scum, in jail that will never accomplish anything.
After I saw the TJ’s Gift presentation I was literally saved, sort of like after one gets baptized, except TJ’s Gift saved my life and not just changed me. If I didn’t see that presentation I don’t believe I would be here today. I believe I’d either be in jail, missing, or in the grave. After the presentation I signed that pledge card and stopped doing all the drugs and the lifestyle I was involved with. That day I began a new path, a sober path. Through the years I have not slipped up once. TJ’s Gift has given me the strength to accomplish goals and not only strive for greatness but achieve greatness. I am a whole other person than I was just a while ago. Today I am over two years sober with no slip from the day I saw TJ’s Gift to today. I am on the path of graduating high school on time even after only receiving 0.5 of a credit in grade nine. I have a steady job, a loving girlfriend who I have been with for two years, I have the trust and respect of my family, and I have a happy life. I wasn’t happy in Grade nine but I am today. I’m proud of the person I’ve become today and the person I am going to be. Today I have helped other people with their drug involvement and other issues. I think that I was meant to see that presentation the day I did. I would like to continue my whole life with the relationship I have developed with TJ’s Gift.
TJ’s Gift is the most impactful story I have ever heard. What surprised me most was when I reached out to Floyd, two years later, about how it changed my life, how fast he responded to me. TJ’s Gift is life changing and impactful. So I suggest you listen, cause believe me when I say you won’t regret it, no matter if you are involved with drugs or not.
Dedication: I just want to let TJ know that I’m sorry for what happened. I say everything happens for a reason. Your story has saved my life from perhaps losing my life as well and joining you in the after life. Thank you for changing and saving my life. Rest in peace TJ. You put my life at peace.
Floyd, I just want to thank you for coming to my school and sharing your story. I felt like you were presenting it directly to me. If you didn’t come to Kelvin, I wouldn’t be here to thank you. Keep on presenting cause I’m sure there’s another me out there and another life to save through your son’s story.
Thank you to all the Wiebe’s and for being so strong to save my life and many more to come.