Last year, Marci Bolden’s childhood friend lost her son. Jacob was an incredibly talented graphic designer who had a bright future ahead of him. Like many creatives, Jacob suffered from anxiety and depression. As a result, he turned to drugs and alcohol to cope with his mental health struggles. He had been on the road to recovery when the Covid pandemic turned the world upside down.
For Jacob, that meant a loss of income and increasing pressures to pay mounting bills. Unfortunately, the stress caused him to return to his old coping methods, and he lost his life to his addiction on August 9, 2020—exactly one month before his 25th birthday.
His mother, Laura, has made it her mission to help others like her son by raising awareness and securing donations for the John W. Clem Recovery Houses in Jacob’s hometown of Athens, Ohio.
To help honor her son’s memory, we are holding a fundraising event to benefit the John W. Clem Recovery Houses. We have a goal of donating $2000 in Jacob’s honor. We have set up an auction that will run from September 9, Jacob’s birthday, through September 19. We have some amazing items from authors in various genres, swag bags from several author events, art, and fastion.
Here is the biography for Jacob that his mother wrote:
Jacob was a social butterfly who loved his family and friends more than anything. Jacob’s smile could light up a room, he had the most beautiful smile. He was a graphic designer for a local print shop in his hometown of Athens, OH. Jacob had huge dreams of moving to Washington or Oregon and pursuing his graphic design career and joining several friends who had already relocated out there.
Jacob loved the outdoors and took the family dog Remy hiking in the hills surrounding Athens County any chance he got. Jacob was an avid music buff and loved to find new artists and share his finds with his friends. Jacob was known for his usual attire of a band t-shirt, flannel, jeans/shorts, and his favorite pair of Converse.
However, Jacob’s dreams were cut short due to addiction. Jacob had always used alcohol and marijuana to curb his anxiety, but it was after a knee injury that Jacob discovered pain killers and he quickly became addicted to them. For over two years Jacob struggled with his addiction and when one drug was no longer enough, he would try another to chase that high. Watching your child suffer through addiction and knowing there is nothing you can do is one of the most heartbreaking situations a parent can be in. Jacob was trying to get clean so he could pursue his dreams, but then COVID happened.
Jacob’s hours at work were cut due to not enough business, he got behind on his rent, his car broke down and things kept piling up on him. The stress of everything pushed Jacob back into drugs and finding a cheaper high.
Sadly, on August 9, 2020, Jacob lost his battle with addiction with an accidental overdose of methamphetamine, Fentanyl, amphetamine, and THC.
His mother Laura and brother Jesse got that dreaded knock on the door on the afternoon of August 10th from a Sheriff Deputy notifying them of Jacob’s passing. Jacob’s roommate had come home from work and found Jacob in his room from an overdose.
Jacob passed exactly one month before his 25th birthday. Jacob’s mother does not want Jacob’s death to not have meaning. Talking about addiction and the lack of addiction services available to those struggling has become her mission. She has started fundraising for a local non-profit in Athens, OH: The John W. Clem Recovery House.
“Mission: The John W. Clem Recovery Houses provide safe, homelike residential facilities for men who struggle with substance use disorder by providing education and support in order for them to reach their maximum potential, achieve their goals, dreams and desires, and become productive members of their communities.”
“Vision: A world committed to long-term recovery for people who struggle with substance use disorder.” Laura’s mission is to tell Jacob’s story so she can hopefully stop another parent from getting that dreaded knock on their door. Talking about addiction is the first step in breaking the stigma and bringing awareness to the very serious need of affordable addiction services in America.
Please visit the auction and bid on items from some amazing authors and artists to help us raise money for the John W. Clem Recovery Houses in Jacob’s honor.