Aaron’s House | What Matters 2 US

Aaron’s House

Roots, Stories

After two tours in Iraq and a battle with Post-traumatic Stress Disorder, Aaron Nowiski died of a heroin overdose at the age of 25. Though his family was devastated by his passing, each member has found unique methods of coping with the loss and carrying on Aaron’s spirit. Terry, Aaron’s mother, left her job as a school teacher and now devotes her time to the development of House of Hope-Sandhills, a nonprofit aimed at rehabilitating troubled teenagers. “There’s not anything I can do for Aaron,” Terry says. “But there are things I can do for others dealing with the same thing.” Terry hopes that by intercepting other young people who may be experiencing the same inner turmoil as Aaron, she can keep his spirit alive. Chuck, Aaron’s father, is developing and planning House of Hope-Sandhills alongside Terry. He hopes that House of Hope-Sandhills can prevent other young people from making some of the same decisions that Aaron did. Angela, Aaron’s sister, now works in a methadone clinic. Angela helps opiate addicts kick their addictions and change their lives. “I think in an odd way he would be proud of me,” Angela says. “I know what my brother was going through and I knew how he felt. I think that helps me understand why they do what they do.” The Nowiski family courageously handles heartbreak and attempts to turn tragedy into a way to change the world.