He has harnessed anguish over daughter’s fatal overdose into activism
By Kathleen Brady Shea, Managing Editor, The Times
Not a day goes by that a Kennett Square father doesn’t mourn the loss of this 23-year-old daughter, who died of a heroin overdose less than a year ago. But Andy Rumford has kept busy trying to spare others from his family’s anguish.
Rumford has spoken at town halls across the region with judges, government officials, police chiefs, even the district attorney. On Thursday, Jan. 16, he will bring his crusade to end the area’s heroin epidemic to Unionville High School. The evening will begin with a networking session in the school’s LGI room at 6:30 p.m., which will be followed by a program from 7 to 9 p.m. that will include prepared remarks as well as a question-and-answer session.
Following his daughter’s death, Rumford said he had his eyes opened to the prevalence and accessibility of heroin in the area. Chester County District Attorney Tom Hogan has said the drug has become cheaper and more available because Mexican suppliers, in an effort to boost profits, are replacing cocaine with heroin.
Rumford formed Kacie’s Cause, an advocacy group, as a way to honor his daughter’s commitment to helping others. He explained that the scourge will not end without a concerted effort from multiple sources, including law-enforcement, government officials, parents, and members of the public. The group has helped to organize Kacie’s Cause chapters in Oxford, Parkesburg and Honey Brook, and he said he hopes to see others form.
He said Kacie’s Cause is seeking to expand its group of volunteers in order to reach more communities where families are impacted by substance abuse. Anyone interested in taking an active role in providing awareness, education, and advocacy to confront the heroin epidemic is urged to send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or attend the Unionville community meeting and speak to one of the team members for more information.
The Unionville program is open to the public and is not restricted to residents of the school district. For more information on Rumford’s campaign, visit www.kaciescause.com.