Amparo’s only child, Tony Phillips, was murdered on August 8, 2011. He was 22 years, 10 months, and 5 days old when he was robbed and killed in his apartment. Forever changed, Amparo honors her son’s spirit through the beauty of nature and has found her voice by writing. She has plans to publish a book, the fictionalized account of her son’s adult life.

Amparo maintains a blog, His Spirit Lives On, at, and a photo site at, in memory of her son.


Anne DionneAnne Dionne’s world was turned upside down on May 5, 2001, when her 19-year-old son whom she adored was killed in a car accident. Since that day, Anne’s mission is to choose to live every day to the fullest and to appreciate the gifts each day has to offer. Through Anne’s involvement with The Compassionate Friends, she is a former Coordinator for the Online Support Community. She also was a workshop presenter for an annual conference of The Compassionate Friends. Anne also co-authored the book “Every Step of the Way: How Four Mothers Coped with Child Loss.” Anne resides in Lunenburg, Massachusetts, with her husband, Steve. They have one adult daughter, Kelly, and two adorable grandpugs! Anne is a registered nurse and is employed as an Embedded Care Coordinator for a family practice in her area.


debra reaganDebra lives in Blount County, Tennessee, with her husband of 32 years. They have one surviving son, Blake.  Debra is the co-founder of Listening Hearts, a nonprofit organization designed to help bereaved mothers.  After some turbulent and confusing experiences, her youngest son, Clint, received the dual diagnosis of bipolar disorder and a drug addiction. Their lives changed forever when Clint died on August 6, 2005, at the age of 20 of an accidental overdose and bronchial pneumonia.

Debra can be reached through the website she maintains for her son at, through this website, or by email at


julie mcgregorJulie lives in Brisbane, Australia with her husband, Roy, and two surviving sons, Clint and Ben. Joel, the youngest of their three sons, had a minor car accident when he was 18 years old. As a result, he was on very strong painkillers leading up to surgery six months later. Despite what was seemingly a good recovery, Joel struggled with all he had gone through along with the usual adolescent emotions, as he tried to figure out the next chapter of his life. Their lives changed forever when Joel died on 19 August 2007 from an accidental overdose of prescription drugs.

Julie can be reached at the website she maintains for Joel at She also administers a Facebook page for Joel at


gabe-kateKatie is Gabriel’s mom and co-founder of Listening Hearts. Katie began learning to play the bagpipes as a form of therapy a couple of years after Gabriel died from a mixture of drugs. She tries to use her pipes to bring comfort in times of bereavement, and also to make a Joyful Noise in fun times. She formed a band of “special” bucket drummers, the East Tennessee Bucketeers, who play with her at community events. She arranges Hymns and Fun Songs for bagpipe and shares them on her website at She also maintains a website in memory of her son, Gabriel, at Katie can be reached at

Lee Ann

Christ-LeeAnnLee Ann is a life long resident of Northern Virginia. She lives there with her husband, Tony, and two faithful K-9 companions, Luke and Daisy. Lee Ann and Tony have two daughters in the area who light up their lives. Lee Ann is a semi-retired nurse, having worked in Medical, Intensive Care and  Geriatric areas. She loves to garden, travel, and write.

In sharing her grief and her son Brian’s story, she has been touched by many kind souls and hopes to do the same for others.


shillingslinda2Linda is Michael’s mom and grandmother to grandmother to Brittany and Samantha, Michael’s daughters. She lives in Harriman, where she also works as a member of the cafeteria staff at a local elementary school. Michael is forever missed and never forgotten.




cichocki-marybethMaryBeth Cichocki is a registered nurse living in the state of Delaware. She lost her youngest son, Matt, to an overdose of prescription drugs on January 3rd 2015. After his death she was unable to return to her world of taking care of critically ill babies in the N.I.C.U. She now devotes her time to raising awareness and educating the community on the addictive nature of prescription drugs.  She started writing a blog, Mothers Heart Break, shortly after Matt died, which she shares on a Facebook page. She also started a GRASP support group for those suffering the loss of a loved one due to the disease of addiction.

MaryBeth has testified in her state’s Capitol during the Joint Finance Committee hearings, sharing her story of the difficulty she experienced while trying to find comprehensive treatment for her adult son during his addiction.  She has spent time trying to secure additional funding for those suffering from Substance Use Disorder living in her state.

MaryBeth received her Delaware Overdose Survival Education Certification and travels throughout her state, educating the public and First Responders regarding overdose prevention and the proper administration of Naloxone.



Ruby lives in Rutledge, Tennessee, and is the leader of the Listening Hearts Morristown gathering location. She works with children who have special needs as her way of sharing her maternal instincts and love. Ruby’s only child, Wade Buchanan, passed away in 2005. She and her husband, Mack, have been married for 37 years.



sacha cuetoSacha lives in Arizona with her husband of 18 years and her two daughters, ages 14 and 26.  Her son, Evan, passed away 5 ½ years ago at the age of 17.  Sacha and her family stay busy between work, youth sports and other family activities.  They will always miss Evan, and hold him in their hearts.




Anderson SueSue lost her 33-year-old son, Steve Anderson, to leukemia on April 28, 2011. Her daughter-in-law called from Nashville on Wednesday morning to tell her Steve was in the emergency room for a bone marrow biopsy because his blood counts were low. Sue arrived at the hospital at 10:45 a.m. to find that he had leukemia. Steve died the following afternoon. Until that point, the greatest grief she had known was the loss of her brother to suicide at 26 years of age. The loss of her brother taught her that time does heal. Without the hope brought by that knowledge, she doesn’t know how she would have survived the loss of her son.

Pictured, is Sue with her granddaughter, Simone. It’s hard to know, at first, that there can be love and ice cream ahead.


Kalgren-20141208_130709My name is Sue Kalgren. I live in Tennessee and I attend Kingston United Methodist church.  My oldest brother was born July 16, 1947 and was murdered in 1968.  Then when my daughter died at age 35, I thought about my mother and how she handled losing a child.



tracy bradshawTracy’s son, Sawyer, was murdered on October 13, 2011, in his apartment that he shared with other teens involved in college. Sawyer’s roommates were being robbed, and being true to his protective instincts, he stepped in to help.  He is the only person who lost his life that horrible day. This experience has proven difficult to share, but writing helps Tracy to heal.  Her hope is that if she express herself in a real and raw manner, another mother may know that she is not alone.

Tracy earned a BA in Elementary Education from Berea College and is certified to teach grades one through eight. She currently teaches in Morgan County Schools in Tennessee.  Tracy has written two children’s books, “My Big Family” and “Twins!”, published by Celtic Cat.