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The real faces of NJ drug addiction: Brendon Project remembers

Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot File Photo
Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot
Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot
Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot
Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot

A TRIBUTE: Some of those addicted to heroin and other drugs could possibly end up being viewed somewhat differently, said Christine Gregory Campos, who today announced plans for the dedication in Waldwick later this month of a bench in memory of her 23-year-old son, who died of a drug overdose a year ago.

She launched the grass-roots non-profit Brendon Project, named for the late Brendon Michael Campos, to raise awareness of how disabling addiction can be and to seek better answers for dealing with it than simply by locking up users — or by publishing their photos in newspapers.

“Its purpose is to create a graphical presentation of the constant lives being lost to addiction,” she said.

The May 25 bench dedication to her son “honors Brendon and all those who have lost family and friends to addiction,” Campos told CLIFFVIEW PILOT today. “All who have lost loved ones to addiction are invited to attend.”

WHAT: Bench dedication to Brendon Michael Campos
WHEN: 1 p.m., May 25 (1-year anniversary of Brendon’s death)
WHERE: Waldwick Borough Park, 98 Pine Street


Besides Christine, Brendon’s sister Brianna Campos will speak at the dedication. Pastor Ray Muniz of Christ Community Church in Waldwick will handle the blessing.

Overlooking a pond, the bench will bear a plaque:

“In Loving Celebration of Brendon Michael Campos 3/7/89 – 5/25/12 & For All Those Lost to Addiction / The Brendon Project … A Project to Love”

“It is my belief that addiction had touched us in some way or another,” said Campos, who created The Brendon Foundation after asking herself a simple question: “If addiction is a disease, where’s the walk for our cure?”

She, in turn, created an online wall for those who want to remember a loved one lost to addiction: Click on a face and you’ll find an intensely personal story.

Besides raising awareness, Campos hopes to raise money for medical research “that works on finding more solutions for treating addiction.”

“Sadly, the number of deaths caused by addiction is frightening and tragic,” she said. “The saddest part of the story is that statistics show that current recovery programs have an extremely low rate of success.”

“I am thankful that my son knew how much I loved him,” Campos added, “but no amount of love could have saved him.

“Perhaps, by creating a visual picture of the loss and tragedy, it will help shift the misbeliefs about addiction — but more importantly about those who suffer from this affliction,” she said.

Campos thanked Waldwick Mayor Thomas Giordano for making the bench dedication possible by “coordinating with The Brendon Project and the town.

“It is my hope that we can reach out to others who have lost loved ones to this disease and honor those people as well,” she said, adding: “Your donations help us help others.”

MORE INFO: TheBrendonProject.com

OR: Email Christine Campos directly: christine@thebrendonproject.com

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