*Fred and Dorothy McIntosh Shuemake may be burying their daughter today, but even in their devastating grief their focus is on saving another parent or child from the same. By sharing the true reason for their 18-year-old daughter’s death, a heroin overdose, they put their ego aside and didn’t worry about what the neighbors would say behind their back.
The parents, who reside in Ohio, instructed the funeral home to state the true cause of Allison Shumake’s death in her obituary, with no dancing around the fact that she died “of a heroin overdose.”
And they insisted it be in the first sentence.
“There was no hesitation,” Mrs. Shumake said. “We’ve seen other deaths when it’s heroin, and the families don’t talk about it because they’re ashamed or they feel guilty. Shame doesn’t matter right now.”
Allison’s dad, Fred Shuemake, is a retired Middletown police detective who investigated crimes against children. He wants to promote a potentially preventive dialogue about what the U.S. Centers for Disease Control calls an epidemic.. He said he knew that his daughter, who loved to experiment, was ‘dabbling’ in heroin. And both he and his wife say in the video (scroll down), that “she didn’t think it would kill her.”
Allison’s boyfriend, Luther, who she had only recently moved in with, and like his girlfriend, worked two jobs, was also found dead alongside her. Needles were found nearby.
Allison had previously been in rehabilitation months earlier for alcohol and marijuana abuse. According to her parents she now seemed happy and proud.
“What really matters is keeping some other person, especially a child, from trying this, ” Mrs. Schumake adds. “… We didn’t want anybody else to feel the same agony and wretchedness that we’re left with.”
The Shuemake’s are being praised for their courage in trying to open a dialogue.
Watch the sad WLWT-5 video report directly below.