“I want to save a lot of kids.” One father turns tragedy into drug awareness
A Westchester man is turning his grief from the loss of his son into a mission by spreading awareness of the dangers of drugs.
Gary Urban lost his 32-year-old son, Michael, last year due to an overdose. Now his message for families and schools is to educate children about drugs. For the past few weeks he has been putting flyers underneath people’s windshield wipers with messages about the dangers of drugs.
The Briarcliff Manor father says when his son graduated from Horace Greeley High School, he attended Iona College where he completed his masters in finance.
It was after college graduation that he went from smoking marijuana to using opioids like heroin.
"I found a bag of stuff, an empty bag and he denied it and he said no, that's old stuff," he says.
Urban says he knew his son was using when he became lazy and argumentative. Then Michael Urban's friend died from an overdose.
Gary Urban says he had no choice but to warn his son by taking him to Mount Hope Cemetery.
"I took him to the cemetery and I said 'Mike, see the tombstone? It's mom, dad and grandma. I said there's one spot left, it's my spot, I don't want to see your name on it."
Michael Urban was buried this past Christmas Eve.
“I want to save a lot of kids,” says Urban of his drive to spread awareness.