Sunday, August 23, 2009

A Mother Turns Her Grief Into A Helpful Cause


"With the second overall pick, the Boston Celtics select Len Bias of the University of Maryland." That was Commissioner David Stern during the 1986 NBA draft. Len Bias (l.) was the most highly touted and highly anticipated pick of that draft.

He was a superstar at Maryland, having one of the most successful careers in NCAA history. Bias was considered by many, the second-coming of Michael Jordan. But unfortunately the world never got to see it happen.

Bias died of cocaine intoxication two days after the draft. It was the most devastating story in the history of the draft.

As we can imagine , it was a devastating turn of events for his family also. Especially for his mother, Lonise Bias. But her nightmare wouldn't end there-- four years later the unthinkable would happen. Jay Bias, Len's younger brother, was shot and killed in a drive by shooting at a shopping mall. The pain was unbearable for Lonise and her family. In future interviews she would say, "I should have been institutionalized. A parent's worst nightmare is to have to bury your child. And when it happens twice, it is just unbearable."

But Dr. Lonise Bias (r.) is one strong woman. Rather than be overtaken by her grief, she decided to dedicate her life to working with families and communities, so that no one else would have to suffer the same ordeal.

Dr. Bias became a motivational speaker, trainer and consultant. She travels around the world speaking to youths about the evils of drugs and violence in our society. She focuses on prevention and intervention and lives by the motto, "hope is not extinct."

She is the founder of The Abundant Life Resources A More Excellent Way LLC., an organization dedicated to helping youths, families and communities by raising awareness and prescribing solutions to the social ills of today.

Dr. Bias is an amazing human being. Through all her pain and suffering, she still finds the strength to help others and to make a difference.

We never got to see Len Bias put on a Boston Celtics uniform and we'll never know what kind of career he would've had. His potential is all that remains alive and it'll be a topic of conversation for eternity.

But I guess in life things happen for a reason. His death has saved so many lives through his mother's work.

What Dr. Bias is doing is a noble and honorable thing and the world is a much better place because of people like her.

Len Bias photo courtesy of SI.com
Lonise Bias photo courtesy of lonisebias.org

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