MOUNT VERNON, Wash. — A Mount Vernon mother teamed up with her local YMCA to host a basketball tournament to spread awareness about the dangers of fentanyl and honor her son who died nearly five years ago after ingesting fake prescription pain pills that were actually fentanyl.
"It's a living nightmare," Scheweigtert said. "It's the most pain anyone could ever imagine. Yu don't know this pain unless it's happened to you. You can't know it. It's unnatural."
It's been nearly five years since Schweigert's 27-year-old son Trey died after ingesting a fake prescription pain pill while recovering from a broken leg from skateboarding.
"He thought it was safe," Schweigert said. "He took a Percocet, but it wasn't a Percocet. It was completely fake, and it was made of fentanyl and fillers."
Carol Schweigert believes he got the pill from an acquaintance. Since Trey's death, she has been working to bring more awareness about the dangers of fentanyl to Skagit County.
"Basketball is something he's played since he was a toddler,” Schweigert said. “This is a way honor not only his love of basketball but also his love of humanity."
Schweigert teamed up with the Skagit Valley Family YMCA which helped continue her mission on Saturday. Hosting the first annual "T-3 Basketball Tournament" for kids and teens grades six through 12. T-3 in honor of Trey of course, and the shoes he hoped to give to the world as a child.
"It's so painful my son's not here," Schweigert said. “It brings back a lot of memories of watching him play basketball all those years. So that's the hard part.”
Participants got swag bags with pamphlets provided by the Drug Enforcement Administration and the non-profit organization Song for Charlie about the dangers of drugs. Proceeds from Saturday’s tournament support basketball programming at the YMCA, and funding scholarships for families facing financial barriers.
“It brings me a lot of joy to see these other kids being able to enjoy this because I know my son would've loved it," Schweigert said.
Schweigert said she appreciates everyone involved in Saturday’s event, especially the YMCA. And she hopes to continue this event annually and hopes next year’s event will have even more participants.
The Mount Vernon: Healthy Outcomes through Prevention Efforts Coalition and the Skagit County Sheriff’s Department also hosted a drug takeback event on Saturday. Community members were invited to stop by and safely dispose of medications that are no longer needed, along with pick-up medication lock boxes.