A Boardman man will be sitting in the audience for the State of the State Address on Monday in Medina.
Governor John Kasich’s Office invited Angelo Martino Sr. to the speech, after hearing the heartfelt story of the loss of his son to a drug overdose.
Martino, along with the administration, is fighting to prevent other families from experiencing this kind of tragedy.
“Me, as a father, the worst thing that can happen in the world is to go to wake your child, and find your worst fear has been realized,” said Martino. “And that the child that you raised, that you took to Sunday school, that you gave those values to, is dead.”
Martino is still grieving from the death of his 32-year old son, Angelo Martino Jr., more than year ago.
His son became addicted to Oxycotin about 10 years ago, after taking the medication to ease the pain brought on by a car accident. He only spiraled from there.
“When Oxycotin no longer became available, he progressed to street drugs. In some cases, heroin,” said Martino.
Since his son’s death, he has been on a mission to make sure other families never experience what he’s going through.
He tells his story at events throughout the community. It was his speech at the Yes Fest at Boardman High School recently that got the attention of Governor Kasich.
“That message made it to the governor’s office, up subsequently to the governor,” said Martino.
Martino explained that the Governor is aware of the drug problem plaguing the community. His office is working on legislation and programs to slow it down, and eventually stop it.
One of his efforts is the Start Talking program.
“It has to do with parents talking to their kids on a regular, on a daily basis about the problems and issues and concerns about drugs,” explained Martino.
Martino has gotten support from the community, as well as the Boardman Police Department, and Boardman School District to fight this problem.
“We want to be a small part in making a difference so that another parent, another family, does not have to go through this tragedy,” finished Martino.
Martino is also scheduled to give a speech to Kasich’s office on Tuesday.
The governor’s speech begins Monday at 7 p.m. and can be seen on WKBN 27 and at wkbn.com.