Correction: An earlier version of this story misspelled one instance of Tyler’s last name. This story has been updated to reflect this.
BEULAH, N.D. (KXNET) — After the death of a teenage boy last month, his mother has a message for both parents and kids.
Underage drinking is extremely dangerous.
Gina Campbell lost her teenage son, Tyler Schaeffer, after he drowned in the Knife River last month.
The State Forensic Medical Examiner’s Office ruled Schaeffer’s cause of death as an accidental drowning, with alcohol as a significant factor in his death.
Ever since May 11, Campbell has been on a mission to raise awareness about the underage drinking problem in North Dakota.
“I also want to speak in schools and speak directly to these kids, on the effects of alcohol on their brains and their body, and how their systems just can’t handle what they are doing,” said Campbell.
According to the CDC, 5% of alcohol poisoning deaths happen to people between the ages of 15 to 24.
Campbell is determined to change these numbers so that no parent has to go through the tragedy she has.
“I think that those kids think that they are invincible, like it’s not going to happen to them and it really doesn’t matter if it’s one or 20 drinks. You know things can happen under the influence,” said Campbell.
Campbell hopes to start a foundation in Tyler’s memory.
As well as going around to schools, and speaking to parents and kids about the dangers of underage drinking.
She knows that Tyler’s story will impact the lives of those who need help.
“Tyler lives on, he’s not going to, he’s not going to die in that river, you know. His story will help others, I’m hoping,” said Campbell.
Campbell says the first step in decreasing underage drinking is coming together as parents.
Gina says if she can share her experience and help save one person, then her mission is complete.