This is dedicated to Travis Holappa who was kidnapped, tortured and murdered on July 25, 2004 in Northern Minnesota. This was all due to meth. I am Travis' mother and I wish to make this devastation turn into a better thing by educating and exposing the truth about meth, the dangers, and the deadly consequences it brings about to individuals and communities.

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Location: Colorado, United States

I want to do what I can to educate people about what is going on around the world with the meth problem. I want people to know about it BEFORE they even get the idea to want to try it. It is a dangerous drug and will ruin your life as well as all those who love you. I am on a mission on behalf of my only son, Travis.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Just ordinary moms deserve accolades,too (Iowa)

By META HEMENWAY-FORBES, Courier Life Editor
My friends and I often joke that a celebrity can't make it on "E! True Hollywood Story" unless they've had a drug addiction, been an alcoholic or committed a crime.

When finally they emerge from the scandal, they're greeted with recognition and praise. The adjectives "courageous" and "determined" are liberally tossed about to describe the celebrity's turnaround.

Anymore it seems a prerequisite for accolades is a comeback story of substance abuse or scandal. Lately I've noticed the trend even when it comes to honoring good parents.

On a recent "Oprah" show, the featured guest was a single mother who was battling alcoholism. Oprah's camera crew followed the family as the mother entered a 30-day treatment center and emerged a new woman. Her aim was to begin a new life for her and her children.

The woman's transformation was nothing short of terrific, and she deserved praise for her commitment to turning the train around.

In early May, the Courier ran a story about Judy Murphy, an Iowa woman who had been addicted to methamphetamine from the time her oldest child was a toddler. After temporarily losing custody of her three children, Murphy, in and out of treatment programs for years, finally beat her addiction.

She earned a four-year degree and is credited with the development of the Moms Off Meth support group, which now has more than 20 branches in Iowa, including one in Waterloo. Murphy is now one of eight meth specialists for the Iowa Department of Human Services.

"I found out there was something good about me. I did really well in school. I got on the dean's list a number of times. I became active in the kids' lives, their schools," she said.

Murphy is a success story, no doubt, and what she has done is remarkable.

But also remarkable is Jean Youngblut of Waterloo, who has stayed on the straight and narrow her whole life, raising five children in the process. Now in her early 70s, Youngblut is still a caregiver and advocate for her youngest son, Mike, 37, who is disabled. As I watch her wheel Mike around the neighborhood, talking about Mike's favorite subject --- the weather --- I always think, now there's a mom who deserves accolades.

And how about Judy Crew, who raised three children, doing right by them even through the pain of divorce. Last week, Crew buried her oldest son, David. At just 29, David succumbed to cancer. Even in her grief, Judy's focus now is to raise David's young children in the same home of love and faith in which he was reared.

Then there's Nancy Newhoff, a career journalist and editor who's a mom of two. Her oldest just finished his second year at college and the youngest will be a high school senior in the fall. Newhoff's emphasis on education and community responsibility has produced two well-adjusted young adults.

None of these women have a juicy life story to tell. They've lived ordinary lives, untainted by scandal or substance abuse. They're just moms who did what they were supposed to do.

It's time they be celebrated as well.

Know an ordinary mom or dad you want to celebrate? Tell us about them on the Mommy Talk blog at


Blogger Maureen said...

Kim, do you have an email address where I can reach you? I am working on a television series that deals with pregnancy and addiction. I would like to feature a story on a pregnant woman that is battling meth and would like to speak with you about this.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011 12:40:00 PM  

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