Dean (DJ) Ashenfelder

Forever : 31
Lake Toxaway, NC
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Since : 6/2/2024 - 7:27 AM
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Submitted by: Lori Ashenfelder
Dean Alan Ashenfelder, Jr. – DJ to his family – lost his battle to SUD on July 16, 2021, in our home in Lake Toxaway, NC.

For 13 years he struggled to free himself of the chains that had him bound to a life of addiction.

In 2008, DJ enlisted in the US Army and graduated from basic training. He was stationed at Fort Hood and trained to become a Motor Transport Operator. He was on top of the world… so proud of his accomplishment and the opportunity to do something special with his life.

During training he was injured and was prescribed OxyContin for pain. You know this part of the story; he was addicted almost immediately. From that point on the SUD took over and his dreams faded.

He was discharged from the Army and sent home.

For years he tried to break free. Three recovery programs, trips to detox where he was turned away, turning his life over to his Lord and Savior, nothing seemed to break the chains.

He turned from prescription opioids to heroin and finally fentanyl got its hooks into him.

On July 15, 2021, he and his mom arrived home late. They fixed a quick dinner, and each went to bed. While his mom slept at home and his dad was away for work DJ passed alone in his bedroom from fentanyl poisoning.

The morning on July 16, 2021, DJ’s mom came downstairs to wake him and found him too late. She was left to hold her only child and wait on paramedics to confirm her worst fear. A call to her husband, DJ’s dad had him rushing home.

For a couple of months DJ’s family thought his story was over, but there was more to be heard. His voice would be shared through DJ’s Wish (https://DJsWish.org) – Freedom From Fentanyl.

Too many moms and dads are facing similar devastation. Grandparents are left raising the sons and daughters of those precious loved ones. Aunts and Uncles, brothers and sisters are left grieving for someone they love.

DJ’s Wish was started by Lori and Dean Ashenfelder, Sr., (DJ’s mom and dad) to raise awareness of the dangers our kids face.

Fentanyl is an evil poison. DJ told his best friend that he hoped if it took his life he wouldn’t die in vain but would be and example of what can happen when illicit fentanyl is on the streets. His hope is our wish and why we ARE HIS VOICE.
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