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Parents say they want to bring awareness to the opioid epidemic after losing their daughter to addiction

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Fort Wayne's NBC) - Whitney Mona Croston lost her life to addiction on October 12th, and now her family says this isn't the end but only the beginning of a movement to bring awareness to the opioid epidemic.  

"My daughter was beautiful and bright and talented,” Mona’s mother Stacey Croston said. "Mona's job was to help put this epidemic in place, that's what it was." 

The family came together Saturday to honor Mona’s life, she was 18 when she died. 

"No matter where she was, someone loved her," Mona’s father Nathan Croston said. “She had a heart of gold." 

The Croston’s say she had a caring heart and she wanted to help others. Her mother says she had dreams of going into nursing.   

After the family lost their daughter to the opioid epidemic, the Croston’s say they want to honor Mona by helping others struggling with addiction.  

"She spent her life caring for other people, at her own expense,” Nathan Croston said. "Her life is gone, and hopefully she wants to use it to teach other people to get better and save yourselves." 

Her mother says they are starting a movement called “For The One” to hopefully save the lives of others who are having troubles with opioid abuse. She says, she wants other people to know they are worth it and they are not alone.  

"If you're using, I want you to know that your worth has not changed, and the only thing that has changed is your expectations of yourself,” Stacey Croston said. “You need to love yourself the way we all love you, being an addict does make you any less."  

The Croston family is raising money for their daughter's memorial, you can donate here.

For more resources for struggling with addiction visit the Fort Wayne Recovery center.  

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Karli VanCleave

Karli VanCleave is a multimedia journalist at WPTA for the evening newscast. Karli is a Fort Wayne native and Indiana University Bloomington graduate.
Feel free to connect with her on Facebook (@KarliVanCleaveNews) and Twitter (@Karli_VanCleave), or if you have a story idea send her an email at

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