|Tyler was again exposed to opiate pain medication in high school. In 2009 he would go on to graduate Magna Cum Laude in
the Legal Studies Program from Lake High School. He would also have his second surgery on his right elbow at age 18. He became
addicted to the opiate pain medication which ultimately led him to heroin.
About a year after high school and him completing a drug rehabilitation program, Tyler attended Walsh University to study accounting
and finance. He decided to walk onto the golf team after not playing competitive golf for over 2 years, earning a golf and academic
scholarship. Tyler was smart, athletic, a hard worker; he was gentle and kind and had tons of friends. He also had a physique
like a Greek God. In April of 2013 he entered the Natural Junior Mr. Ohio Bodybuilding show. He took second place in his very
first competition, while at the same time attending college and playing golf.
He was capable of doing anything except, he was unable to stop using heroin.
Over the next several years Tyler was in and out of rehab facilities in Ohio and Michigan. In November 2013, he took a leave of absence
from college, went into a 21-day rehab facility, and went on to enter into a six-month treatment program at a sober living facility in Florida.
He came back to Ohio in June of 2014. Tyler enrolled back at Walsh University and talked to the golf coach about getting back on the
golf team. But in mid-September of 2014 Tyler relapsed again, however this time he had reached his two-time limit for rehab and he no
longer had insurance. He was seeking treatment in a state-funded rehab facility, but was put on a 3-week waiting list before he could get help.
Tyler could no longer deal with the pain from the opiate withdrawals and therefore decided to use heroin one more time.
|Tyler Wilson Bornstein was born on December 23, 1990 in Akron, Ohio, as the first born and only son to Shelly and Travis Bornstein.
Travis and Shelly are high school sweethearts, both graduating from Springfield High School. They were married on May 6, 1989.
They also have two younger daughters, Tana and Taylor.
The Bornstein's would spend that first Christmas in the hospital with all of their family and friends
celebrating their first child.
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|By the time he finished Jr. High, he had fallen in love with golf. He would spend his summers at the local golf course chipping and putting,
and he would pack his own lunch so he could stay until dark. He started playing in junior tournaments preparing to join the high school team.
He made the Varsity team as a freshman and he recorded 2 Hole in Ones before he turned 16. He made all-league and all-county honors
and his team won back to back Federal League Championships. His senior year, he decided not to play golf and instead participate
on the football team. At the end of the season, Tyler would earn the Senior Ironman Award.
Tyler was smart, loving, strong-willed and full of energy and adventure right from the beginning. At 9 months he could walk and swim with water
wings. He played the Strong Man in his pre-school circus at age 5 because he could already do push-ups. He played every sport from
soccer, baseball, football, wrestling to golf. He tried everything from skateboarding, rollerblades, and snowboarding...he wanted to do it all.
However, with sports and these types of physical activities comes injuries. He would go on to break his right arm 4 times and have 2 surgeries.
The first surgery was at age 11. This was the first time Tyler was exposed to opiate pain medicine. Akron Children's Hospital would do a featured
presentation on Tyler’s surgery and the success of it helping him to continue to play sports.
|On September 28th, 2014 Tyler met up with another heroin addict. While Tyler was in the process of overdosing, the other individual
chose not to call 9-1-1 for help, but instead took Tyler to a vacant lot on the corner of Arlington and Alfred Road in Akron, Ohio and left him
there to die. Later that day the Summit County Sheriff's Department showed up at the Bornstein residence. Travis was not home,
but the Sheriff proceeded to tell Shelly and their seventeen-year-old daughter Taylor, that a resident found a dead body in a vacant lot
and it was their 23-year-old son.
How does a family recover from such a tragedy?
The first thought is forgiveness... We've learned that we have to forgive a whole lot of people for us to recover and move forward.
We need to forgive guys like the drug dealer, the person who dumped Tyler's body in a field like a piece of trash,
the doctor who prescribed opiates to a kid.
But most all ...OURSELVES...we were embarrassed and ashamed to talk to anyone about Tyler's addiction.
We thought that we failed him...that he was a Moral Failure. We were embarrassed.
Then our family attended the National Rally for a Federal Response to the Opiate Epidemic in Washington DC in October 2015.
We learned that the over prescribing of opiate pain medicine has harmed millions of pain patients and led to a sharp increase in addiction,
heroin use and overdose deaths. We learned that the United States government acknowledged that this is the worst drug epidemic in US history.
We also learned that the top Doctor of the United States, the “United States Surgeon General”, says that “addiction IS NOT Moral Failure -
that it's a disease just like cancer, heart disease, and diabetes and should be treated like a disease".
Wow, a DISEASE, not Moral Failure.
We are no longer embarrassed of Tyler's addiction.
He is our hero to accomplish so much with such a gut-wrenching disease.
Tyler wanted nothing more than to beat his addiction and help others do the same.
He no longer has that chance. So from this day forward, Tyler...
Now We Fight For You.