By Alex Cameron, NEWS 9
PERRY, Oklahoma -- Many across the state of Oklahoma plan to tune in Tuesday to see a woman named Cheryle Leach talk about losing a son to the ravages of crystal meth, but the documentary shows just the beginning of her story.
A Perry man was found at a rest stop in Washington State, dead from a self-inflicted gunshot, and the story of the 27-year-old made front-page news in his hometown.
"I don't think he felt that he could overcome the drug problem," Leach said.
Cheryle Leach said her oldest son, Darrin Leach, was firmly in the grip of meth. He'd had run-ins with the law and was looking at fleeing to Canada, but never made it. Cheryl got a phone call at two a.m. informing her of her son's mental condition.
"He had called to let me know that he just couldn't go on any longer, that he loved me," Cheryle Leach said. "I said, ‘Please call me back,' and he said, ‘Mom, I love you and someone will call.'"
Cheryle Leach said Darrin and his younger brother Damon were close.
"They loved the outdoors. They loved animals," Cheryle Leach said. "They both loved to hunt and fish."
Like Darrin, Damon had also become a meth addict.
"He went down rapidly after...the loss of Darrin," Cheryle Leach said.
The brothers' mother said she tried to get Damon into rehab, but he resisted, and one year after Darrin's suicide Damon also took his own life.
Cheryle Leach and her husband helped raise Darrin's son, Dillon.
"Ya know, I look back and I don't know how I would have made it through without that little boy," Cheryle Leach said. "He was part of my healing process."
Dillion overdosed January of 2007.
"I just said, ‘Please God, please don't take him,'" Cheryle Leach said.
The caring mother's faith never wavered. She said she believes God has a plan, and using her tragedy to spare others is part of it.
"If there's just one person saved, one life, if it will change one life...I just pray that someone will choose a different path than my children chose," Cheryl Leach said.
She acknowledges she probably made some mistakes as a young mother and didn't see all the signs. By the time she did it was too late, which is why she urges parents who watch the documentary to try to be more in tune with their kids.
She said she'd be happy if her story were to save one life, but she really hopes to save many more than that.