Jonathan Orens said he still has a relationship with his son, it’s just different now.

His son, Daniel Orens, passed away from an opioid overdose in November 2016 at the age of 28 after an 11 year battle with addiction. Since, then Jonathan has submerged himself in addiction and recovery advocacy.

Jonathan, who is a Philadelphia real-estate investor, came to speak to our class about his loss on Thursday, February 22, 2018. As a parent, there is no course on how to cope when you lose a child, he said, but his outreach keeps him in touch with his son. He even created a foundation in honor of his son to further his advocacy. Never did he think his child would experience addiction, but it can happen to anyone, he added. I couldn’t imagine the pain a parent must feel when they lose a child, but to continue working to fight what took his son a little over a year ago is as painful and a reminder. So, I commend Jonathan on his advocacy work to fight addiction.