Mother's crusade to spread awareness of "huffing" substances
TOPPENISH, Wash. - Shade Shirley-Speedis's death in June from inhaling a can of air spray pushed his mother, Annette Shirley, to start a crusade to educate others about this deadly activity and organize an awareness night next Monday.
"This is a very deadly thing that these kids are addicted to now," she said.
Shade was "huffing" some of the substance, used to remove dirt and dust from computers, at a friend's house in White Swan when he died.
Annette says her son was struggling at the time with his father's death but she was trying to help him catch up on his studies and transfer him to the Yakima Tribal School.
"It's the new thing, they're starting at elementary [school]," said Shirley. "If there's parents still out there that don't know what I didn't know, maybe they could save their son or daughters right now."
Shirley is working with community leaders to host an event at the Yakama Tribal School to discuss the dangers of "huffing" and how to recognize signs that a child may be inhaling this type of substance.
Anyone is welcome to attend the meeting, it runs from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 29. The Yakama Tribal School is located 601 Linden Street in Toppenish.