Sunday, December 21, 2008

A Christmas Poem for Bereaved Parents

My First Christmas in Heaven I see the countless Christmas trees around the world below.
With tiny lights, like Heaven's stars reflecting on the snow,
The sight is so spectacular, please wipe that tear,
For I am spending Christmaswith JESUS CHRIST this year.

I hear the many Christmas songs that people hold so dear,
But the sounds of music can't compare with the Christmas choir up here,
I have no words to tell you of the joy their voices bring,
For it is beyond description to hear the angels sing.

I know how much you miss me, I see the pain inside your heart,
But I'm not so far away, we really aren't apart,
So be happy for me, dear ones, you know I hold you near,
And be glad that I am spending Christmas with JESUS CHRIST this year.

I send you each a special gift from my heavenly home above,
I send you each a memory of my undying love,
After all, love is a gift more precious than pure gold,
It was always important in the stories Jesus told,
Please love and keep each other as my father said to do,
For I can count the blessings of love He has for you.

So have a Merry Christmas and wipe away that tear,
Remember I'm spending Christmas with JESUS CHRIST this year.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

It's been a very hard week

As the holiday season comes into full view it has been an increasingly difficult week for each and every parent grieving the loss of a child. There have been several very new discoveries of children passing away from the Choking Game.

Then there are parents grieving for years who are now putting together the pieces that their child's death is a result of playing the Choking Game. And parents now reaching out discovering they are not alone in coping with this type of loss.

To Tyler Swanson's family and friends, we grieve your loss with you now. We wish you peace and hope memories of Tyler will bring you through yet another holiday season.

Friday, December 12, 2008

So many kids, so many families, friends and communities...

We are sending comforting thoughts and prayers of peace to Elijah's family and friends in Canada. We are so sad to hear that after days in a coma, Elijah passed away after playing the Choking Game.

Sympathies and sorry just are not enough to express how sorry we are for their loss and the loss so many families are suffering this time of year.

Megan's family and Elijah's family are talking about how they lost their loved one, hoping other children will then know the dangers and be spared.

If for no other reason then not wanting to walk in the shoes of a parent bereaved by the Choking Game - please take a moment a give your child, and the children in your life, the best gift for Christmas. Save their life - give them the power of knowledge about how dangerous the Choking Game is. If you need a starting point or more information in order to have this conversation visit


Thursday, December 11, 2008

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Wasilla AK

Our thoughts and prayers go out to the friends and family of Megan Williams from Wasilla Alaska.
Megan's smile is sure to have left an indelible mark on the world.
All of us at The DB Foundation send our deepest sympathies.

Thursday, December 4, 2008 is now on Facebook! Come and be our friend and gather with other supporters and families raising awareness for the dangers of The Choking Game.
The Facebook Group called "The Choking Game- is NEVER a game" has grown to over 400 members in just a few days! Friends, families, teachers, EMS personal and so many more are joining to come together and put a stop to this deadly activity.
Stop by and check it out! Post your thoughts and pictures of loved ones along with memorial sites for friends to visit through the holidays.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Have you talked to the kids in your life?

As families come together for Thanksgiving it's a great opportunity to have a conversation with the teens in your family.

Please, please talk to kids about the Choking Game and how dangerous it is! Studies show that 1 in 4 kids know about it! That means that even if my chance your child doesn't, one of their friends certainly DOES.

A few more scary thoughts on this topic:

  • Kids are calling it THE CHOKING 'GAME'. Unless they are told about the dangers, they think it's a game.
  • 75% of parents DO NOT know anything about the Choking Game.

  • Every child is at risk until they are told about the consequences!

Have the conversation - it only takes a few minutes! Make this the day you are thankful to have your children safely by your side instead of trying to be thankful for memories of your child.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Nov 24 WPTF to cover Choking Game

Scott Fitzgerald will be covering the topic of the Choking Game at 8:10 AM with guest Kate Leonardi from the DB Foundation.

For streaming audio of the broadcast tomorrow- go to WPTF's website:

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Updates to


We've done some remodeling to the website.

The Choking Game Victim Database is now all inclusive of Victim information and soon direct links from Victim entries will be included.

Please let us know if you would your loved ones entry to include a link to their memorial site . Also available is a direct email link. If you want to be available for direct contact, give us the heads up and that will be added as well.

(To add your loved one to the database, with complete information, partial information or a confidential entry - Click here for the Registration Form.)

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Another loss on NC

From another Blogger:

Death of a young manBy lapin_musical(
lapin_musical) All reports indicate that this was an accidental death, but
definitely one that could have been prevented. I remember learning in child
psychology that teenagers and toddlers are a lot alike. They both have this
sense of immortality. ...
lapin_musical - http://lapin- musical.livejour

Our heartfelt sympathies go out to Kris' family and friends in North Carolina.

For all of us at the DB Foundation we are called to duty, to break down barriers and carry on the crusade of education so that kids know exactly how dangerous it is to 'play' the Choking Game.

We do this on a volunteer basis and as a tribute to the children we, as a society and as parents, have lost. Their death could have been preventable if education been implemented. Parents, educators and others are welcome to join us in this fight.

There's no such thing as too many volunteers for raising awareness - please inquire with The DB Foundation for more information!

Friday, October 31, 2008

Announcing 3 NEW presenters!

We are proud to add 3 new Choking Game Awareness Presenters!

Please welcome Deputy Cindy Holmes, Deputy Josalyn Longley and Deputy Leslie Fox with the Dane County Sheriff's Office in Madison, WI. They have come aboard the DB Foundation as presenters for adults and parents and already have two presentations coming up in November. Check the calendar for information! And if you are in the area, please plan to attend!

If you need presenters in the Madison area please don't hesitate to contact Dep. Holmes, Longley, Fox or contact us directly.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Choking Game victim 8 year old Trenton NJ boy

“Choking game” considered in hanging death of 8-year-old
By Lloylita Prout


Detectives investigating the death of an 8-year-old boy who was found hanging in his Trenton home Tuesday night say they are considering the possibility that he was playing the "choking game."

An autopsy yesterday by the Mercer County Medical Examiner's Office found that the boy's death was a result of acute asphyxiation due to hanging, according to a release from Detective Sergeant Pedro Medina, Trenton Police's Public Information Officer.
Preliminary findings suggest that the death was accidental. Detectives do not have enough evidence to confirm their suspicion that the "choking game" - a game usually played by 9-to-16-year-olds for a brief sense of euphoria - is connected, said Medina's release.
Shortly before 6 p.m. Tuesday, officers were called to a residence in the 300 block of Woodland Street after receiving a call of a juvenile not breathing, police said.
When officers arrived, they learned that the boy had been found hanging in the third floor of the home.

He was taken to Saint Francis Medical Center in Trenton, where he was pronounced dead at 6:26 p.m.

Ogallala boy dies from choking game (8/22/2008)

By Corinne Hautala -

Authorities said a 9–year–old boy from Ogallala died playing the "choking game." Keith County authorities said the body of Tyler Anderson was found Wednesday night inside a home. Officials said his death is being investigated as an accident. They believe the boy lost consciousness from playing the "choking game."It is a game where people choke themselves or each other to feel faint. The U.S. Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention said 82 people have died from doing this......
to read more visit:

Kudos to the Keith County authorities for being aware of the Choking Game. We sincerely offer our condolenses to Tyler's family and friends. Another little boy, young...

Sadly within 2 weeks there were 2 boys ages 8 and 9 from different areas of the country have fallen victim to this 'game'. And still some school districts do not feel the need to introduce this to the Risk Prevention programs in their counties. How many grieving communities will it take?

Welcome to the launch of our blog

With information constantly pouring in about the Choking Game and more and more children falling victim to this 'game', we're launching this blog to keep our viewer as up-to-date as possible.

Victims of 'choke-out' game sometimes mistaken for suicides

By Mark Young
Published: Thursday, August 28, 2008 4:51 AM CDT
The North Platte Telegraph

The horror of losing a child is tough enough, but having the child's death incorrectly certified as suicide can only worsen the tragedy.That is the even darker side of the coin when it comes to tragedies related to the "choke-out" game - a potentially deadly activity in which children strangle themselves to achieve a high. It's an activity that recently took the life of 9-year-old Tyler Evan Anderson of Ogallala.If there is such a thing as a silver lining in Anderson's case, it would be the careful consideration of Keith County Attorney Blake Edwards, who saw the case for what it was - an unfortunate accident.But for other families who have suffered similar tragedies involving the "choke-out" game, suicide is often named as the cause of death when there is little evidence other than how the body is discovered.Such was the case for Sandi Stefkovich, of Lincoln, who lost her 14-year-old son Stephan in May 2006.

Stephan, by all accounts, was a happy, normal 14-year-old, but authorities found him hanging in his bedroom. His death was certified as a suicide, and for the next three weeks, his mother not only had to deal with the loss of her son, but also the thought that he took his own life."Only we know now that he didn't commit suicide," Stefkovich said. "Three weeks after Stephan died, his friends came forward and told me that he been playing the choking game."That made more sense to Stefkovich."I searched his room after he died looking for anything, some type of note that would indicate that he was unhappy or hated life," she said. "I didn't find anything."After doing her own research, Stefkovich realized that the signs of the choking game had been there all along."He had bloodshot eyes, was locking his door, was getting more headaches and I saw a mark on his neck one time," she said. "He explained it away as horsing around. The signs were there, but I didn't know what to look for at the time and they were spread out enough that I didn't connect them together."Stefkovich did suspect drug use, but did not find any indication of her son doing drugs through searches of his room."He didn't do drugs," he said. "What I found is that most of the kids playing this game don't do drugs. He was a happy, normal 14-year-old and popular within his group of friends. There were other times when I heard strange noises from his room, but I thought he was doing things a normal 14-year-old boy would do that a mom really doesn't want to see."Stephan's death is still ruled a suicide. His death occurred prior to the release of a report from the Center for Disease Control about the "choke-out" game and the number of deaths that have been attributed to this dangerous activity. Stefkovich said that the numbers in the 2007 report, which indicates 82 deaths from 1995-2007 amongst children aged 6-19, are likely much lower than reality, considering the attitude of authorities up to the release of the report."When his friends told me what Stephan had been doing, I went to the authorities and they told me the choking game was urban legend," she said. "They never asked me any questions about Stephan as to his state of mind. They simply ruled his death a suicide and won't talk to me any more about it."Stefkovich now pleads with other parents to educate themselves about this deadly game."I just wonder how many other parents who are out there that still think their child killed themselves," she said. "I had to face that for three horrible weeks.

There needs to be more education. Parents need to be aware of what their children are doing and check them."

The Telegraph wants to know what you think. Click on this story at and post your comments.E-mail to mark.young@