TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - Lori Hanway and Kat Cordes are sisters. The two have a lot in common. But they never thought they would also share the pain of losing a child.
Lori's son Thomas overdosed on fentanyl and died on December 16, 2016. He was 35.
"Thomas died of pure fentanyl," Hanway said. "Three grams can kill an elephant, Thomas had 30 grams of fentanyl in his system."
While the family mourned the loss of Thomas, they attempted to reach out to his cousin and Kat's daughter Amanda to help her addiction.
However, Amanda died of an overdose three months after her cousin on March 10, 2017. She was only 23.
"After she died, and it's still that way a lot, it's just, I find it hard to believe," Cordes said. "It seems like a nightmare."
While both Thomas and Amanda tried to seek help, they continued to feed their addictions. It cost them their lives and the happiness of their family.
And though both Lori and Kat continue to mourn their children, they want to make the best of such a tragic situation.
"We just want to save someone," Cordes said. "We just don't want anybody to go through what our family went through."
The sisters are planning a benefit memorial tribute to Thomas and Amanda. They hope the benefit will save at least one life and hopefully many more than one.
"I really do believe that everyone needs to be apart of this," Hanway said. "This is not something that it just happening once in a while, our whole city- all our cities are really struggling with this and if don't all pull together they are going to just keep dying."
The benefit will be on May 13 between 3 p.m. and 11 p.m. at the Eagles Club in Bowling Green.
There will be live entertainment, a silent auction and food. There is a cover charge of $10, which does not include food.
The proceeds will benefit a recovery support team aimed at helping addicts and their families. A small portion of the money raised will also go to college funds for Amanda's daughter Addyson and Thomas's son Andrew.