A mother's story of triumph over tragedy

Helping families overcome adversity, is the focus of one mother. Dr. Lonise Bias, lost one son to drugs and another to violence.

"Become proactive and not reactive," said Dr. Bias.

It's a mission of turning personal tragedy into triumph. Dr. Bias is a survivor. In 1986 her 22-year-old son, basketball star Len Bias, died from a cocaine overdose.

"The more you give out of yourself and take the love that you have and give it out, the more you get healing on the inside," said Dr. Bias.

In 1990, tragedy number two. Another son, Jay, was killed in a drive-by shooting.

"I have lost nothing," said Dr. Bias. "What I understand is my two sons were two seeds that went down into the ground to bring forth life."

Leslie Hipp, with the Lexington-Richland Alcohol and Drug Abuse Commission (LRADAC), knows the power of one.

"One adult who cares, and is consistently involved in that young person's life can make a difference," said Hipp.

She says it takes everyone working together to effect change for the better.

"I think by uniting our resources and uniting our energy, then we can make a difference and impact our youth," said Hipp.

And for Dr. Bias, telling her survival story is a way to make sure her son's didn't die in vain.

"Their greatest legacy is love, that's it, it's love."


On Friday, January 30, Dr. Lonise Bias will present Turning Lemons to Lemonade, a call to action for community members and leaders. This community summit will take place at the Cecil Tillis Building, 211 Simpkins Lane, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The event will also feature a youth panel and strategic planning sessions.

On Saturday, January 31, the collaboration, along with the Len and Jay Bias Foundation for a More Excellent Way will present The Family Matters Prayer Luncheon for parents of deceased children. This event will be a time of encouragement, hope, direction and purpose for parents after the death of their children. Brunch will be served at Keenan High School, 361 Pisgah Church Road, from 10:00-11:00 a.m. There is no charge for this brunch, but space is limited.