A note from Jesse's parents, Tracy and Sal
Thank you to Tracy and Sal DeMasi for sharing their story about their son, Jesse.
On April 26, 2022, we lost our Son, Brother, Grandson, Nephew, and Friend Jesse. Jesse was 26 and battled his addiction for years. In and out of treatments, he would do well for a bit then things would take a turn. He always had a job…maybe he thought things were too good.
I prayed and put up a good front, when your kid is an addict it’s like a big weight you carry all the time. Those who knew, knew. I wanted to protect my sweet boy from the hurtful remarks. "How could Jesse DeMasi be an addict? What did his parents do wrong?"
Jesse had a sweet, kind, and giving heart. His heart was so big that he saved others before he could save himself. This disease does not discriminate against anyone.
I remember the first treatment center he came home from. He had a yellow bracelet on. I said, "What is that?" He said, "I’m a Buddy, anyone who thought of running would have to speak to me first."Again, struggling himself and still talked 2 people from leaving. That was my Jesse.
As parents, we blame ourselves. How could this happen? Unfortunately, no one will ever know. As parents of addicts, we suffer alone. I know I did. You don’t want to be judged, so you sit quietly like everything is well… when you are battling yourself.
When your kid is an addict, there aren’t any holidays, birthdays…you are always waiting for the phone to ring. This past Christmas was different. Jesse visited and was on a great path. He had a job, worked out, and looked great. Typical Jesse, he didn’t come alone, of course, he brought a friend. He couldn’t bear to leave someone alone for the holidays… There was no man left behind with Jesse. I’m glad I got to see him that holiday, it’s one I won’t forget.
I’m not sure what happened on April 26. I guess we will never know. I just want Jesse to know he was loved and that he was special. He touched many hearts and helped all that needed him. He is terribly missed by all!
I want to thank James's Project Reach for using Jesse’s story. If it saves just one life, if it saves one family from this never-ending battle, they are winning!!!
A portion of the proceeds from the 6th Annual REACH at the BEACH event was donated to the Maxwell Institute for Recovery in memory of Jesse.