Nicole Ryan, who delivers drugs awareness talks in her own time to secondary schools, made the offer yesterday as Garda investigations into the suspected drugs-related death of a teenager in Cork City continued.
She said the death of Michael Cornacchia, 16, has convinced her of the need to work full-time on a drugs awareness campaign.
“Nothing I can say, or no amount of sorrys, can make it right for his heartbroken family. I know the pain,” Nicole said.
“I am willing to give this my full commitment, give up everything, and give this my all. This campaign can bring the much-needed education that young people need today. It can help save lives.”
Her brother, Alex, 18, died in Cork University Hospital on January 23 last year after ingesting the synthetic drug, N-Bomb, at a house party five days earlier.
Within months, she launched her own drugs awareness campaign and has visited almost a dozen schools in Cork, Kerry, and Limerick since September, speaking about her family’s tragedy, and warning teenagers of the dangers of designer drugs in particular.
She said Michael’s death brought memories flooding back of her own family’s ordeal this time last year.
“It is just so sad to think that his family have been launched into this now — they are just at the beginning.
“I want to fully commit to this cause so that others out there do not have to go through this again and again,” she said.
“The reaction to my message in schools has been astonishing — they really understand where I’m coming from, they see it’s real,” she said.
“I would like to think that I’ve opened their eyes and that they realise that nobody is invincible. There are real dangers and this can happen to anybody.
“And with Rag week approaching, I would encourage students and young people to think twice about taking these drugs.
Gardaí investigating Michael’s death said it could be several weeks before the results of toxicology tests can identify the substance he may have consumed, and which may have contributed to his death.