MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – University High School and West Virginia University alumna Lauren Cole died in 2020 due to substance abuse. After her death, her father Michael Cole started Lauren’s Wish, a nonprofit aimed at helping people struggling with substance use disorder.

On Tuesday evening, Michael Cole spoke before the University girls’ lacrosse game about Lauren’s Wish, in hopes of reaching a larger audience.

He touched on how it was Lauren’s wish to help people struggling with substance abuse and addiction.

“Fentanyl does not discriminate. It’s killing unsuspecting, non-addictive individuals, as well as individuals suffering from substance use disorder. Three weeks before Lauren passed, we were walking out in the yard, and she said ‘Dad, can we talk about something?’ I said, ‘yeah, absolutely.’  She said, ‘You know, there are so many people struggling with addiction and want and need help, but they don’t have the family or resources to get it. Do you think one day when you retire, we can do something about it?’ I said, ‘absolutely,'” Michael Cole said.

The current project for Lauren’s Wish is at Hazel’s House of Hope in Morgantown, where individuals can be treated in a safe space.

To read more about Lauren’s Wish and its current projects, or to donate to the cause, visit the organization’s website.