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About Us

Founded in July 2015, Fighting for Alyssa is dedicated to the awareness, prevention, and treatment of substance abuse and addiction in our communities. We are a 501(c)3 nonprofit charity with the Akron Community Foundation (ACF).

Fighting for Alyssa was founded in May 2015 by Lea Heidman and Brian Malone after the sudden passing of their daughter Alyssa due to a heroin overdose. At the time of her death on March 18, 2015, Alyssa had just turned 21 years old. The purpose of FFA is to raise funds through various annual events and distribute those funds to local agencies, which assist in promoting education, awareness, and treatment of substance use disorder in our local communities. Your contributions and support help FFA fund programs to fight this epidemic in our local communities. 


Together our committee decided to use the phrase, #lovespeaks, to encourage everyone to love themselves to stay sober; to love someone enough to speak out for them to seek help; and to give a voice to those who can no longer speak.

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Alyssa's Story

Alyssa carried with her a light that illuminated a sense of hope, warmth, and comfort, which attracted other individuals to envelope themselves in. Tragically, that light was temporarily dimmed by her passing caused by a heroin overdose. Alyssa’s presence lives on, however, in FFA in which she guides other individuals to empower themselves against addiction. At the time of her passing, Alyssa was a college student with an interest in one day becoming a substance abuse counselor. Alyssa was always present to help others in need often at the expense of helping herself. She was very gifted in writing, drawing, photography, and was an avid connoisseur of all types of music. In order to honor Alyssa’s talents, FFA attempts, among other initiatives, to fund programs through local agencies to assist individuals in fostering those skills to combat addictive behaviors.


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