‘Momma T’ helps people with addiction in name of her late son

When a Baltimore County mother lost her 24-year-old son to an accidental overdose, she wasn’t sure how she was going to move on.But Toni Torsch, of Perry Hall, turned pain into power in an effort to address the stigma and shame of addiction — something that is mired in numerous issues, including mental health and misunderstanding.WBAL-TV 11 News first met Toni Torsch 10 years ago after she lost her dear son, Dan, to an accidental overdose.”When we turned him over, he seemed to be gurgling. We couldn’t save him,” Torsch said. After Dan’s death, Torsch fought to make the overdose antidote naloxone more widely available in Maryland. Now, Torsch’s fight is more like Torsch’s war.”We really have to take the services to them,” Torsch said.Along with volunteers from the Daniel Carl Torsch Foundation, a nonprofit named after Dan, Torsch has boots on the ground seven days a week to not only hand-deliver supplies to those in need, but supply compassion and understanding.”What I would have given to have one of those warriors in my life, it really would have made a difference and I believe (would have) saved Dan,” Torsch said. They have fed countless people, distributed 9,000 doses of naloxone and helped 750 people find drug treatment, including Nathan, who was homeless.”She asked if I needed help. I don’t get that a lot,” Nathan said, referring to Hanna , who is a foundation worker who once was homeless herself.”You name it, I’ve probably tried it, done it and struggled with it,” Hannah said. “I get it. I know what it’s like to feel like you will never be more than you are at the moment.”They are in constant battle mode, helping people with housing, jobs, clothing, food and transportation. They help people, like David, who are in recovery. Asked “is the first place you felt welcomed and loved?” David said: “Yes, outside of my family.” The foundation is family, and includes another son of Torsch’s, John. But everyone calls Torsch “Momma T.””To take that pain and to look at it in the face and say, ‘I’m (going to) make something out of this pain, and this grief,’ look at all the people she’s impacted,” Hannah said. Including herself. When asked, “If it not for the foundation, how many of you would be doing this personal, life-saving outreach?” They all answered, “None.” At age 62, this wasn’t in Torsch’s plan. But now, she can’t imagine doing anything else.”This is not what I like envisioned my retirement to look like. I thought I’d be on a beach somewhere selling hats,” Torsch laughed.Torsch thinks her son, Dan, would be proud of the work she’s doing and the work being done in his name and in his memory every day.The foundation has been notified that its naloxone kits have been used to save someone’s life approximately 500 times. They have also negotiated hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of treatment scholarships from providers for people in need. To connect with the Torsch Foundation or make a donation, check out the following website.

When a Baltimore County mother lost her 24-year-old son to an accidental overdose, she wasn’t sure how she was going to move on.

But Toni Torsch, of Perry Hall, turned pain into power in an effort to address the stigma and shame of addiction — something that is mired in numerous issues, including mental health and misunderstanding.

WBAL-TV 11 News first met Toni Torsch 10 years ago after she lost her dear son, Dan, to an accidental overdose.

“When we turned him over, he seemed to be gurgling. We couldn’t save him,” Torsch said.

After Dan’s death, Torsch fought to make the overdose antidote naloxone more widely available in Maryland. Now, Torsch’s fight is more like Torsch’s war.

“We really have to take the services to them,” Torsch said.

Along with volunteers from the Daniel Carl Torsch Foundation, a nonprofit named after Dan, Torsch has boots on the ground seven days a week to not only hand-deliver supplies to those in need, but supply compassion and understanding.

“What I would have given to have one of those warriors in my life, it really would have made a difference and I believe (would have) saved Dan,” Torsch said.

They have fed countless people, distributed 9,000 doses of naloxone and helped 750 people find drug treatment, including Nathan, who was homeless.

“She asked if I needed help. I don’t get that a lot,” Nathan said, referring to Hanna, who is a foundation worker who once was homeless herself.

“You name it, I’ve probably tried it, done it and struggled with it,” Hannah said. “I get it. I know what it’s like to feel like you will never be more than you are at the moment.”

They are in constant battle mode, helping people with housing, jobs, clothing, food and transportation.

“We really have to take the services to them.”

They help people, like David, who are in recovery. Asked “is the first place you felt welcomed and loved?” David said: “Yes, outside of my family.”

The foundation is family, and includes another son of Torsch’s, John. But everyone calls Torsch “Momma T.”

“To take that pain and to look at it in the face and say, ‘I’m (going to) make something out of this pain, and this grief,’ look at all the people she’s impacted,” Hannah said.

Including themselves. When asked, “If it not for the foundation, how many of you would be doing this personal, life-saving outreach?” They all answered, “None.”

At age 62, this wasn’t in Torsch’s plan. But now, she can’t imagine doing anything else.

“This is not what I like envisioned my retirement to look like. I thought I’d be on a beach somewhere selling hats,” Torsch laughed.

Torsch thinks her son, Dan, would be proud of the work she’s doing and the work being done in his name and in his memory every day.

The foundation has been notified that its naloxone kits have been used to save someone’s life approximately 500 times. They have also negotiated hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of treatment scholarships from providers for people in need.

To connect with the Torsch Foundation or make a donation, check out the following website.

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