Reporter's notebook Part II: In the name of the children

The names of Mary's children were changed in this story.

It was an agonizing decision.

We wanted to present the most accurate image to the community of the effects methamphetamine has not just on the users, but on those around them.

At the same time, we wanted to minimize any harm that could come to her boys.

Although neither of them have anything to be ashamed of, we ended up changing their names.

In talking to experts, we determined that the decision to share their experiences with their peers should be their own.

While changing their names may not completely shield them from being identified, it sends a message to the boys that they are ultimately in control of their own story.

We want the community to understand that methamphetamine abuse is a real problem, and there are real children who suffer as a result.

We trust that instead of punishing these two boys for the mistakes of their mother, that their classmates, teachers and community leaders will approach them with compassion and understanding.

And the boys also have reason to be proud of their mom. Despite her wrong choices, she's also demonstrated a great amount of courage in sharing her life, hoping to make a difference.

The Nevada Appeal is setting up a scholarship fund for Mary's two sons to encourage them to pursue higher education.

The Appeal will pledge $500 to each boy, and will donate $1 from each new subscription to the fund. We will accept donations from the community as well.

To donate, contact me at or 881-1272.

- Teri Vance


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