Mecca-Mann Mission sits down with Ridgway Record for a Facebook live interview

Ridgway Record Reporter Brian D. Stockman sat down with Mecca-Mann Inc. Vice President Lynell Rusciolelli and President DeAnna Brooks for a Facebook live interview on Friday. (Screenshot from Mecca-Mann Mission)

ELK COUNTY--Refusing to let the personal tragedy of their children's deaths through drug overdoses overwhelm their lives, two courageous women took on the task of fighting drug overdoses in Elk County to Heart and started the Mecca-Mann Mission Inc. Dedicated to addressing the growing problem of drug abuse and overdose deaths not just in Elk County, but across Pennsylvania.
Does that seem a lofty goal? Maybe for some, but these two women, and the other parents and groups that have joined them, are making a real difference every day worldwide.
Both women know the heartache of loving children through the horrific struggles of addiction, then losing their children, Kaysie Mann and Andrew Mecca, to substance use disorder and fentanyl poisoning within years of each other. They've known each other for years, went to school together, but this cause has turned them into something closer than friends, more like sisters, maybe even twin sisters, as they seem to finish each other's thoughts at times and are always there to give an encouraging "push, shove or even yell!" said President DeAnna Brooks of her partner in the group Vice President Lynell Rusciolelli. "We always have each other's back." 
They don't just "talk-the-talk"; they "walk-the-walk" and have been with each other in scary and dangerous situations as they and other parents go looking for children that have run away or are using and abusing. They have been the ones to call in overdoses, hold hair back when people are going through withdrawal symptoms, and had priceless family items stolen from them by the ones they love all over drugs. 
"It's the not-knowing that's the worst," said Rusciolelli, "What exactly happened?" she said of her son Andrew, who was found dead along a railway off of Dahoga Road in Wilcox just after 11 a.m. on July 5 of 2018. "There are so many unanswered questions, but we pray to God every day that we will have answers."
In the meantime, the Mecca Mann Mission is on a mission to address drug use and abuse everywhere they can, not just in contacting the cops when they see something happening. They assist addicts through treatment and eventually rehabilitation, partnering with landlords and companies to give people a "second chance." "We would never give up on our kids," said Brooks, "So we are not going to give up on yours" finished Rusciolelli.
If you would like to watch the full interview, know more about the group, or want to join the fight, please go to their Facebook page at

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