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The Story of Shane's Crib



No parent should have to bury a child.

But for Wayne County resident Cheryl Mainor, that sentiment became her reality when she lost her 22-year-old son, Shane.

“His death was classified as an accidental overdose, but truth be told he died of a broken heart,” Cheryl said. “Yes, there were drugs involved, but there are other factors that weighed heavily on his heart.”

Shane was popular in school and excelled in athletics. He was a three-time Karate champion. But by his 16th birthday, his mom noticed a change in him that scared her.

“He was introduced by an older person to cocaine, and when he tried it, he told me that he met the devil himself,” Cheryl said. Shane told his mom the drugs made him feel great and boosted his confidence, similar to the ADHD medicine he had taken as a child, but without the side effects.

“He said the drugs just made him feel more comfortable. It allowed him to function within society,” she said. Shane eventually experimented with all kinds of different substances.

“We battled with him to get help with his addiction,” Cheryl said. “By the time he was 18, we took him to Greenville Rescue Mission in South Carolina. He did well at the treatment center, and he would be clean until he came home. He would work and do great. But when he returned home, it was like the demon lived here in Wayne County. Being around old friends, places & things pulled him back into his addiction. It was just too easy around here for him to get them,” she said.

Throughout his addiction, Cheryl said her son remained a good person and was still liked by many people. "Even among his user friends," she said, "it was Shane who often helped them through their darker hours and ministered for a cause."

It was during this time he met and fell in love with a young lady, who later became the mother of his son. Sixteen months after the joyous birth of his child, tragedy unfolded. Shane received the news that his young son had been brutally abused by another young man.

“Shane carried the pain of a father; he took on the blame that his son died. It weighed heavily on the fact he was not there to protect his own son. He carried that guilt and that destroyed him,” Cheryl said. “Until we received the autopsy, we did not know exactly how J.D was killed. We knew he was hurt, but it wasn’t until we received the autopsy that we found out just how traumatic and terrible our baby’s death had been.”

When the DA told Shane what occurred, he said, "I can’t believe that somebody would do this to a baby. Not my baby… Not my son." "That day he went on a major drinking binge, and we knew we were in trouble,” Cheryl said.

“He just steadily went down the road with alcohol for about two weeks – no drugs, just alcohol. Then one day he told me he had not touched a drink in four days. I begged him to go to a detox to get dried up, and he said, ‘No. I’m going to do this on my own.'"

The family was set to go to court to deal with portions of the ongoing trial in the baby’s murder when tragedy struck the family for a second time. “I got the knock on the door from a friend of his early Friday morning saying, 'Shane is on his way to the hospital. He is dead.'” Within minutes, I got the call from the coroner, that no mom wants to get, telling me my son passed away.”

His autopsy showed he had combined methadone and Xanax, a deadly combination that shuts down the cardiovascular and respiratory systems.

Cheryl said. “We reared him in the church. Do I believe that prayer works? Absolutely I do. But it was not in God’s plan to save Shane because he died more so of a broken heart for what happened to his son and now I believe they are back together again rejoicing in heaven.”

It is this enduring faith in God that has turned Cheryl’s tragedy into a personal challenge to become an advocate and educate others about the dangers of drugs and dependency.

“I have this saying. ‘I’ve already seen my worst day, so every day past my worst day is a better day. So today is a better day for me,’” she said.

To make the future brighter for others, Cheryl has established a non-profit organization “Mothers Against Substance Abuse/Take By Force Ministries.

“Throughout the six years of dealing with Shane’s substance abuse, I became educated and I learned about addiction,” she said.

“Starting all the way back to when he was diagnosed with ADHD, I would tell parents to research everything for yourself. Find out exactly what it is that you will be giving to your child before you do so,’ she said.

“I believe parents need to become educated and find out what their kids are into,” They need to learn what drug paraphernalia looks like or could look like. They need to search their medicine cabinets and see what prescription medications or cough syrups that may contain drugs or alcohol. (Safe guard them.)

Through MASA, and Shane’s Crib, Cheryl schedules opportunities to speak at local churches and youth organizations to make the community more aware of the lessons she’s learned through her experiences.

“We believe that through education and prayer, we have a good program going on. Please feel free to call us to set up a rally."


Cheryl said, "If I can save just one life, then it is worth it all to know Shane's death of a broken heart and his drug abuse was not in vain."


Saving lives …One life at a time.

Stories of Overcoming

Kayla battled addiction for a decade, facing a traumatic childhood and turbulent relationships. Despite losing custody of her children and struggling with heroin addiction, Kayla found hope at Shane's Crib after a lengthy legal battle. Now, in recovery, she holds a full-time job, obtained her license, and lives in the Grace house which is part of The Villages with her two youngest children, experiencing the grace and restoration that God has brought to her life.

Kayla Carter, Graduate and Resident at the Villages

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