TOWN OF TONAWANDA, N.Y. — For years, Devin Kurzdorfer dealt with cyber-bullying from other kids on social media.
His parents tried to help: they took him to counseling, they took away his phone, they pulled him from Kenmore West High School.
Last April, it was all too much to take, and Devin, 15, committed suicide.
Antoinette Kruzdorfer is heartbroken she won’t have the chance to add to her collection of fond memories of her son.
"I can't hear his music anymore. I don't hear his voice or see him smile. It's a nightmare. I can't even explain how horrifying it is," she said.
Devin had high-functioning autism, which she believes made him an easy target.
“It’s just not fair that I lost a son because of all this hate. Because of these kids not understanding.”
His family is trying to build something positive out of their grief and help others struggling with the same pain.
Devin's grandfather, Joe Smajdor, has set up a foundation, called Devin's Message. The goal is to provide programs to educate schools, children and their parents on how to handle bullying. They plan to meet with the Ken-Ton district later this month and have interest from other schools in the area.
"A lot of kids don't know what the Golden Rule is. Teach each other as their friends as they want to be treated to build self-esteem, resilience in kids,” Smajdor said.
There will also be a scholarship in Devin's memory, for students willing give guidance to their peers. And perhaps, save one of their lives.