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XFoundation Sheds Light on Fentanyl Poisoning at TEDxBreckenridge

On September 30th, 2023, the town of Breckenridge was full of BIG ideas and the many teams that helped bring them to life during this year’s TEDxBreckenridge event. 

The XFoundation was fortunate to not only have our CEO and co-founder, George Gerchow, speak at the event but also participate in this year’s inaugural “Innovation Alley.” While our team consists primarily of business experts, this event was different from the ‘norm’ as we spread awareness to our community about fentanyl poisoning and the devastating impact it has had on our family. 

The Talk 

Starting at 2:22 pm MT, George, the bereaved father of Xavier (X) Gerchow, took the stage. During his speech, he captivated the audience with his worst nightmare: losing his 17-year-old son to fentanyl poisoning. 

What is fentanyl poisoning? Poisoning occurs when someone unknowingly administers poison (in this case, fentanyl) to someone, deliberately or accidentally. On March 12th, 2021, after a long day of working out and playing basketball, a friend gave X half of what they thought was a Percocet for pain. That half pill happened to be 99% fentanyl and 1% cocaine – a lethal dose of fentanyl is 2 milligrams, only the size of 2 grains of salt – the fake pill killed him within minutes. 

Although a grim topic, George empowered the audience to take action and inform a loved one of what they had learned during the session to save the life of another. Fentanyl poisoning could be avoidable if our community is informed and provided with proper resources

George’s speech will go live on the TED Talks website once approved.   

Innovation Alley

At XFoundation’s inaugural booth event, we partnered with Summit County Health’s Amy Wineland to educate attendees and the general public on the risks of fentanyl poisoning. At the booth, Summit County Health distributed Naloxone, Kloxxado, and fentanyl testing strips. 

XFoundation also provided SWAG, including tote bags, t-shirts, stickers, pens, and we even painted rocks! In each provided tote bag, we distributed “the faces of fentanyl.” The faces of fentanyl are cards created to share a different story of a loved one lost to fentanyl poisoning. Here are their names:

  • Charlie Ternan, forever 22 -To learn more about Song For Charlie, a family-run nonprofit charity created in his memory, visit https://songforcharlie.org/
  • Thomas Larson Bodnarczuk, forever 18
  • Layno, forever 15
  • Sebastian Moreno, forever 24
  • Xavier Gerchow, forever 17
  • Kelsie Hix, forever 23 -To learn more about Kelsie’s Cause, a nonprofit created in her memory

Each story above was shared with the XFoundation from the heavy hearts of brave parents, healing from unspeakable loss. We share these stories with you to spread awareness of this horrific epidemic. To these resilient families, we thank you for sharing your stories with us and our community.

Thank you to our partners and family 

XFoundation is a village founded out of devastation and resilience. We would not be here today without our family, friends, and partners. 

These individuals chose to spend a beautiful fall Colorado Saturday to co-facilitate our booth, support George every step of the way before and after his talk, and help take everything down several hours later. 

Special thank you to XFoundation partners Charlie Ternan's parents and Song for Charlie's co-founders, Ed and Mary Ternan, who flew from California to be present during the TEDx event. And Mark and Elin Bodnarczuk, bereaved parents to Thomas Bodnarczuk, held the strength to share the story of losing their son in our faces of fentanyl cards and were present at the event to support the XFoundation. 

Lastly, Xavier's friends who traveled with family and new friends to be present at the event are appreciated for their continued support of X. To see Xavier's impact before and after life has been manifested through his loved ones. Thank you for keeping his legacy alive. 

The TEDxBreckenridge event was all made possible by donations to the XFoundation. Thank YOU for supporting our cause and being a part of our journey.

XFoundation 💜