HARDIN COUNTY, KY (WAVE) - It's been a year since fallen hero Cameron Ponder was gunned down during a routine traffic stop near Eddyville. Within hours of his death, Supporting Heroes rushed to the side of the young Kentucky State Police Trooper's relatives in Hardin County.
Ponder pulled over a speeding car on Sept. 13, 2015. The driver had four other passengers and a suspended license so Ponder tried to arrange for lodging for everyone, including two children, but the car sped off. Several miles later it stopped but the 25-year-old Missouri man behind the wheel fired 11 rounds into Ponder's car before the trooper could even get out, killing the 31-year-old.
"I struggle to stay out of the dark places to be honest with you, it's a daily struggle for me," Ponder's mother, Brenda, said.
Brenda found herself in a fog unable to even think about the simplest decisions until Supporting Heroes showed up within hours.
"They're thinking for you, they're your lifeline when you can't think. So Supporting Heroes was great about that," she said.
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Everything from taking care of relatives, bills, groceries and other expenses - but most of all providing understanding and love then and now, a year later.
"Those things, showing they still care about us, that they're thinking of us, that they love us and they remember Cameron, it saved my life it really has. I just can't say it any better than that," Brenda said.
Her home now full of so many memories, many of them gifts to honor her son. Six flags fly in her front lawn. She said even on a still day when someone visits this memorial the wind always blows as if Cameron says I'm with you. The favorite Bible verse Cameron had tattooed on both arms is now permanently marked in a different way.
"I'm a firm believer in prayers and I believe that they lift you up and I can usually tell when people are praying for me because it's when I'm not crying and I'm not feeling that deep, deep sadness," she said.
Supporting Heroes will be there for Brenda next Tuesday - one year to the day when Cameron tried to be there for a family on a dark highway.
"I won't lie, the 13th, I'm dreading it because I don't know how I'm going to feel, but I can't imagine that I'm going to feel any different on the 13th than I feel today because I miss him as much today and I'll miss him as much on the 13th," she said.
Brenda said she didn't even know about Supporting Heroes until she lost her son. Now she wants everyone to know they saved her life. They took away that emotional stress so she could deal with the tragedy in front of her.
For more information about Supporting Heroes, including how to donate to support its mission, click here.