Authentic, charming, kind, beautiful, talented
Growing up, Dylan lived with his mom Cindy and his older brother Christian, who Dylan became close with in his teenage years. In 2017, his family took a month-long trip to South Africa together, a cherished memory for his mother as she and Dylan grew even closer on that trip. Dylan and his father also got the pleasure of bungee jumping off the highest bridge you can jump from while there.
What Dylan loved most in the world was producing his own beats and writing lyrics for them. He primarily liked goth and emo rap and he created nearly 30 songs. He was also into photography and was working on a music video before he passed. As a child, Dylan loved dressing up in costumes and trying on crazy outfits. His mother said he always had an eye for fashion. At 17, he mixed his love of aesthetics and his creative mind and began designing and making clothes. Dylan even trademarked his own brand, No Care Cult, which was his statement to the world, telling people to be comfortable with who they are. He designed goth-inspired hoodies, pants, sweatshirts, and more. He was also into tattoos, including a recent one of a spider in a web. On the spider was a pill to remind him not to get stuck in the web of addiction.
Dylan was diagnosed with bipolar disorder when he was 17, which was a big adjustment for him. Before his passing, he was doing dialectical behavior therapy with his mom and working on communication skills and conflict resolution. He was your typical teenager, but he was also responsible and hard-working and had a part-time job to save up for his first car.
Since Dylan passed during the pandemic his family didn’t have a proper memorial, but his friends dedicated a bench to him in one of their favorite hangout spots and decorated it with portraits of him. Many people loved Dylan and have shared stories with his mom about how he changed their lives by being who he was.
Cindy said that the hardest part about living with someone who struggles with addiction was seeing how it changes them. She said it was also difficult to cope, knowing that he didn’t know how to communicate with her about his struggles. Losing Dylan has made her realize how important it is to destigmatize addiction and help people to understand that it is a disease, not a choice. She wants the world to know that counterfeit drugs laced with fentanyl are a real danger that can destroy lives. Since his passing, she has changed her career path and begun working in the mental health field to help other people facing challenges like Dylan’s.
Dylan’s mother, Cindy Cruz-Sarantos, provided the information for this narrative.
April 8, 2002–May 8, 2020
Age 18-Lived with the disease of addiction for three years.