Skip to content

Penticton grieves loss of Discovery House’s ‘bright light’

Jerome Abraham died after a courageous battle with cancer

A Penticton man who was the face of Discovery House for over a decade and has helped countless men take back their lives from addiction has died after a courageous battle with cancer.

Discovery House made the announcement on Saturday that Jerome Abraham has died. He was 49-years-old.

“Discovery House, the South Okanagan recovery community, and our world has lost a courageous and bright light. Our friend, Jerome, has completed this part of his journey, and his body has surrendered after several years of living with cancer,” said Discovery House on their Facebook page, posting a picture of Jerome snowboarding at Apex which was one of his favourite things to do.

“He tirelessly led our organization and touched the lives of countless individuals looking to break free from the shackles of addiction. Jerome was a true warrior in his own recovery journey, in his guidance for those looking to better their lives, and in his fight to eliminate the stigma of addiction so prevalent in our society. Discovery House, our staff, our clients, and all of those who this organization has helped are better because of Jerome and his works. Thank you, Jerome. We love you brother, and we will do our best to give to others what you so generously gave to us.”

Abraham has been battling cancer for several years and still continued to champion Discovery House, personally raising tens of thousands of dollars each year through their dunk tank Father’s Day event, while also organizing countless successful fundraisers like Shed the Light on Addiction and Soups are Good. He oversaw the expansion of Discovery House and was always an advocate for more beds and funding with all levels of government.

When the cancer became too much, Abraham stepped away from his role as executive director last year to be with his wife and son.

READ MORE: Jerome Abraham stepping back from Discovery House role to be with family

In his own words, he thanked Discovery House for saving his life.

“It’s been a beautiful journey with Discovery House. The place that saved my life, gave me a life and challenged me, guided me, and loved me far beyond what I ever thought I deserved or thought was possible,” said Jerome in April 2023.

Abraham’s sister Jennifer said on Saturday that they are heartbroken.

“D-house saved his life and in turn he did the same for many others. When he went into hospice they asked if his last name was something other than Abraham? Something that started with a “D”… I chuckled and said “D-House” and that was exactly it. When people think of D-house they think of Jerome,” said Jennifer.

“He was never easy to forget for anyone, the same applied for doctors that couldn’t believe his strength, courage and grace. He was stubborn, right to the bitter end, but he always knew what he wanted and nobody could ever tell him differently. We thank the D-house for giving him back to us for so many years, living clean and healthy, part of a family, ours and yours. Share his light and keep doing this work, he will be watching over everyone.”

In 2022, Jerome raised over $18,000 in the dunk tank challenge at the Discovery House Father’s Day events. Even when he was sick he still braved the dunk tank with his son throwing the first balls to dunk his dad.

With the slogan “returning fathers to children and sons to families” that is what the day was all about, said Abraham in 2022.

“A lot of alumni are here with their families and a lot of our members are here volunteering, contributing to the community,” said Abraham.

PHOTOS: Penticton Discovery House raises $20K during Father’s Day dunk tank event

Condolences have been pouring in and will continue as a community grieves this difference maker.

“Jerome helped many members of our community take their lives back from addiction. In doing so, he reunited families and friends. He also reminded us never to give up. Thank you, Jerome, for helping so many believe in themselves,” said Penticton MLA Dan Ashton.

Monique Tamminga

About the Author: Monique Tamminga

Monique brings 20 years of award-winning journalism experience to the role of editor at the Penticton Western News. Of those years, 17 were spent working as a senior reporter and acting editor with the Langley Advance Times.
Read more