By Kimberly DeFalco
Lee Nuss traveled over 165 miles to Tampa with her niece Friday morning.
Clutched in her hand was the front page from a Daytona Beach News Journal. The publication date was March 2008. The face beneath the headline "Death by Rx" was that of her son Randall.
Nuss arrived at the University of South Florida's 10,441-seat Sundome at 8 a.m., 11 hours before the evening's Donald Trump Rally which was scheduled for 7 p.m.
The Palm Coast resident wanted Donald Trump to have the newspaper. She wanted the Republican presidential front-runner to help thousands of drug addicts before it is too late, as it was for her 18-year old son, Randall who died of an Oxycontin overdose in 2003.
In the 13 years since Randall's death, Nuss has fought continuously to bring awareness to the issue of prescription drug abuse. She said she has gotten nowhere. "I know Donald can help us," she said. "He cares about real people and he has real values."
Nuss joined 10,440 other Trump supporters inside the USF Sundome to listen to Trump's speech. An estimated two thousand were turned away at the door. Like Nuss, thousands brought items to share, to get signed. Like Nuss, they just wanted to be heard.
Lining up as early as 7 a.m. and waiting as long as 10 hours for the doors to open, supporters came from around the state representing groups including United States Veterans and Bikers for Trump. Thousands came with no agenda but to cheer Trump on.
Protesters including USF professors, alumni and students rallied to voice their disdain over Trump allegations of racism and sexism. At times, both sides clashed as Trump supporters yelled"Get a job!" to the protesters, a comment puzzling to them as most said they either work full-time or as students, hold one and two jobs.
Tampa Police Department reported no arrests.