Brianna Marie Brady celebrated two birthdays each year – her actual birthday on July 26 and her “gotcha day” on November 17, when her family adopted and brought her home. At a young age, Brianna convinced her parents that they were required to celebrate both days – with gifts.
As a child, Brianna was a typical, happy kid—she was curious, made friends easily, loved her family and was a good student. She enjoyed volleyball, being outdoors and sunrises and sunsets.
In her teen years, Brianna enjoyed a close-knit friend group. She was fiercely loyal and loved hanging with her friends, who were drawn to her kind heart, contagious laugh and infectious energy. She was just plain fun to be around. Brianna was a beautiful person inside and out who loved life and made the very most of it.
A young mother of two, she adored her children and had plans for their future together. But her disease—substance use disorder (SUD)—threw her perilously off track: Brianna started experimenting with drugs and using pain pills in her early 20s. That escalated to pills laced with fentanyl.
Her struggle with drugs mainly went undetected at first. Brianna maintained many of her closest friendships and had no run-ins with authorities. But her parents saw changes in her behavior, so they encouraged her to seek help.
Brianna completed a substance abuse rehabilitation program. But while waiting to transfer into a recovery home, she connected with an old acquaintance and used. Brianna died on August 24, 2021. She was 24.
Unicorns & Polka Dots is created in Brianna’s memory. We will collaborate with the very best resources available to make a difference. If we can help others turn their lives around and prevent another family from experiencing the pain associated with losing someone to addiction, we will build on that success.