WHO WE ARE
Brock was diagnosed with Crohns Disease and PSC, an auto-immune liver disease when he was just ten years old. We knew since then that a liver transplant would be in his future, hoping against odds that he would grow to be an old man before that day came. He was a fun, happy, energetic, smart young man.
Brock lived most of his life without many people even knowing that he was sick. In high school, he played saxophone and traveled with the school band, and he swam competitively on country club and school swim teams. When Lance Armstrong beat cancer, Brock put BROCKSTRONG, in big strong letters across the back window of his car. He learned to play guitar and played in bands with friends and at work. He hung out with friends, spent way too much money on comic books and shoes, chased girls, went to the Community College, and worked at Van Boerum & Frank Associates, all while fighting intermittent times of worsening health.
Brock’s name was added to the list for transplant during his Senior year in high school, and the summer of 2012 he really took a turn for the worse. He spent that September (including his 21st birthday) in the intensive care unit at Intermountain Medical Center, with all of us hoping, praying for a live-saving donor liver. Eight days after he turned 21, on September 28th he died.
We were always told that some people die while waiting for transplant, but never imagined it would be this young, vibrant kid. Never imagined that it would happen in OUR family. Even that last month in the hospital when Brock was so sick, the nurses kept telling us, “Don’t lose hope. We’ve seen patients much sicker than this … and within days of transplant they are so much better. Once he gets that liver he is going to feel better than he ever remembers feeling. He probably doesn’t even know what it feels like to be well!” We put our hope and faith in what they said, in the excellent care that he was getting, and in the goodness of people and families to choose to be organ donors. Sadly, it was not to be.
As a mother, I had the wonderful opportunity to have Brock work with me at Van Boerum & Frank, and will be forever grateful for the extra time that I had with him because of it. I had the chance that few parents do, to watch him turn into a man in the workplace as he interacted with my work friends. As part of a ‘get healthy’ campaign at VBFA, the company planned a 5K, and someone suggested that we do it as a fundraiser for Intermountain Donor Services in Brock’s honor. It was heart-warming and healing to see how many of our friends and family showed up in support, and the success of that event got us thinking.
As we struggled with loss and grief, our family finally decided that we needed to do something different – to find something good, and with the support of Van Boerum & Frank, we established the BrockStrong Foundation. Our goals are simple 1) to increase awareness of the need for organ donation, and 2) to provide private music lesson scholarships for young people who, due to financial need, would not otherwise have that opportunity. Brock played the saxophone and the guitar, and it was a source of great joy in his life. We work closely with local schools with disadvantaged populations and are pleased to be providing music lessons to some fine young people.
I thank you for your interest. For spending time today to learn about the need for organ donation. For hearing this story. I encourage you to consider becoming a donor yourself, and I invite you to join us in support of Brock.
OUR GOALS ARE SIMPLE
1- Provide music lessons for kids who wouldn't be able to afford it.
2- Increase awareness of the need for organ donation