On November 5, 2016, the life of Matthew Brennan was lost to a fatal overdose of Heroin. Matthew left behind 2 beautiful daughters, Allison (20yrs) and Harper (9mo). Allison is blessed with memories of her father. Harper will never remember her daddy. She will never remember the sound of his voice or feel the touch of his hand. Her daddy will not be there to wipe away her tears, make her smile, or cheer her on through life. He is deeply missed by his family, friends and the countless lives he touched along the way. Matthew had a unique charm about him, a wit, a swag that came natural. When he arrived, you knew. He lit up the room and made friends wherever he went. Though he often had a smile on his face, he was not always happy.
Matthew came from a broken home not only from his biological father but again with his stepfather. He had little to no communication with his biological father which haunted him all his life, only to suffer mental, physical and verbal abuse from his step father, which ended in his mother divorcing.
Matthew began to experiment with drugs at a young age which contributed to challenges he faced throughout his life. In a hard-working single parent family with a young daughter at home now at the age of five (5) and no father to guide them, Matthew’s mother struggled to help her teenage son find his way. In time she began to feel hopeless as their troubles only grew worse. Emily, her little girl became worried and sad, asking questions she was too young to understand. The family turned to Kids Like US (KLU).
KLU is a counseling support group for families in Frederick County who are directly impacted by substance abuse. The program is for grades 4th through 8th and provides help from specially trained counselors helping the youth. The program meets during school hours, and also has excellent summer camps. It is offered at several schools throughout Frederick county and there is NO COST to families. The support of this program greatly helped the family and they are thankful to have been a part of it.
If Matthew had been part of the Kids Like Us program perhaps there would have been a different outcome; but being 8 years older than his sister, he was never able to participate. As time passed and the years went by Matthew continued to experiment, as an adult and eventually, although his family wasn't aware of it, he became addicted to prescription opiates in his early 30's. In time this graduated to Heroin. Although his family knew there was a problem, he would hide the extent of it from his loved ones for a long time; he would never admit there was a drug problem other than the occasional drink or smoking pot. The family endured a lot of pain, trying to help, not knowing what direction to turn. Matthew was embarrassed and ashamed and would not admit to his addiction to Heroin and opiates. Matthew would eventually go to Rehab, for thirty days. Soon after coming home from Rehab, he found he was going to be a father again. His daughter was born and when she was only a few months old, Matthew found himself back in Rehab, this time for 45 days, still not enough time to recover from this disease; but when Matthew came out of Rehab this time he was ready to make things different and had a different attitude. He did everything he was supposed to do; he spent time with his family; spent countless hours with his daughter whenever he could, weekends, after work etc., he attended classes for his job; mandatory meetings for his job which he loved with the elevator union, studied for tests in order to move up at his job; he attended church, went to counseling, attended NA meetings and saw his probation officer on a regular bases which were mandatory; lived in a sober house, etc. He worked long hard hours, he would wake at 4:00 a.m. and many times not finish with his day until 8:00 p.m. He was determined and committed to getting well and being a good father to his daughters. His family was very hopeful and thought he had his life back in control. Unfortunately, the "grip" that Heroin had on him was too strong. After months clean, he relapsed. Matthew’s family would like to give back to KLU. They would like to raise money to make a donation in his memory. Please help us raise money to support other families in similar situations. Help these children break the cycle of addiction so they can grow to be strong adults. So many families are struggling with addiction. Many of them are ashamed and embarrassed to speak about it. They keep it a secret and choose to face it alone and feel isolated. This program helps them connect with others dealing with the same struggles and to know that they are not alone. KLU has been supporting families and youth for many years.
Please find it in your heart to donate to this program and help children in need at an early age. Lets educate our children early so they do not become addicts. Let's teach them to say No, and why it is so important. Our prayers go out to all families who suffer in similar situations. Kids Like Us can help!