Who was Brent Shapiro? How was his life tragically cut short?
Brent Shapiro was born on November 7, 1980 to Robert and Linell Shapiro and later joined by his younger brother Grant. He grew up in Los Angeles. In a loving and privileged home filled with friends and family. He was a true athlete and loved sports, especially ice hockey.
From an early age, he struggled with attention deficit disorder and was prescribed Ritalin to diminish its effects. Brent’s problems with alcohol and drugs began in his early teens. Experimentation, typical of that age, turned into a battle for his life, literally. Over the next few years, he went to rehab several times.
In his early 20s, Brent turned his life around. He was finishing up at the University of Southern California (USC) on his way to law school. He had recently become engaged and been sober for eighteen months.
On the evening of October 9, 2005, Brent thought he could experiment. After a few drinks and half a tablet of Ecstasy he became ill. Thinking that he would simply “sleep it off”, no one thought to call 911 and have the paramedics come. Early the next morning he stopped breathing to the point that his face turned blue. When the paramedics finally arrived it was too late — he had already slipped into a coma never to recover. What would have been a routine visit to the emergency room turned into a tragic death. Brent Shapiro was buried a day and a half later.
The Shapiro family founded this organization as a means of honoring Brent, but more importantly, to do its part in creating awareness about this disease and halting its spread. It is our hope to spare other parents of the pain and grief that follows in its path.