Brittany Patricia Rose was born March 29th of 1998 and through her childhood she experienced all the love and joy of growing up in a great big family of support.  She was curious and active and loved to learn new things that she found around every turn in life.

As a young girl she began dancing and competed in tap, jazz and pom.  She loved being part of the team she would practice over and over and when the competition would come, she took the time to support her teammates and rally them up to shine!  When her sister started playing hockey, she went to watch her practice, before long she wanted to try it out.  Well, there would be no more dancing, no more tutus and dance shoes.  From then on only hockey skates and helmets would do!

The end of her first season of hockey it was her turn to strap on the goalie pads and from that moment on she was a goalie!  She loved being between the pipes.  She spent many nights in her gear begging me to throw things at her so she could stop them from hurling into the TV.  Over the summer she was a catcher for softball, but she longed for hockey season to come.

Soon a Purple Ninja was born, she was a tiny Goalie in the net but was so quick and could stop nearly everything that came at her. Little did many know she was battling more than just the puck.  Off the ice Brittany was hiding behind her mask a mental illness that all of us that loved her had no idea just how deep it went.

Though her teens she was the All-American girl a strong, athletic, gorgeous, daughter, sister, student and friend to all yet she fought harder than anyone should ever have to fight.  I often explained to people she was fighting a stage 4 mental health condition because even when she was fighting so hard against her own brain, she had the brightest smile for everyone else.  She took the time to help and listen to others because she knew just how awful it felt to feel that way.  She knew that the hardest battle to fight was against her own brain.

We fought so long against this terrible disease and fought for every treatment we could find, sadly on March 24th of 2016 Brittany Patricia Rose took her life just 5 days before her 18th birthday.  As her Mama I wore my armor into a battle to fight for the help she needed and used this BIG mouth to do it.  In that moment on March 24th, all my armor was gone, I had no words, the world was black and white.

That night when the first bouquet of flowers arrived, I knew Brittany would be so mad, because people would just be wasting money when we could be helping people.  We immediately stepped into action and set up a fund, which would become Fight Like A Ninja.

As I cried many tears they turned into armor and that armor has carried me from helping in Brittany’s battle to help others fight the war on mental health and suicide.  We do this with the Fight Like A Ninja Foundation.  We bring girls together to play hockey, a game we all love and help families start conversations.  If there’s one thing I learned all those years being a hockey Mom, when you get your kids in a car long enough on a road trip sooner or later you get to talking.  If we have a hockey tournament with a topic, we can help start a conversation in that car ride!

Fight Like A Ninja helps start conversations during the hockey tournament, we also take opportunities to reach out in this amazing community with our Shamrock Shakes 4 Brittany Campaign and have added on Brownies 4 Brittany and even worked with the Stampede for a Mental Health night and Sioux Falls City Soccer Club.  We are honored to travel throughout the US to talk to many hockey teams, soccer teams and parents about the importance of this conversation.

Brittany Patricia Rose “The Ninja” brought this world so much love and light for the 17 years, 11 months and 14 days of her dash, at the end of our lives we all get the same dash between our dates, so make the most of what you put into it!

Through grief the best lesson I have learned is the heavy things are best carried together.  I have been honored to have met and got to know the Longley family and help with some of their heavy lifting. 

When I first met Leigh, I remember telling her a broken Mama heart will never heal and it sees another broken Mama heart in a way no one else can.  Together we are working on a project to honor Ben and Brittany and so many other children that fought battles they shouldn’t have had to.  Stay tuned for more information on how Mama’s helping Mama’s will be helping others.