Bradley Alexander LeNard, age 23, brother, son, grandson, and friend will be remembered by his giant, kind spirit. He loved cars, playing with his dog Iris, spending money, being funny, eating good food, working hard and playing even harder. One of the healthy things Bradley did was work on cars and draw pictures. He was incredibly gifted and he built his own car from scratch. He was smart even though all he got was his GED.
When he was a child, his favorite thing was chocolate kisses and uncrushed doritos. If it was not a complete dorito, he wouldn’t eat it. He was that kind of baby boy. Oh, and he only liked name brand things. He has always had expensive taste. He adored his older sister, L., and they would tell people that they were twins, and people believed them. But every now and then he would side with his older brother Aj, and L. would be furious. Aj wants everyone to know that Bradley owes him money. Apparently, he owed a lot of people money. o.o
Each summer until Bradley turned about 8, we would visit our family out on the Rez in Nevada and we would all fight over the window seats. We would drive the 12 hours in one sitting and music was our refuge. Bradley would end up living a year in Nevada when he was about 14, because of his drug problems, and when we got him back he had a huge growth spurt. We had missed him incredibly.
Bradley’s addictions began when he was young. He was 11 when he was paired with an older student through a “mentorship” program. Through his mentor he was introduced to drugs. This is where we feel like the school system failed us and many families that go through similar issues. Due to getting involved in these kinds of addictive substances so young, it was basically all he ever knew. This made quitting hard, and he tried. He was a people-pleaser and this led him to be taken advantage of many times. We hope that the mistakes he made inspires his loved ones to not die the same way he did. Seek out the help you need. We can not handle another drug inflicted death.
Nobody should have to live in such pain. Nobody should be so trapped by the cycle of depression and destructive coping mechanisms, yet that is where a lot of people exist. We wish Bradley was more brave to ask for help. It is not weakness, but strength to ask for the help you need, and we wish he did this.
To name some of the big isms that touched our family. We believe that colonialism and the “self made” culture was the murderer in this painful story (drugs being only a symptom of this world). Would he have died if he had his native heritage and wisdom from nature not ripped away from him? Would he have died had the school he went to been better funded? Would he have died if his parents had worked less and he got more attention? Would he have died had he not started doing drugs so young? We can ask all the what if that we want, but we know that there is no true way of knowing.
All we can do is work for the future. To strive to fix the broken systems that got my brother to where he ended up.
What we will remember is his smile, his sense of humor, his silliness, and most of all his complete sweetness. He always helped people in need. He was an absolute genius. He was an amazing soul that was taken from his loved ones far before his time and his energy will continue to be a light inside all of us.
Partners for Hope raise critical funds on behalf Partnership to End Addiction – the nation’s leading organization dedicated to addiction prevention, treatment and recovery. Every dollar raised on behalf of the Partnership* will help ensure free, personalized family support resources, including our national helpline, peer-to-peer parent coaching, customized online tools and community education programs, can reach those who need them most. Please consider donating to this fundraiser and sharing this page.
*Donations made to Partnership to End Addiction are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law. All contributions are fully tax-deductible, as no goods or services are provided in consideration in whole, or in part, of any contribution to this nonprofit organization. EIN: 52-1736502