Warrior Stories: In Heaven

In Loving Memory: Brayden Odell

From Brayden’s Mother:

Until January 22nd, 2021, our 11-year-old Brayden led a healthy and vibrant life. He adored school, cherished his siblings, friends, and family, and exuded generosity and compassion. Brayden found joy in skating outdoors and playing PS4 in our room. Then, out of the blue, he entered the living room complaining of a severe headache. In a matter of moments, he slipped into a coma, catching us completely off guard.

His final words were a poignant question, “Mommy, am I going to be okay?” I offered reassurance, though there was no way to anticipate what was to come. A 911 call was made, leading to a four-hour brain surgery. The surgery revealed that Brayden had experienced a ruptured Arteriovenous Malformation (AVM) in his cerebellum—a condition he had carried since birth, its growth mirroring his own. Despite a surgical success, Brayden’s intracranial pressure remained unstable. He waged a valiant fight, supported by his family and community, known as #TeamBrayden. Yet, despite his heroic struggle, we tragically lost our cherished son and brother to cardiac arrest on January 27th, 2021..

In Loving Memory: Cole Mason

From Cole’s Mother:

“Cole, my beautiful child, was always so perfect, unique, and spirited. He had a larger-than-life presence. His laughter and enormous heart left an impact on everyone he encountered. Cole’s light radiated for all to see. He possessed an innate ability to offer the right words to his friends in any situation, displaying a wisdom about life, love, and kindness beyond his years. He ensured the happiness and well-being of those around him. He taught countless individuals the meaning of unconditional love and genuine friendship.

Cole was truly a remarkable person—silly, intelligent, joyful, and unapologetically vibrant. His distinctive red hair could be spotted from afar, and his infectious laugh could be heard just as clearly. I could recount endless amusing anecdotes about Cole, as I have a multitude of playful videos capturing his exuberant laughter. My home is filled with these memories. He was my confidant, the one who told me he loved me countless times each day and who still held my hand at the age of 15. Cole was my child, my precious baby. He will always be MY Cole. That’s how I’ll forever remember him.”

In Loving Memory: Wyatt Pensis

From Wyatt’s Mother:

“Wyatt James Pensis was the most loving, caring 7 year old boy. He loved helping others in their time of need. He loved hot wheels, legos and Pokémon. Coming home from baseball practice Wyatt and his brother headed to the shower when Wyatt started to complain his head hurt. 

He collapsed and was rushed to the hospital. After many tests it’s was confirmed that Wyatt had a hemorrhagic bleed from a very large AVM. He was too unstable to continue treatment. On March 22, 2023 we held our son while he took his last breath. Wyatt will forever live on through us, his parents and his little brother. As his family we feel drawn to spread the word about AVM awareness.”

In Loving Memory:
Amberley Jo-Lynn Faith Arter

From Amberley’s Mother:

“Amberley “Am” fell ill very quickly on August 7, 2020. In a matter of 15 minutes, she went from completely healthy to completely unresponsive. She said, “I’m dying,” “don’t cry mommy,” “daddy,” gave my mom a thumbs up, and never regained consciousness. We were told she had an Arteriovenous Malformation (AVM) that ruptured in her brainstem. 

Life support was removed on August 16, 2020, and we let our girl run eternally free. Amberley was so intelligent and witty; there was never a dull moment as she was growing up! She radiated light, love, beauty, and was undeniably sassy. She was awarded by her first-grade teacher for her caring, kindness, and willingness to help other students. 

I want people to remember the light Amberley brought into a room. Her laughter while singing and dancing through the house. One year to the date before she passed, she said, “When you find yourself in a hopeless hole of doom, find hope in your heart.” and just a couple days after that she said, “Just Breathe and Believe.” We wrote them down because it was just so profound for someone her age to say, little did I know at the time she was giving me the words I needed to carry on. I will miss you and love you every day, until we run into each other’s arms in heaven my sweet Amberley.”

In Loving Memory: Martina Borrelli

From Martina’s Mother:

Martina Borrelli turned 20 on November 20th 2022, and on November 24 at 10pm our lives changed forever. She complained of a headache and within 45 min she was gone due to an undiagnosed AVM Rupture. Martina was very bright, creative and talented in the arts. She always wanted to be a YouTube star and already had her very own channel.

She was set to start school in Media Art at Concordia University in Montreal and will forever be our princess. You can watch her channel to truly understand who our angel was. Her last video “who wins in a fight “ is so funny , she had completed the night she had her bleed but never posted it, so I {Her Mama} posted it for her with a tribute…

In Loving Memory: Zach Herrera

From Zach’s Mother, Gwen Herrera:

Zachary Michael Herrera passed away due to a ruptured AVM on July 22, 2016. Zach was a 16 year old high school football player who loved the game. He was a young, funny, big hearted, talented, special young man who had a ton of great friends and a family who loved him deeply.

The day of his brain bleed was the first heard of an AVM. He said he had a headache, and then he said he was dizzy and could not see. Although he survived emergency surgery,  Zach’s left side of his brain was irreversibly damaged. Zach lived one week after being taken off of life support.  He passed away on July 22, 2016 at 6:15am. After we lost Zach. #ZachStrong #40 was everywhere.

Note: To have your AVM Warrior featured here, please contact info@avmalliance.org

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