KENOSHA -- A Kenosha mother committed suicide this past weekend, leaving her 20-year-old son with all the responsibilities of her funeral. The son can't afford it, but the man's law enforcement family is providing support.
Cory Brennan is set to graduate from UW-Parkside in December, with a degree in criminal justice. Then, he plans to join the Army in January. He says it's been rough since his mother's death, but his mom's passing is only driving him to succeed, for her.
Kenosha County Sheriff's Sgt. Bill Beth reported Friday, March 23rd that about $400 has been raised to provide support for Cory and help offset costs - most of that money coming from within the sheriff's department. Sgt. Beth said he expects there will be an outpouring of support, and says many have indicated they will be mailing checks.
Brennan's mother's funeral was held Friday, March 23rd.
Brennan says he's facing the most difficult challenge of his life - a life that hasn't exactly been easy: a broken family, no steady home and no steady income. "My parents got divorced roughly a couple months after I was born. My father came in and out of the picture. It was always just me and mom. We were bouncing from motel to motel, living out of the car. I can't even count on all my fingers and toes how many jobs she bounced around from," Brennan said.
Now, Brennan's mom is gone, leaving the man without a family, and responsible for all the bills. The costs are so high, Brennan couldn't even afford his mom's funeral. "What have I done wrong in my life to be put in a situation where I can't even bury my mom?" Brennan said.
On top of all this, Brennan is an active member of the local Explorer Post, a group of young adults who want careers in public safety. When Explorer Advisor Deputy Timothy Hackbarth heard what had happened, he began to search for answers. "Law enforcement in general is a very supportive community, and when one of your own is hurting, there's people there to help," Hackbarth said.
A single email message to a friend has spread across Wisconsin, and support is pouring in to help Brennan give his mother a proper burial and keep his dreams alive. "I've had chiefs of police from agencies I don't even know - people that have called me and have personally told me they want to help this young man," Hackbarth said.
Brennan says he can't say 'thank you' enough for it all, but wants to make one message clear: no one should ever feel so bogged down that they take their own life. "No matter how bad you think it is, there's always someone willing to help you. I just wish my mom could see all the support and how it's being given right now," Brennan said.
On top of funeral and burial costs, Brennan must still cover his mom's debts while putting himself through his final nine months of college at UW-Parkside. If you'd like to help Brennan, simply send a check to the Kenosha County Sheriff's Department in his name.