Meaningful Living, RIP

Remember Alex Brown

February 1, 2011
Alex Brown

My blog post today is dedicated to the memory of Alex Brown. Alex Brown was a Texas teenager who was full of life. While texting and driving on her way to school in November 2009, she lost the control of her truck which then flipped – ejecting her.

Alex Brown

After being alerted that her daughter hadn’t made it to school, Alex’s mother Jeannie set out to find her. She found Alex and the wrecked truck alongside a road; Alex had died from her injuries.

“Although no other vehicles were involved, Alex was not alone,” Jeanne writes on the Remembering Alex Brown Foundation’s official website. “The cell phone on which she had sent and received over 10,000 text messages in the weeks preceding her accident was with her.”

The Foundation was started by Alex’s parents after her death to bring awareness and educate others about the dangers of texting while driving. The Browns decided to start the Remember Alex Brown Foundation the day she died. “I chose to do it that day at the hospital,” her father Johnny Mac says. “We have to put the wrecked truck on a trailer and we have to go to schools and tell people about the dangers of texting and driving.”

Remember Alex Brown Foundation

Seventeen-year-old Alex Brown epitomized the All-American girl — beautiful, smart, vivacious and beloved by everyone who knew her. Tragically her life and her dream of a career in broadcast journalism were cut short due to an accident arising from texting while driving..

The Brown’s are really an amazing family — Jeanne, Johnny Mac and their daughter Katrina. They absolutely have had one of the most tragic situations, losing their child Alex to a texting while driving accident. They have moved beyond their own personal grief, realizing that the message is more impactful than their grief. They want to spread the message about the dangers of texting while driving to teens and their families, hoping that others do not have to go through what they have suffered. The fact that they lost a child and they were immediately able to take a message and move forward with it just testifies to the integrity and the character of this family.

Katrina Brown speaking to high school students

The Browns travel around Texas to local high schools with Alex’s wrecked truck on their flat-bed trailer to remind young people of the dangers of distracted driving. Their goal is simple: They want to save lives.

Alex Brown's wrecked truck

Dedicated to making sure no other family suffers such heartbreaking loss, the Browns turned their tragedy into something constructive. Remember Alex Brown and help the Brown family by taking the pledge to not text and drive.

thesalesfactory, a local marketing agency, has been working hard behind the scenes of yesterday’s edition of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.  The episode centers on raising awareness of the fight against texting and driving, as a home is built for the Brown family. The Brown family was featured on Oprah last year, in the episode that launched the national pledge against texting and driving.

In preparation for the show, thesalesfactory has helped the family develop the Remember Alex Brown Foundation (R.A.B. Foundation) and has donated their time and talent to create the foundation’s brand, website and marketing/social media campaign to raise awareness. The new R.A.B. Foundation website was created by thesalesfactory as a surprise for the Brown family and was revealed to them during the taping of yesterday’s show.

“I have young children, so the Brown family’s story really hit home for me,” said Ged King, president of thesalesfactory. “In addition to helping a good cause, working on this project and developing the foundation has inspired our entire team to sign a pledge to not text and drive.”

Mike Fowler, thesalesfactory’s account director for Palm Harbor Homes, said, “It has been a tremendous experience for us to help the Remember Alex Brown Foundation get up and running, and we’re excited to see what happens after Sunday’s show when the website is officially launched to millions of viewers.”

Fowler and other team members from thesalesfactory were in Texas during the entire project as the home and foundation were built simultaneously. Last week, leading up to the show on Sunday, the Brown family, Palm Harbor and thesalesfactory team were on the road with the Remember Alex Brown Tour, traveling throughout Texas to promote the R.A.B. Foundation and a new song by Mark McGuinn called ‘Til You Got Home, which was inspired by Alex’s story. The song was aired on Sunday’s Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.

“I’m very proud of our team for all of their hard work and creativity in helping to make the Remember Alex Brown Foundation a reality,” said King. “Mike Fowler has been an inspiration to our team throughout this process as he worked with the client and the Foundation to bring everything together in time for the show.”

The message of “no texting while driving” is not only for teens but for everyone.

You can take the pledge “No texting while driving.”  And wear a RAB thumb band that stands for “Remember Alex Brown” so that every time you pick up your phone, the little orange band reminds you “Do not text while you drive.”  Don’t text and drive.  It is so dangerous. It kills!

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