BALTIMORE — Donna Bruce is a Peer Recovery Specialist who specializes in family.
Two years ago, she lost her son to a drug overdose. She created this fashion show as a way to connect with other parents who have also experienced loss and to show them its okay to keep living.
“It’s important because it’s always to honor our loved ones just because they are not here physically doesn’t mean that they’re not here in spirit,” says India Hayes.
Donna says its about more than fashion, its also about making sure parents to know they are not suffering alone.
“So just the connection of some of the mothers that were made here that will last forever its words that I cannot even describe,” says Donna.
Shay Brown-Brown is one of those mothers who lost her son Xavier in January from an overdose.
She says this year will be the first Christmas without him.
“The holidays is like very difficult right now I find myself tearing up in the shower. I find myself tearing up because it is time to put up Christmas decorations,” Brown says.
She says having the fashion show around the holidays makes it a little easier to bare.
Michelle Hines the mother of Isaiah Carter who was shot and killed near Patterson High School in March, says this event was the first time she felt like herself since his death.
“Like I needed it, this is the first time I actually tried to dress up you know so you don’t realize how much you have lost until people remind you that your no longer living.” she says.
Brown says the connection made at the fashion shows with the other grieving families is the biggest takeaway from the event.
“It just makes you feel that your not alone in this type of environment. So being apart of this is kind of like helping me to get over the loss of him. But I mean it’s still fresh,” says Shay Brown-Brown.
The show also included a panel discussion with parents who lost their children and a performance tribute to those loved ones who have passed.