Protecting lives, and a memory, is their mission


By Julie Osborne

His life has not been forgotten. Standing at his gravesite on the anniversary of his death on Aug. 5 with more than 100 people gathered there confirmed it.

Brett Finbloom, a Carmel High School 2012 graduate, made a bad decision which led to alcohol poisoning that ended his life one year ago. Since then his parents have been working tirelessly to spread their message of “Good Decisions” to local teens and parents so that others would not suffer a similar fate. Brett’s message and memory keep them going,

“When a parent loses a child what helps them get through it is that they will be remembered and also that something good will come out of it,” his mother Dawn Finbloom said.

In the past year, she and her husband, Norm, have been traveling to local schools and organizations to share Brett’s tragic story, reaching more than 13,700 people in the past year. They share their story, often with tears, but with honesty and a bold warning.

“Don’t make the same mistake Brett did. Underage drinking is dangerous. It can kill you,” Norm Finbloom said in a recent presentation, “Drinking makes even smart kids, like Brett, make stupid mistakes.”

Through their talks and in partnership with Promising Futures of Central Indiana, they also are promoting Indiana’s Lifeline Law, sponsored last summer by Sen. Jim Merritt. The Law is intended to encourage underage drinkers to “Make the Call, Get Help, Save a Life” to seek medical attention before it’s too late.

The Finblooms wish the teens present the night of Brett’s death would have made that call. But, despite their grief, they forge on knowing their message is making a difference.

“On New Year’s Day, a family appeared at our door to tell us their high school daughter ended up in a medical emergency due to drinking,” Norm said, “They told us her life was saved because her friend called for help due to what she learned about Brett Finbloom and the Lifeline Law. The parents wanted to say ‘thank you’ to us.”

Brett’s memory and message live on, and the many present at the memorial service were inspired, especially at the end of the service. As balloons were released with notes for Brett into the dark gray sky, rain poured down on the crowd. But, a few minutes later the sun broke through and a full rainbow stretched across the sky. The crowd was in awe and Dawn smiled and said, “We sent up balloons with messages and got a message back.”