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Please help the Brennan family

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Thank you for visiting the fundraising page for PJ Brennan & his family. I’m Nik James, best friend to PJ & Jennifer & godfather to their three children, Jackson, Mason & Kelsey. Over the past year or so, the Brennan family has been hit with a series of unfortunate events, one after another, culminating in PJ having a major “Stemi” (aka “widow maker”) heart attack last Saturday. We almost lost him. For those of you that know PJ, you know we would’ve lost a good one & someone that brings joy & laughter everywhere he goes.

Thankfully, Jennie got him to Hoag in time and he pulled through, but not before the nurses had to shock his heart with a defibrillator to restart it and then rushed him to surgery to have stents placed in two of his arteries to open up some major blockages. He’s home now convalescing and trying to avoid stress as much as possible, which as we all know, especially these days, is a near impossible feat to accomplish.

PJ and his wife, Jennie, have always been active in their community, donating their time, money and services whenever possible to various communities in their area, such as Jennie providing free photography services to CHOC hospital every year and PJ coaching numerous children’s sports teams over the years. PJ also currently sits on the board for the Newport Harbor High School football program and Jennie has been the team photographer for the last few years. They are both very proud people and would never ask for help on their own, so I decided to create this GoFundMe on their behalf.

Two days after PJ returned home from the hospital after several days in the Hoag Cardiac ICU, his oldest son, Jackson, was taken in for sinus problems and had surgery the very next day. Unfortunately, this was Jackson’s second surgery in the last 6 months as earlier this year he tore his ACL in his opening game, which required ACL reconstruction surgery. He hadn’t even finished rehab for the first surgery when the second surgery became necessary.

Mason, the Brennans middle child, had a tough year as well, as he was involved in an ebike accident resulting in a broken jaw & a split chin that required 20+ stitches. As has been the norm for the Brennans over the last year, Mason then broke his wrist in a pop Warner game a few weeks later.

These past 12 months have been more than challenging for the Brennans. The constant medical bills and stress related to all the health issues have taken a major toll on their spirits, as well as their bank accounts. In addition to all the health issues mentioned above, one of their two vehicles blew its engine earlier this month, but being that the warranty had just recently ended and a new engine is very expensive for a Chevy Suburban, it has not been drivable since the engine failure leaving five people with multiple health issues only one car to attend numerous doctors appointments and physical therapy sessions. Jennie has been an absolute trooper as always, doing her best to take care of the family through these tough times, but has been spread thin, as she has also been supporting her mother and brother, who have ovarian cancer & leukemia respectively.

To say this past year has been overwhelming would be a drastic understatement. Had I not been there to witness setback after setback, I wouldn’t know about most of this, as the Brennans have done everything they can to maintain and keep moving forward, but I know there are a lot of people in the community, both here in Southern CA & back east in PJ’s hometown of Boston, who have been friends with the Brennans for many years. They are in a beyond challenging situation and are starting to drown in medical bills. They could really use all of our support. This is a chance to show good people they’re loved and cared for the way they’ve shown others over the years. Any amount helps and would be greatly appreciated. Thanks for your time & support.

P.S. Hopefully Jennie doesn’t kill me for posting this. Like I said, proud people.



  • Tara Esperanza
    • $50 
    • 1 yr
  • Lonnie Voss
    • $50 
    • 1 yr
  • Anonymous
    • $100 
    • 1 yr
  • Ashley Stowers
    • $50 
    • 1 yr
  • Brian McDonough
    • $200 
    • 1 yr

Organizer and beneficiary

Nik James
Mission Viejo, CA
Patrick Brennan

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