Mom vows to continue pushing sober driving message after her son's death

PHOENIX (FOX 10) -- Attendees of Rock n' Roll Marathons may have seen a woman pushing a disabled young man in a running stroller. She's from the Valley and the young man is her son, Brandon.

In Early December, FOX 10's Jennifer Auh reported on Brandon. Back in 2001, Brandon got behind the wheel while intoxicated with his friends, and got into this major crash. Brandon's best friend, Adam, was killed in the crash.

"I felt terrible that Brandon's choice took Adam's life," said Cari, in FOX 10's story from December. "I felt terrible that Brandon made that choice. We had talked about drinking and driving."

On Monday, FOX 10 has learned that Brandon passed away overnight. Brandon has travelled hundreds of miles, with his mom literally pushing him to go farther. Cari Fonseca was also pushing a message about drinking and driving, and how it destroys lives.

Brandon suffered a brain injury and physical trauma that forced him into a wheelchair, but his mom got him moving again when she started running marathons.

Not everyone was inspired, but she kept running.

"One gal on Facebook said tragedy to triumph my bleep, he should be in jail," Cari recalled. "He is in jail. Serving a life sentence. Trapped in his body and mind."

It was Cari who started her own non profit called the Next Step Foundation - Team Brandon. She took brandon to Valley high schools and marathons to warn young people about the consequences of drinking and driving. Brandon would normally have been in the 2019 Rock n Roll Marathon, with his mom pushing him over the finish line. Instead, he was in a Valley hospital, battling RSV, a respiratory infection.

On Monday, Cari posted a devastating update on the Team Brandon Facebook page.

Click here if you can't see the post

Cari says she will continue to run the Next Step Foundation. Her sister has launched a GoFundMe, as the family works to get under crushing debt from medical bills that go back years, never mind this latest stay in the hospital.

GoFundMe for Brandon Gray