The mission of the Foundation, named after their niece Sadie Brett Boyer, who passed away from CHD (Congenital Heart Disease), is to raise awareness for Congenital Heart Disease (CHD) and fund research to advance treatment options. It is also their mission to spread the love and awareness that Brett filled the entire family with for the wonderful, capable people living with Down Syndrome.
Brett’s Barn, which is home to rescued horses, pigs, kangaroos, dogs, llamas, goats and more, was born of a promise Caroline made to then one-month-old Brett.
“Brett’s Barn is a product of grief. Oh, how I hate that word. Even more, the fear and darkness that loom all around. It’s the kind of pain you feel in every part, every inch, of your whole body. As much as you want the world to just stop turning, it doesn’t. Life goes on…with or without the ones we love,” Caroline shares on the foundation’s website. “Unfortunately, our family knows the feelings of grief all too well. We also know that we can choose 2 paths in life. One of bitterness/anger, or one of happiness and hope. We choose happiness over hurt. We choose to honor Brett, just as she continues to honor our family every day. We choose to help children, families, and precious animals. After Brett passed away, I decided to keep a promise I made to her when she was about a month old…a white pony! We found the pony at a local animal rescue facility. Along with the white pony, we adopted another pony, goat and pig. Over the next few months, the barn continued to grow. The promise I made to Brett, for one white pony, quickly turned into a full-blown miniature animal farm! Brett’s Barn now has over 20 animals! We are discussing various ways of expanding and, hopefully, be open to the public someday. We love these animals and the amazing children that come visit. It’s truly a special place and we can feel Brett’s spirit there every single day.”
The pair have raised a lot of money and awareness through benefits and donations, and Luke is excited about what’s to come for the organization. “When we lost our niece Brett, Caroline had the idea to, yeah, let’s do a barn in her memory. We wanted to make it about, we lost Brett to Congenital Heart Defect and so many kids out there have this condition and so we partnered up with some folks at Vandy and we get a lot of Vanderbilt kids to come to the barn and see the animals. But it’s not just about one hospital or one organization. We’ve had St. Jude, we’ve had kids come out, if it’s something that touches our hearts, Caroline and our Foundation – The Brett Boyer Foundation – it gets to us and we try to make a really special moment for the kids and the families. It’s been something that is very, very important to us and we’re excited about the years to come and what we will be able to do.”
Find out more about the Brett Boyer Foundation and Brett’s Barn HERE and meet some of the special animals below!
Brett’s Barn Residents in Pictures
Apple the Pig
Brett’s Barn is such a place of joy and we’re so happy for the kids that get to visit this amazing place. Keep up the good work, Luke and Caroline! Share this closer look with other fans and take a tour of the Bryan’s Tennessee property.