Our Mission

On May 12, 2012 Austin Brashears finished what is one of the most epic stories of all time: his life story. He lived colorfully and beautifully during his 21 years and painted pictures all over the world of his kindness, generosity, and positive spirit. We have decided to begin the stage of moving forward to embark on a grand adventure to create new memories with Austin every day. It can be something as little as trying a new flavor of coffee or going underwater go-cart racing in his honor. We invite you to play with us, laugh with us, and take risks with us. We encourage you to put your Austin foot forward and begin to live with Austin and his energetic spirit as your guide.

He needs our help to finish his epic adventure.

We’ll be posting our adventures here for you to read and hopefully be inspired by, but we want to hear from you too! When you do something amazing and incredible or just a little something you know that Austin would LOVE or appreciate, throw on your Austin merch (v-neck, tank, or bracelet) and take a picture! Write up a post and email it to us at doitforaustin@gmail.com and we’ll share it with everyone!

Have a great Austin Adventure Day,

Sage, Brittany, Cole, & Shannon

The Family

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Namm Naa La

Hello! For those of you who we haven’t met, Assalaamalekum! Our names are Stephen and Jenny. We are both students from Boston University who were fortunate to be friends with Austin. This world seems so small sometimes, as we both happened to end up in Senegal. Stephen graduated in May and got a volunteer position in Thies, Senegal with an NGO called Tostan. Jenny is spending the fall semester of her senior year in Dakar, Senegal.

In our overlapping time thus far, we have been lucky enough to meet up a few times. It’s such a strange but wonderful feeling to see someone from home in such a foreign place! This past weekend, we set out to spend a day at one of the beaches here, La Virage. However, we ran into some trouble with the locals harassing us Toubabs (white people) and couldn’t decide what to do. Then we made a spontaneous decision to crash the pool at the hotel nearby…but of course, felt too guilty to actually follow through. We ended up asking if we could pay to swim in their pool, and 5000 cfa later (almost $10, a hefty charge in Senegal!) we were splashing in the pool in true American fashion. Between work and school, we haven’t had any time to truly relax and be amongst friends, and this was the perfect way to spend the day. Austin’s presence was truly felt, with his bracelet on Jenny’s wrist and Stephen’s red Orientation backpack poolside.

When two Wolof-speaking Senegalese people see each other for the first time in a long time, one will typically say to the other Namm naa la which is often translated as ‘I missed you’, but, ask any Senegalese person and they will tell you that its meaning is much deeper than that. It refers to nostalgia, in the strongest sense of the word, nostalgia for times enjoyed together in the past. The response, Maa la raw, or ‘I missed you even more’, is a testament to those good times. Our afternoon at the pool in the immense capital of Senegal not only allowed us to unwind a bit, helped us to reflect on many of these good times we shared together with Austin and our many friends back home in Boston.

Jenny and Stephen 

Sunday, September 9, 2012

I walnut stop...with the tree puns

alternative titles:
"Maple we should leaf the puns aside, and get to the root of this post..."
and "Willow you appreciate more ash-tonishing jokes? Oak then"

Bet you can't guess who came up with those titles? Anyways, as you can see in the post before this one (here), my sister recently married her high school sweetheart at a beautiful ceremony in Aurora, OR. The day was an unforgettable celebration for us all and I was lucky to have Sage and Cole with me to experience it. For months the three of us had been talking about getting tattoos together but we struggled to find a time when we could all be together in one place. Lucky for us, Allie and Jeremy's good friend, Joe, is an incredible tattoo artist at a shop in Portland called Artwork Rebels. He worked with us on designs and managed to squeeze us in the morning after the wedding before Cole had to be at the airport to head to Australia.

The tree that Joe designed for me came out exactly like I imagined. Like several other people, I drew inspiration from the song that we sang at the service.

"Take a breath and soon I bet you'll see
Without you I would never be me
You are the leaves of my family tree"

I had never felt as alone as I did in the days immediately following the accident in New Zealand. I was up at school in Washington when I heard and I wanted so badly to be down in HB with family and friends but unfortunately it didn't work out that way. As difficult as the day of the memorial was for all of us, singing that song surrounded by such an incredible group of friends was the first time I felt like things might actually be okay in time and it helped me to realize how strong we all were. This tree was my way of not only keeping Austin with me, but also all of the people who came together to form such an incredible family in the face of such a tragedy.

This tree, to me, represents life. Austin has always had such a positive impact on my life and he continues to with each adventure he inspires me to be a part of. When I think of Austin I want to remember the remarkable way he lived his own life and not its end. It is too easy for me to dwell sometimes on the unfairness of this situation but in those rare moments of clarity, I feel incredibly lucky for having ever been able to call him one of my best friends. 

It seems the scars on my side have healed a lot faster than the scars of losing Austin, but it helps to know that I am a part of this family tree that is not only full of leaves, but an overwhelming amount of love, support, and of course adventure.


For years I watched people get tattoos and wondered if there would ever be anything that I wanted to have on my body for the rest of my life. Until May 12, 2012, there was nothing that even came close. A couple of days after we lost Austin someone mentioned tattoos. I knew right then and there that this was something I could live with forever. In fact, it started to feel like I couldn’t live without it. I didn’t know what exactly yet, but something that would remind me of Austin, the struggle of losing him, and the strength it’s going to take to keep moving forward.
Deciding to sing I Won’t Give Up by Jason Mraz at Austin’s service was one of the easiest decisions I've ever made. It was the very first song we listened to and we knew instantly that it was perfect because of the message to stay strong, stay positive, and move forward in every way we can.

 I was so struck by four words that come up repeatedly and are ultimately the last four words of the song: I’m still looking up. To me, these words said it all. In the midst of the worst thing that has ever happened to me, I somberly realized it would probably not be the last tragedy I would endure. I couldn’t fathom feeling any more pain than I had been feeling, but my strongest emotion was somehow still positivity (or at least some contorted form of it). I wanted to be okay. I wanted to keep moving forward with my life and adventuring and more than that, be better at everything. I wanted to make more of an effort to make each day count. I wanted to find a way to remember the happy times with Austin first and try to make the fact that he is gone a second thought.
I decided to put the words on my foot very simply because that is how I move. Whether I’m going backward or forward, it’s my feet doing the moving and now it’s usually my Austin foot propelling me forward.
The words from the second song we sang at the service "Without you I would never be me, you are the leaves of my family tree," were so perfect because we knew that no matter where our lives took us, we would be bound by this pain and this love forever. Undoubtedly, I would not be the same person I am today without the influences of Austin and the other members of my Family Tree. We have all lost one of the leaves ofour tree and while that is something that truly never goes away, it is something we can help each other cope with.
I'm in love with my tattoo and the way it has reminded me that I can do anything I set my mind to because I am strong and because I have the best support system in the world. <3

I am so proud to be a permanent, lifelong member of Team Austin.
Best.Team. EVER.

I've been dragging my feet writing this for a little over a month now. Not because I had nothing to say, or time to write it, but because I'm selfish. When I had Joe etch my wonderful, beautiful, painful tree into my ribs, I knew that forever and always you would be right here with me, and that little piece of you, was mine, and only mine. I could talk to you whenever I wanted, I could show you courage whenever I wanted, I could be scared with you, I could laugh with you, and cry with you: but most of all, it was a constant reminder that you were with me. Anyone who shared the memories we did, the time, the laughs, the adventures, would know that I'd get along just fine without a "reminder" but every time I look down and see my tree, my Morm tree, I love that I have something tangible to touch and feel, something that I can never lose, break, wear out, tear, my tattoo will be with me as long as I'm around. So cheers to you my friend, I think you finally got what you wanted, at least 4 girls, now permanently have a tattoo of you on their body! I know you're getting a kick out of it : )

With lots of love for our amazing family,
Brittany, Sage, & Cole

Wedding Crasher

A little over a year ago, Austin took one for the team and offered to ride with my sister on her road trip back to college after winter break. Volunteering to ride in the car with my sister for 20 hours speaks volumes about Austin's character, but that's another story. On their way from sunny Southern California to gray and chilly Bellingham, they stopped in Portland to recoup over night at the apartment that I shared with my boyfriend Jeremy. Jeremy hadn't spent much time with Austin prior to that visit, but he still talks about how much fun we had that night. You can read Brittany's post on oyster shooters for the whole story (http://doitforaustin.blogspot.com/2012/06/mmmtasty-but-sandy.html), but we all shared a lot of laughter that night over oysters and video game sword fighting.

Fast forward a few months...Jeremy proposed, I said "yes", and the wedding planning began. Brittany was there helping me all along the way, the perfect Maid of Honor. Jeremy and I had told her from the start that, "Of course you can bring Cole as your date" and "Sage is part of our family, you know she's invited". At some point I realized that I had forgotten to tell Britt that Austin was welcome to come. I called her right away to tell her to make sure Austin knew he was invited and that's when Britt said, "He was planning to crash the wedding anyway, but now he doesn't need to bring a lawn chair!".

When I heard about the accident-- among many other emotions--I couldn't help but selfishly think about the loss I would feel at our wedding. I knew that if Austin, Britt, Cole, and Sage were all at the wedding they would be the life of the party and they would have a great time because they were together. On wedding day there were multiple moments when I would suddenly think of Austin and how much I wished he'd been there, but here's the proof that nothing could keep him away.

We miss you Austin and I hope you were watching us from your lawn chair.

- Allison

Monday, September 3, 2012

Bridal Veil Falls- Not your everyday hike!

Well, I've been looking for something spontaneous and epic enough to post and during my entire stay in Utah i think this one by far takes the cake. Truly an Austin epic experience. Last friday I caught a break from work and i came home to my roommates packing up to hike bridal veil falls and camp at the old abandoned restaurant at the top of the mountain. I looked out the window, saw the clouds looked back at the roommates and they said "we'll be fine" i shrugged my shoulders and then said "why not", packed up my things in 20 min and we were on our way.
15 Minutes up the provo canyon and we were already at the base of the mountain. Its weird to think that I live 15 minutes from what id soon find out to be one of the sketchiest hikes of my life. From the very start in my head i thought it would have been a hike Austin would enjoy a lot. The hike itself was only about 5 miles, but it was 5 miles of straight up hill switchbacks filled with rick climbing up waterfalls hanging on to ropes and wire left from the few previous hikers that have actually hiked bridal veil. 3/4 of the way through the hike we came to a point where we needed to scale a 10 ft rock wall with a 30 lb pack on my back to get to the rope to pull myself up and scale another 35ft straight up to continue on the trail, so gnarly. Right when i though that i had just climbed the sketchiest point of the hike we'd get up another switchback and then there would be another point of the hike where id have to scale something suspended over 700 ft in there air. 
But i know without a shadow of a doubt Austin was there right behind me giving me that little extra push placing my feet and hands on the mountain where they needed to be so that id be able to summit the mountain. Unfortunately all the parts I mentioned i was unable to document due to the sketchiness of the hike i didn't have an extra hand to take a picture haha. We finally get to the end stretch which was a steel cable leading about 100 yards up the mountain at an 68 degree incline, everyone started to put on there repelling gloves but the girl in front of me decided not to so i thought to myself if she will be ok then i should be as well....big mistake. the wire was frayed in numerous places and its not something i could just let go of without rolling down the hill. After we finally get up that incline its about a quarter mile hike and the trail was 3 feet wide with mountain on one side and a sheer drop on the other side, and this was the mellow part of the hike. The destination we hiked to was an old restaurant that burned down and there was just the warped metal scaffolding left and a slab of concrete.
We all hung out hammocks we were going to sleep in crawled into them and tried to sleep because by the time we had got up there the sun had just set. I didnt get more than 30 min of sleep when I heard the first clash of thunder that woke me up. I looked over to my roommates Nolan and David and they both woke up too the lighting was a few miles away so we didnt worry too much that we were 1000 ft up on a mountain surrounded by metal at this point. So we all tried to sleep again while the rain drizzled down. The next time I woke up I was startled by thunder and lightening and this time the rain was POURING! We counted the time between the lighting flash and the sound of thunder to determine how far away it was actually striking, after a few minutes of trying to figure out if we needed to move or not we got down to about half a second in between lighting and the thunder clap well all unanimously hurried to a cave we spotted before setting camp to be sheltered from the rain and hopefully not have to worry about getting struck by lightening surrounded by metal haha. 
So that night in total all of us prob averaged about 1-2 hours of sleep at most. The next morning we woke up to beautiful sunrise over the mountains with partial cloud cover.....Then it started to rain again. So we decided we needed to go now or never because the storm was only about to get worse. We then hiked down what I thought was gnarly before, but now that everything was wet it was even 10 times harder. 
We got to to our first repel and i was soooo pysched there was a beautiful waterfall to the left and 

So we got to repel 200ft down it. It was such an incredible experience something id like to share with you all. I can picture me explaining this to Austin in much greater detail telling him how sketchy and how crazy fun the hike was and i cant imagine his response would be any different than "lets do it". I love you buddy miss you tons and ill keep on going on adventures and trips and anytime i have any doubt that ill be able to do it or if im being lazy or get pysched out ill always think to myself, Austin would go.

 Love Jeff