Rasaan Brooks, 21, a senior business administration student from Philadelphia, died Saturday evening due to kidney failure.
Brooks was diagnosed with kidney disease at the age of two, and had received dialysis for the past two years.
Rossi Brooks, Rasaans father, donated a kidney to Rasaan with hopes that it would cure him of the disease. A procedure that normally would take two weeks for the new kidney to work properly, took Rasaan six weeks.
His parents decided at that point, they would not let his illness take hold of his life.
“We wanted to make sure that we normalized Rasaan’s life,” said Cynthia Brooks, Rasaan’s mother. “We let him do anything that he felt he could do. And he did it.”
His family described him as a “confident, yet quiet and humble” person.
“He was a homebody,” said Brooks’ younger sister, Rashida.
“We didn’t really know about this other life that he had at Florida A&M, because he’d come home on the weekends, and just be Rasaan.”
“I’m honored to have shared him with the world, because he was such an amazing person.”
Brooks was active in various organizations including SGA, Hatchett Pre-Law Society, as well as Campus Ministries. He maintained a 3.2 GPA and volunteered with the Tallahassee Shelter, MGA Architectural Firm, and the Florida Black Legislative Caucus.
The SBI faculty agreed that Brooks was definitely a bright and positive individual.
“He never complained about anything,” said Doris Corbett, Director of Internships. “He had a strength of character that was heartwarming and an inspiration to all.”
H.B Pinkney, a coordinator in SBI, had a close relationship with Brooks. He recalls his last words with Rasaan while walking to his car Friday before his death.
“He talked with me for about a minute or so and told me ‘one day, I’m going to get me a Benz too’,” Pinkney said.
“He smiled, and that was the last time I saw him.”
Students shared similar memories of Rasaan.
“My freshman year, we went to the FAMU formal together, and he was an absolute gentleman,” said Keesha Dunbar, 22, a fifth year business administration student from St. Petersburg.
“He was truly one of God’s children.”
A memorial service is set for Tuesday, April 15 to honor and celebrate Rasaan’s life.
Rossi Brooks said he does not want people to remember his son simply for his reputation of being a “sweet” and “good” kid.
“I want people to know that Rasaan’s life had a message, and that he had a love for the Lord,” he said.
“His essence was one that disarmed negative people because he never took, he always gave back.”
Aricka Foreman can be reached at Aricka_Foreman@hotmail.com