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Kemp honors late Reinhardt student's bravery, selflessness

A Reinhardt student who lost her life in July after an accident at an equestrian event was honored by the office of Gov. Brian Kemp Monday for her bravery and determination to put others before herself.

Family and friends of Breanna Chadwick visited the governor’s office Monday to receive a commendation honoring her memory and lasting legacy. Her parents, Heath and Kristy Chadwick, her sister, Kirstin Chadwick and her friend, Gracie Mixson met Gov. Brian Kemp and Georgia First Lady Marty Kemp.

The commendation recognized her selfless act that took place in July when, at an equestrian event supporting her sister, a rider lost control of their horse, leading to the horse running at almost full speed into a gate where spectators were close by. Breanna Chadwick was one of the people at the gate and, in an effort to help those around her rather than herself, assisted them to safety, according to the commendation. She died from her injuries shortly after. The commendation also acknowledges that Breanna Chadwick was an organ donor and was able to save more lives after her passing.

Her achievements at both Cherokee High School and Reinhardt University, where she was a student, were also acknowledged. She had a strong connection with children and was studying to be a third-grade teacher upon graduating. The commendation also acknowledges her service to her friends and loved ones as “a source of encouragement and uplifting.” “It was my understanding that the governor’s wife is an ex-schoolteacher and she saw the story and it just led from there,” Heath Chadwick said. “It was incredible — (Kemp) and his wife were incredible. You could tell it was sincere and not a ‘I’m doing this because I should’ situation. There were tears shed...I thought this was pretty special.”

The Chadwick family has set up a foundation and website in honor of Breanna to continue her legacy of giving back to schools, kids and families in the community through events, sponsorships and scholarships. The website has information on the foundation, as well as future fundraising events. For more information, visit

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