courtney's mission

Purse-Impressions' Inspiration

Courtney Michaels' mission was to gift graduates from rehab with a purse that celebrates their accomplishments; allowing them to move forward with dignity, strength and the knowledge that someone cares.

Courtney Michaels was an amazing, beautiful and energetic girl. Courtney was bigger than life!

Daughter of Patricia (USA) and Michael (CDN) was born in Milton, Ontario on January 7, 1991. Courtney was baptized in the catholic church and attended the Dufferin Peel Catholic Schools from kindergarten through high school. After graduating early at 17 years old she attended Sheridan College in Oakville for a 2-year communication and marketing certification.

Courtney was 13 years old when her mother Patricia Brusha started her Online Marketing Company. Courtney’s bright green eyes were always filled with enthusiasm, laughter and joy. She wanted to be part of everything that was A Couple of Chicks and Online Revealed right from the start. She played an important role in the creation and growth of the business and all the clients knew Courtney.

She was smart, strong and had an infectious energy she shared with everyone around her.

Courtney loved to laugh, taking selfies, wearing sunnies, scrapbooking, chatting with friends and watching a good movie. (musical!) She loved all genres of music and couldn’t accomplish anything without a soundtrack running in the background. She loved dogs, cats, kids and maintained her childlike wonderment of the world. She believed in miracles and unicorns and loved frogs.

She sincerely cared about the people in her life. She had a habit of just reaching out spontaneously to let someone know she was thinking about them, cared about how they were doing or just wanting to tell them ………… she loved them.

She did, however, experience some difficult times in her short life. She spent time at the Renascent in Toronto, Canada, and Aurora Behavioral Health System in Tempe, AZ, in an effort to get better.

Suddenly and tragically at 28 years old, she was diagnosed with Stage 4 Cirrhosis of the liver from years of alcohol abuse. Both her liver and kidneys began to deteriorate at a rapid pace. Although her organs may have shut down, it was her addiction that took her life. Courtney was an organ donor and passed on her gift of sight and her skin after her passing. Courtney was extremely passionate in trying to help others, while she worked on herself, to be free of addictions.

In her way Courtney was very spiritual believing in signs (7/13), that things happen for a reason and learned from Big Daddy (Christie) to be sure to take a moment to appreciate the times when, “In these 5 minutes, everything was ok!” She loved her family. She loved her friends. She loved helping people and always offered a helping hand or a listening ear.

Before she left us, Courtney told her mother, Patricia, about an idea she had.

She didn’t like that women who graduated from Rehab often left there with their personal items in a plastic bag. She wanted better for them. She wanted those women to hold their heads high, to be proud of their amazing accomplishment and to leave with something that showed their value.

At that point, she thought she had won the battle and wanted to give back.

This is how Purse-Impressions came to be!

Purse-Impressions transforms the tragedy and heartbreak of losing a child from addiction into inspiration and compassion for others who are overcoming addiction in their own lives.

Patricia and her team of “Courtney’s Angels” volunteer their time and resources to gifting as many handbags as possible to women, and backpacks to men, leaving rehabilitation centers.

Off to a great start, Purse-Impressions gathered 400 purses (in lieu of flowers) and items to stuff in them for Courtney’s Memorial July 13, 2019. They were donated to the Renascent Centre who has approximately 400 graduates a year!

By the close of 2021 Purse-Impressions donated 3,000 purses and backpacks to 10 Rehab facilities in Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Virginia and Canada.

Beautiful Courtney… We all hope as you are looking down from Heaven, that you are able to see how much you are adored, admired, and so so loved.

Thank you for allowing your story to empower and inspire so many others, as you have walked in their shoes.

Love you to the moon and back! Forever!

Courtney M.: A Mother’s Loss, A Daughter’s Legacy

Courtney M. is a raw, relatable, must-read for anyone trying to understand the inner workings of a brain hijacked by drugs or alcohol. In this compelling and personal dual memoir, a daughter shares her recovery journey while a mother shares her heartbreak over losing a child. If you are an addict, you love one, or have lost one, you will see yourself on these heart wrenching pages.

Meet Courtney M., a charismatic young woman with a huge heart, stunning smile, infectious laugh…and a penchant for drinking. At the age of 24, she entered rehab for the first time and documented her journey, allowing a glimpse into the mind of someone trying to shed the skin of a poisonous addiction.

After 4 years of bearing witness to her daughter’s battle with alcohol abuse, Patricia, a recovering alcoholic herself, began recording the events that led to every parent’s worst nightmare. Tragically, Courtney lost her life to stage 4 liver cirrhosis after 6 months of hard-earned sobriety.

Patricia is left to face life without her beloved daughter. In the throes of an abysmal depression, she fights the urge to numb her grief with alcohol while trying desperately to manifest Courtney’s dream of helping addicts graduate rehab with dignity and determination.

Expanding on an idea Courtney had, Patricia discovers that a simple fashion accessory can turn tragedy into triumph and creates Purse-Impressions; a lasting legacy to Courtney…and the ultimate healing balm for her soul.