After LaViza Lockwood is born her mother notices something is wrong, but doctors cannot detect a problem. It is not until LaViza becomes a walking toddler that she is diagnosed with Osteogenesis Imperfecta (OI), also known as brittle bones. This debilitating bone disease causes LaViza countless fractures, numerous surgeries, and several months of hospital stays. But she still manages to do what others in her environment are doing-gambling, drinking, drugs, and sex, all prior to being of legal age.
LaViza's mother is single, with three children. She has several nervous break downs, which causes her to attempt murder and suicide. Unable to maintain employment, government assistance becomes her only source of income. As a result, her best option for residency is to live in the Wellrock Gardens' housing projects.
Many of LaViza's family members and friends succumb to substance addictions in order to cope with living in poverty and fear. However, LaViza's biggest fear of becoming entangled in the vicious cycle of generational poverty, crime, and addiction is what makes her take drastic chances to not become a statistic.
Brittle Never Broken is definitely not your typical rags-to-riches memoir because "riches" refers to LaViza's ability to remain self-motivated, despite relentless afflictions and heartaches. LaViza's bones are brittle, but nothing, or no one can break her awesome spirit!
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