Brown died at Augusta University Health Medical Center in Augusta due to complications from pneumonia, according to a release from the James Brown Family Foundation.
“The family thanks everyone for their prayers and telephone calls,” according to the release. “ At this time we ask that you respect the privacy of the family.”
Funeral arrangements are pending.
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In life, Brown fought addiction but never lost her faith, said her sisters, Brown Thomas and Yamma Brown.
“She struggled with addiction, which most people know, a lot of her adult life,” said Yamma. “Fortunately, she had good family support. My dad was her support structure for a lot of years.”
In the years she had overcome her addiction, Venisha was active in the James Brown Family Foundation. She would also speak to the youth about her struggles.
She say “don’t do what I did,” said Brown Thomas. “Don’t make the same mistakes that I did.”
Yamma said her sister’s health deteriorated over the years, most likely from the drug abuse, however “she didn’t lose her mind. She was very strong-willed. She had all her faculties together… She was weak in her body, but definitely strong in her mind to the end.”
Ultimately, her body failed and “she just couldn’t make it out of it,” said Yamma. “She was just a little bitty thing. When she passed away, she had lost so much weight, but you would have thought she was a gorilla the way she was fighting.”
In lieu of flowers, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution notes that the family is asking for donations to the James Brown Academy of Musik Pupils (JAMP).