There’s a point in Pasco County Commission meetings when the county board passes resolutions to support a cause, or recognize an individual’s contributions.
Commissioner Mike Moore, who left the board on Nov. 21, used his final resolution to draw attention to Brianna Somoano, an author and inspirational speaker, who also is a family friend.
The young woman, who was born on April 25, 2000, is a quintuplet — with siblings Alyssa, Cody, Dante and Evan.
They were born 27 ½ weeks early and Brianna faced health complications early in life, according to the board’s resolution.
Brianna was diagnosed with cerebral palsy, which affected her gross motor skills — leading her to use a wheelchair and a walker.
When she was just weeks old, she developed a staph infection and became seriously ill. While fighting the infection, her lungs collapsed and she coded for 30 seconds, requiring life-saving measures, the resolution says.
Despite her physical challenges, “since childhood, Brianna has been known for her wisdom. She has always been a source of advice and counsel for her siblings, friends, and family,” the resolution notes.
When she was 15, she began hippotherapy, which is a form of physical, occupational, and speech therapy that uses equine movement to develop and enhance neurological and physical functioning by channeling the gait and movement of a horse, according to the resolution.
The therapy helped Brianna gain confidence and independence, and she began speaking at fundraising events for the Emerald M Therapeutic Riding Center, where she receives her therapy, the resolution continues.
Brianna is currently a motivational speaker, and last year, she decided to share her journey by writing a book called, “My Walk and Conversations with God.”
The book, published on Dec. 24, 2021, is available on Amazon.
It is described this way, on Amazon: “My Walk and Conversations with God is about Brianna Somoano’s walk of faith and her love for God. She touches on different seasons of her life, the ups, downs and moments in between that served to teach her great life lessons about God, herself, and those she loves. She will share different stories that shaped the importance of her faith with different inspirational takeaways: Love Hard, Be Intentional, Live Life to the Fullest, Purpose to Pain, and Let Go and Let God.”
After the resolution was read into the record, Moore told Brianna: “Everybody wanted to honor you and everything you’ve accomplished.
“I’ve known the Somoana family for 15 years now. I’ve had the opportunity to watch all of the quintuplets grow up, from what, probably age 7, on,” he said.
Moore said he wanted to recognize Brianna for her work to encourage others and let them know: “Hey, you can do anything. Anything you want to do. Nothing’s going to hold you back.”
Moore also noted that he was talking with Brianna’s parents, Jack and Kathy, one day and they were marveling about how Brianna’s book is inspiring readers across the country.
“So, you’re a blessing,” he told her. ““We’re so very proud of you. We want you to continue to inspire others.”
Brianna told board members she was honored by the recognition.
“It’s always my greatest joy to be able to inspire my community.
“I feel like that’s one of my main purposes in this world, to show other people that no matter what you go through, you can accomplish anything,” she said.
Commission Chairwoman Kathryn Starkey told Brianna: “I’m very proud you are a citizen in our county. Wow, really inspiring. Great job!””
Commissioner Ron Oakley told the young woman that she’s a source of inspiration, proving that people can do what they set their mind to do.
“My office is open to you, whenever you need help or direction in this county, I will be there to help you,” Oakley assured Brianna.
Published December 07, 2022