While his mother was visiting her own doctor, she emotionally explained to him what was going on with her son. The doctor told her to immediately go home and get Brad, and bring him to the office to be seen. After an initial examination, the doctor instructed her to rush Brad to the emergency room.
Hours later after having an MRI, his parents were informed that Brad had a brain tumor, and was being transported to Johns Hopkins Hospital where he would undergo a more extensive MRI. The doctors at Hopkins gave Brad’s parents, Lee and Kim, the news that Brad had a grade-four cancerous Cerebellum Medulloblastoma tumor. While stage-four cancers are by far the worst to have, this particular stage reacts well to both chemotherapy and radiation. In the days ahead, Brad would require microscopic surgery to remove as much of the tumor as possible but they were only able to take out 90%. The surgery normally takes between six and eight hours; however Brad’s lasted more than 15 hours.
Just hours into the surgery the doctors realized his skull was much thinner than they initially thought, and later found two fractures. They also informed Lee and Kim that there was so much pressure built up in Brad’s skull, that when they removed a piece of the skull, his brain was imprinted into the bone. As a result of the cancer, Brad will have to have nine cycles of chemotherapy which will won’t be completed until August 2015.
After surgery, Brad lost all motor skills. He could only wiggle his toes and fingers. He was sent to inpatient therapy where he eventually started to thrive. He was able to walk 150 steps with assistance only, and could piece together a few words, but was still unable to form sentences. Lee’s insurance initially offered 60 days each of in and outpatient therapy. After 48 days, therapy was terminated and Brad was sent home. The chemotherapy that he receives damages the joints, therefore, it is imperative treatment continues. Brad is just starting cycle 3 of his chemo. Currently, Brad has only been able to do speech therapy, and it has been more than 30 days since he has had any physical rehabilitation.
For all who know Brad, they know that he is a sweet, caring, and loving young man with a warm heart. He loved playing on the local youth football team with his “brothers”, and was proud to say that they had just won their county championship shortly before this devastating news. He is no longer able to play, but attends the games often to see his teammates and support them. His squad preaches “One team, one family” and we take care of each other on and off the field. We now want to support him and his family in the fight for his life, and help him receive the therapy he needs.
As Brad and his parents continue this journey, it is imperative that they focus on his health and maintain a positive attitude, rather than worry about mounting expenses. Therapy can cost upwards of $300 per session, or as high as $4,000 per day. We, his football family, have set up this page in the hope that friends and family, both near and far, will be able to help relieve some of the financial strain on Brad’s family. All donations will be used for medical expenses not covered by insurance, including getting our “Sunshine” back into the therapy in which he was thriving.
Please share this with your friends, family…anyone. Every penny can help make a difference. All of your prayers will be greatly appreciated in the coming months. Let's all join Team “Sunshine” and help him beat this! Brad has amazing strength and a positive attitude, but he needs a strong team behind him to beat this horrible disease.
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