It was July, 2011…Breanna was 9 and SHOULD have playing and enjoying life...
She SHOULD have been painting her nails and playing dress up...
But...instead...her life was turned on a dime.
When other 9-year-olds were enjoying the warm sun of a July summer day, Breanna was tied to an IV pole and wondered what each day would bring…
Fear…it became Breanna’s daily companion…cancer became her focus…moment by moment…
Breanna recently shared these thoughts with me.
“Being sick I lost a lot. Whether that was friends or a piece inside me. I started losing hope, losing the will to fight, losing the will to live. I was tired of being sick, being placed in a "bubble" and not able to live a "normal" life. Losing my best friend Emily from cancer, made me want to fight…For her and myself."
Today…life is much different than those crushing days of fighting cancer. The doctors telling her she only had a 50/50 chance of survival, she battled bravely on…and she emerged different.
Her world has been impacted by God’s grace.
She shared, "I'm always being asked "what is life like after cancer?" Honestly. I feel like I'm living in a
whole other world. I feel like I got a second chance at life. I went from being told "you have cancer" and being the sickest 9-year-old girl, to being healthy, becoming a wife, and now becoming a mother."
The “fight” spurred a desire to live…not just live…but to make sure her story…that Emily’s story…would impact others and give hope and encouragement… “It made me want to live
Living gave her a platform from which to speak, one may even call it “street cred”.
She wanted to live… “so I could tell her (Emily) story, and mine.”
I really enjoyed hearing Breanna share…“I'm now 21. I've graduated with my Associates Degree (and working on my bachelors!) and am working at an elementary school, being a Head Cheer Coach at a high school, a wife and mom.
Being able to look back on my past and seeing how sick I was and knowing we were told I have a 50%
chance of surviving the first year of treatment, is overwhelming. I'm now able to see sort of what my mom went through. There are times I think "how did my mom get through seeing me like that?
I couldn't imagine my son being where I was, and as a mom being able to hold it together and get through it" Becoming a mom has been a huge blessing and amazing next step in life.
It's what I've dreamed of.
Yes, it's scary.
…it sure is beautiful!
Seeing my husband become a dad is amazing. Being able to get married was a milestone I didn't think I'd reach. Having a partner who loves you for you, or doesn't view you as a "sick girl" or the "girl who had cancer" is amazing.
Being able to feel loved for me, is such a surreal feeling. Being able to know one day my son will call me mama, is a surreal feeling.
Life after cancer is weird, yet amazing.
You feel like you're in a whole new dimension of the world, yet living in the same one you had cancer.
Life after cancer is like having health issues from cancer, that you have to deal with but knowing it could be worse.
Life after cancer is getting to experience the things you couldn't during cancer. Life after cancer is a new life and new try at the world. Life after cancer is your second chance.
Life after cancer is being able to tell your story to other cancer patients and their families, giving them hope, that you know they lost a bit of. Life after cancer is emotional, beautiful, scary, and a breath of fresh air."
She knows life will have “a lot of ups and downs and hardships. But I know I'll be able to get past them. I get to reach the milestones I never thought I would."
Out of the pain, came gratitude…her heartfelt words warm your heart, “All thanks to the doctors, nurses, interns, Child Life Specialists, and medical staff at Peyton Manning Children's Hospital. If it weren’t for those people, I wouldn't be where I am today!"
Breanna and her husband Trevor are building a life together, they welcomed their son “Hudsen” December of 2022, his adoption was completed March 2023.
Her story is amazing…
We love sharing the stories of our warriors, and we REALLY love sharing the success stories when a pediatric cancer patient not only whips cancer, but uses it as a springboard for a thriving life.
Every one of YOU is a catalyst that gives Trevor, Bre and Hudsen a better life.
YOUR investment in Bre's life was an investment in her future, and now the family her future held.
A better life because your partnership was the energy behind the prayer and encouragement Gilead provided while Breanna fought cancer. She and family are still in contact with Gilead.
Pray for this young family, life's coming at them each day and they could use the support.