I’d like you to meet Brandon. He was one of my classmates during the semester I spent in Colorado Springs. Brandon is one of those people that have an infectious smile and a very uplifting attitude about life. He wouldn’t get in your face about it and if you didn’t pay attention you might miss him in a crowd. But Brandon was always there with encouragement when you needed someone to listen to your troubles. People would describe him as quiet but dependable and steady.
About halfway through the semester Brandon’s world was rocked. While at a movie with some of his fellow students he had a severe seizure. As if that wasn’t enough, it appeared that the seizure had been triggered by a lump on the front of his brain that was about the size of a golf ball.
Suddenly life looked different for Brandon. He began to brace himself for what appeared to be a difficult battle with cancer. Separated by distance from his family and close friends I’m sure there were times when he was intensely lonely. Nevertheless, we all realized very quickly that Brandon was still the same solid person.
He was determined to live every moment to the fullest while he was still healthy enough to do so, which is how I found myself on a climbing trip with him. Most of us were just excited to be away from books, assignments and classes. Brandon was excited to add one more experience to his life. You could see a certain steel in his gaze, see his jaw clench at the base of each climb and realize that for him this was more than just a contest between man and mountain. As Brandon descended from another successful ascent, I captured this moment which illustrates the courage and determination with which he faced life. I think that day of climbing meant more to him then we could imagine.
At the end of the semester, Brandon returned to North Carolina where he immediately prepared for brain surgery. Then something miraculous happened. The doctors couldn’t find the tumor! Another MRI was made and by the time it was all said and done four different doctors had confirmed that the tumor was gone. Even the neurosurgeon in Colorado Springs, who had found the tumor in the first place, confirmed that it no longer existed.
If you talk to Brandon today you will find that he believes in miracles and that for some purpose God reached down and removed that mass from his brain. He experienced the miracle of healing, an experience that changed his life forever.