But for the Grace of God

Sixteen years ago, a young woman was pregnant with her first child.  The normal pregnancy was typical – the soon-to-be-mother was excited, anxious to see her baby’s face, and longed to hold the infant in her arms.  On a crisp day in January, the young mother’s wait was over.  She went to the hospital to welcome her new baby and she rejoiced when he came into the world.

Within a few minutes of his birth, however, the doctors knew something was terribly wrong.  The baby almost immediately began throwing up bile.  The medical staff pulled a curtain so she couldn’t see what was happening.  That was the beginning of Brandon Brewer’s life.  And for 15 1/2 years Brandon has had to fight every day for this life that is marred by Hirschprung’s Disease – a disease that prevents his body from absorbing nutrients. 

I finally met Brandon yesterday at Quiznos in Smyrna.  He is a tall, handsome young man who spouts off to his Mom just like any teenager.  Only when he talked back, it was to say “Mo-oooom!  Stop!  Don’t say that!”  He was embarrassed when she described the mere inch or two of his colon that works (and then only barely).  Though Brandon ate about half his sandwich and sipped on his drink, his Mom has to supplement his meal every day by feeding him nutrients through a line.  She is strong for her son – she’s learned she has to be strong because there have been times when doctors have urged her to stop fighting for her son’s life.

Do you remember your last visit to the doctor?  You probably paid a deductible if you have insurance.  Then you eventually got a statement in the mail telling you how much you would’ve paid had you not had insurance.  Brandon is lucky they do have insurance, but it doesn’t come close to covering the expenses the Brewers have incurred.

This is a family in crisis.  And but for the grace of God, this could have been your family.  Brandon, his Mom, his younger brother, and his father live right here in LaVergne – in a small house on Fergus Road.  A house they may have to sell soon so they can relocate for a couple of years to Pittsburgh to be closer to the hospital where Brandon will receive his second transplant, after his body rejected the first transplant of his small colon.  Brandon is now at the top of the transplant list again and will only be passed over if a match is found for someone in critical condition.  There was a match found last week, but it went to someone else because Brandon had a fever.

This family in crisis desperately needs our help.  And you don’t have to help much … especially if a lot of people find it in their hearts to donate – $5, $10, or $20.  A little bit by many adds up to a lot.  I will be at Oldtimers Day this Saturday selling tickets to a fundraiser:  Bowling for Brandon.  The fundraiser is scheduled Friday (Saturday) September 28th from Midnight until 6:00 a.m.  The Smyrna Bowling Center has kindly agreed to sponsor unlimited bowling during this time (shoes and food are extra).  We are charging $20 for a ticket and at least half will go to Brandon and his family.  If you buy a ticket and don’t use it, the full amount will be donated.  If you can’t make it to Oldtimers Day, contact me at Bob Parks Realty on Sam Ridley Parkway or go to the Smyrna Bowling Center to buy a ticket.

We are also holding a silent auction at this event.  Many restaurants have agreed to donate dinners for two.  Brandon is donating his first bowling ball.  Yvonne Moon, writer for the Rutherford Reader, is giving up her family’s vacation time share next June (in Pigeon Forge) for the silent auction.   Brandon hasn’t decided yet, but he might give up his tickets to Sea World for the auction.  We hope he doesn’t have to.   We hope instead that LaVergne and Smyrna residents will find it in their hearts to help the Brewers – even if it’s just a little bit.  After all, but for the grace of God, it could be you or me that this post is written about.

Brandon in hospital

Brandon in hospital. A bad day, but he still smiles.

Bad day for Brandon

Brandon’s mom flushes out his IV line.  Photo courtesy of the Daily News Journal. Visit Brandon’s page of hope here.

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3 Responses

  1. […] Brandon Brewer needs our help: This is a family in crisis. And but for the grace of God, this could have been your family. Brandon, his Mom, his younger brother, and his father live right here in LaVergne – in a small house on Fergus Road. A house they may have to sell soon so they can relocate for a couple of years to Pittsburgh to be closer to the hospital where Brandon will receive his second transplant, after his body rejected the first transplant of his small colon. Brandon is now at the top of the transplant list again and will only be passed over if a match is found for someone in critical condition. There was a match found last week, but it went to someone else because Brandon had a fever. […]

  2. […] Well there was a gang of us who showed up to hand out free bowling tickets, courtesy the Smyrna Bowling Center.  We also had a donation bucket set up for Brandon Brewer and handed out lots of flyers and information about the Bowling for Brandon event coming up on Setpember 28th. […]

  3. […] to get donations for local resident Brandon Brewer who is waiting for his second transplant.  You can read his story here.   I did finally use the postcard the awesome Squirrel Queen made for our LaVergne blog.  It […]

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