Local teen fights brain cancer at St. Jude Children's Hospital
CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -
A local 16-year-old boy continues to recover from months of chemotherapy and radiation. Brandon Nation was diagnosed with brain cancer in December 2013 and has spent the past year of his life in-and-out of hospitals.
Nation enjoys working on cars and loves watching his Atlanta Braves, but lately the 16 year-old's interests have taken a back seat as he battles cancer.
"They thought I had nerve damage," Brandon said. "I was hoping that was all that was the problem but we had to go take an MRI and that's when we found out. That was a devastating day."
Doctors found a tumor the size of a grapefruit on his brain and determined he needed emergency surgery. The surgeon told Brandon;s mom he was going to treat him like his own son.
"The whole way there, I was like - they're going to fix it, they're going to fix it,' his mom Melody said. "You just go into survival mode. I couldn't even fill out the paperwork when we got to the neurosurgeon, the nurse had to help me, because I was devastated."
"Jesus was there for me. He was with the surgeon who helped me. I just bless God every day cause he's the only reason I'm here is God and that surgeon," Brandon said.
Brandon made it through surgery and he was admitted to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis.
St. Jude has the best survival rates for the world's most aggressive forms of childhood cancers. And doctors send their toughest cases to St. Jude.
"I knew we were going to be okay when they said St. Jude," Melody said. "I knew we were going to be okay here too but St. Jude has a reputation."
Part of St. Jude's reputation is that no family ever pays a bill. Fundraiser's like the St. Jude Dream Home help support that and you can help by purchasing a $100 ticket for a chance to win the home while making a difference in a child's life.
"I dream of a world where kids don't have to go through this because there's some cute babies down there who don't deserve this," he said.
Brandon is back at home and working on cars again. He's off chemo and will have another MRI in June.