Updated: Apr 18, 2018
Hard to believe my brother is a senior! Crazy to think that it was only yesterday we were just little kids always fighting and getting on each others nerves. (Not like we still don't do that even now, lol!) But I honestly don't know what I'd do without my brother. When we were little we couldn't stand each other, but as we entered the teen era, something changed and we became super tight. We're still definitely like oil and water in many ways, but I wouldn't trade it for the world.
Looking back on old pictures, Brandon was seriously the cutest chubby baby. I quickly gave him the nickname of Chubs, which, of course, "thrills" him to death! (This is actually hilarious, considering he's the thinnest person I know!) But seriously, my brother has been through so much. As a kid, I watched him have to endure many surgeries and many rounds of doctor visits. My parents, as well as the doctors, were in uncharted territory with more questions than answers concerning his care, and for me as his "big sister" it was so hard not being able to help.
Brandon was, and still is, the biggest fighter I know, and knowing this, gave me assurance that everything was going to be okay.
Brandon was born injured at birth and developed Erbs Palsy in his right arm. Through physical therapy and really God's hand of healing, he has moved from being paralyzed in his arm to having some movement. (Even today, there is the possibility of more surgeries for his arm.) During the struggles of dealing with this physical issue, when Brandon was 15 months old, he was diagnosed with a condition called Central Precocious Puberty. This is a condition where puberty starts at an extremely early age, and effects the proper growth and hormonal health of a child. His bones were growing at such a rapid rate that he would eventually only reach the height of 4' 5". There was a lot of trial and error with medications due to the lack of knowledge for this condition. As the years went by, medical implants were approved to help deliver the medication needed for him. (He has had a total of five surgeries.) During these procedures they would put implants in his arms that would suppress his hormones. He would also take daily shots to help. His condition was so advanced that he was flown out to Boston for more testing. The goal was to slow down the rapid growth rate until he reached the age of twelve.
I have seen, and been a part of the hours of prayer, as well as, the tears of worry that have surrounded him. There were many days of discouragement and frustration for him, as well as my parents. But through it all, I was able to see that there was always trust, always hope in the Lord. Not just through the faith of my parents, but also of my little brother. He has an amazingly strong faith in the Lord.
So when on August 8, 2012, Brandon had his last surgery, and his doctor declared him cleared of further treatment, it was an absolutely amazing day for our whole family! This is truly all by God's good grace! He needs no more treatments! Yeah!
Oh, and how tall is Brandon now, you ask? Umm, no worries there! He's a lanky 6'1"!
Throughout these trying times, there was plenty of fun to go around. Like I said early, our personalities mix like oil and water, but I think this is actually why we get along so well. One of my favorite memories is when we competed in duet acting at Fine Arts. We ended up getting fourth place, sad tear :'( but what I will always remember was how supportive my brother was of me. See, I had found out three days before competition that there was a error in my registration, and I was unable to compete in my photography categories. (This was a low blow to me, since I breathe photography!) Brandon never said anything about it, but was just there for me. He made me laugh, he made fun of me, he joked with me, all in only a way a brother can. He knew exactly what I needed.
We hang out a lot and our favorite brother sister hang out? The movies. We're always at the movies, sarcasm is the language through which we communicate, and yes, people have mistaken us for a couple- which seriously like how, eewww?! This always has us shaking our heads and throwing side punches.
He knows when I've had a trying day at work, and will say, let's just jump in your car and drive around jamming out to our favorite songs, eating some candy, just plan be crazy. You know; like only a brother and sister duo can be!
Brandon is honestly my best friend, life would not be the same without him. He's got the biggest heart for his family and for his Sunday School kids. I honestly can't wait to see what God has in store for him. I'll always be his biggest cheerleader, and my basement in my future house will always be open for him. ;)
Here are some of Brandon's graduate photos! I loved every minute of it and hope you enjoy them as much as I enjoyed taking them!
Class of 2018? Check out our graduate page for more information!