Despite adversity, teen inspires others

Published 1:45 am Friday, August 31, 2018

Dee Brundidge’s mother, Holley Brundidge, said her son is not giving up hope even when the odds are against him in every way and that he is already using his testimony to uplift others.

The Opp teen is being treated for cancer in his brain, kidney and lung.

“He already mentors to other patients up here at the hospital,” Brundidge said. “Being that he is one of the oldest and has been through this twice before, he spends time with these patients on chemo encouraging them and walking the halls with them.”

She said that Dee even drags his pole carrying the chemo with him down the hall to lift up others.

“He is in singing group events and doing one-on-one talks and so much more,” Brundidge said. “We are so proud of him, but we know it’s hard on our other kids that are in high school, but we make it work.”

Dee has been fighting brain cancer since he was 18 months old. Doctors performed emergency surgery to remove a new brain tumor three months ago, and his family has learned the cancer has spread to his kidneys and lungs.

After a PET scan in June, the doctors were able to rule out that the cancer had metastasized from his bones and bone marrow. But the scan also showed two spots of cancer on his right lung.

Now, Brundidge has received the results.

“Finally, with the help of San Francisco and Cincinnati doctors, they decided it was not a Gliosarcoma and not an Undifferentiated Sarcoma, but it is osteosarcoma, which is bone cancer in his brain and caused directly from the whole brain radiation he received over 13 years ago to save his life then when he had actually brain cancer,” Brundidge said. “Now they know he has two separate and completely different cancers in his body at the same time, in three places.”

The issue that Dee is dealing with now, is that the doctors have decided to treat the brain cancer first, but the chemotherapy he is receiving for brain cancer is not being filtered correctly because of the cancer in his kidneys.

“Last week he took a high dose of Methotrexate and spent six days in the hospital because his kidneys have an extremely hard time trying to flush out the chemo, which is poison,” Brundidge said. “So essentially his kidneys were drowning themselves with poison.”

Brundidge said that the doctors are still working hard to find a working treatment for Dee.

“We talked yesterday and decided that we will do chemo for 29 weeks,” Brundidge said. “At week 11 we will rescan everything and decide if we stay on this chemo course or change and potentially have lung surgery. We just hope and pray his kidneys can withstand the chemo for the brain then we will look at our kidney options.”

Despite all of the adversity, Brundidge said that Dee is still in high hopes.

“Dee just wants to watch Miami Hurricanes football, play the PS4, keep up with the Opp Bobcats and his pals playing for the Troy Trojans and wait for his scans to show no cancer,” Brundidge said. “He said that God has got him and he will be completely healed and he does not have any doubt whatsoever. He is completely confident God is going to heal him and he will travel around the world giving his testimony and uplifting others going through what he did.”

Brundidge said that Dee was able to receive Medicaid, but since he is over 18, it does not pay for everything.

“It greatly helps but still there are co-pays and many other out of pocket expenses, not to mention time off from work unpaid for weeks at a time for my husband,” Brundidge said. “My job dangles in the wind, but my son’s life and my family is first and foremost, we’ve prayed on and we will fight as a family unit and beat these cancers as a united family, a team.”

There will be a celebration of love for Dee at the Southeast District Convention Building in Elba, this Saturday at 6 p.m.

If anyone is interested in helping support Dee and his family there are several options including, tickets for a chance to win $250 worth of groceries for $2 each or three for $5, cheerleader shirts for little girls for $15, Rada cutlery for sale, and a bake sale on September 15.

“We continue to thank everyone and continue to ask for prayers for Dee to be completely healed from these cancers and that he live a safe long healthy happy life,” Brundidge said. “Dee doesn’t claim cancer so we don’t. He refuses to speak it into existence and we are amazed. He is our hero.”