Brayden Lane takes a break from his battle with cancer to conquer another goal.
School was in session for me Saturday morning at the Flagler Titans football field, and a 5-year-old kid, battling cancer, was my teacher.
I attended the game because I was told the Titans would present Brayden Lane with a game jersey in honor of Child Cancer Awareness Month, but I had no idea that he was planning on scoring a touchdown.
There I saw him, smiling and sitting in a fold-up chair, with his new Titans’ jersey, hat and socks to match, although his leg braces covered most of the designs. While I had just left my house a little frustrated with my nephew and his schoolwork, I was now in the presence of a kid, who has lost most of his hair, can’t play or even sit out in the sun for too long and wasn’t able to walk a few weeks ago, excitedly anticipating his moment to run the ball over the goal line for a touchdown.
“Seeing that two months ago he couldn’t walk 10 feet, and now watching him score a touchdown means way more than you could ever imagine, said his mother Brittney Hedetniemi. “When we see his strength and determination, it makes the rest of the family be stronger for him. It was also great to see the Titans and the away team do that for him, encouraging him to get out there with them in a few years.”
Brayden wanted to play football this year, but, due to his unfortunate circumstances, he has to wait. That, however, didn’t stop him from living in the moment. He relished every yard he ran, making the defenders miss, who fictitiously threw themselves at him, and getting celebrated by all of the players, cheerleaders and coaches.
While it is true that, over the next four months, he will face intense chemotherapy, Brayden plans to conquer his battle with cancer just as he’s been doing. Although there will be many moments when he is restricted to a bed, expect to hear about and see him out running a touchdown, or hitting a homerun (he loves T-ball) or just simply smiling, because cancer’s not beating him.