Brandon Bradley: Lived, loved, lost
Like a thief in the night, cancer stole Brandon Bradley’s young life from a multitude of loving family members and friends in the hours before sunrise Saturday.
Barely more than a day before, a crowd gathered at the Dixie Theatre in Lewisburg to listen to country music and raise money to help Brandon continue his fight against leukemia. Brandon learned he had cancer in June 2013 when he was 17 and getting ready to start his senior year at Marshall County High School. Before getting sick, Brandon was a familiar face at the Lewisburg Rec Center, where he was a lifeguard at the pool. He was an active youth at the First Baptist Church of Lewisburg, and generally regarded an outstanding, genuine, and kind-hearted young man.
Brandon touched many lives in his 20 short years on earth. “If it wasn’t for Brandon, I would not know who God was nor accepted God into my life and in my heart,” Brandon’s fiancée Cortney Spain said. “He impacted so many people throughout his journey, and he literally saved my life. And, not just myself, but so many close friends that learned to love the Lord, and many others that we may not even be aware of.”
“As a mother, it was my job to teach Brandon, but ultimately it was Brandon who taught me so much more about life,” Shan Wells said. “Brandon taught me what it meant to fight. His faith strengthened my own personal faith in God, and in even in his darkest hours, it was Brandon who helped me to keep going. He wasn’t just my son, he became (our) community’s son, too.”
“There is not enough space within this column to express what Brandon meant to all of us, and the lives he impacted” Brandon’s father Daryl Bradley said. “Brandon knew God had a purpose for him in this world.”
“He went above and beyond to make sure that everyone else was happy, he always put others before himself,” Brandon’s stepfather Shane Wells said of the young man.
“On behalf of our family, we want to extend our love and appreciation to the communities of Marshall County for their endless efforts to support Brandon throughout the duration of his illness,” Brandon’s cousin Britni Dickens said. “Words cannot express our feelings to this community for the love they have shown Brandon and our family. Simply saying the words ‘thank you’ will never repay your kindness. We are tremendously saddened by the loss of Brandon, but we take comfort in knowing that he touched so many hearts and lives. Brandon’s courage was truly an inspiration to us all. He had a contagious smile and an undying faith. Although his work on this Earth is done, his life’s legacy still lives on within all of us.”
“Brandon’s smile and personality could light up even the darkest part of the world,” Britni continued. “He loved life and made it his daily mission to make those around him laugh.”
A Brandon Bradley Memorial Fund for scholarships has been created at the First TN Bank.
Britni Dickens contributed to this article.