From Patient to Survivor to Mentor. #CrushCancerCLT | SHARE Charlotte

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From Patient to Survivor to Mentor. #CrushCancerCLT

Written by Addie Rising    on September 13, 2017
On April 10, 2010, at 15 years old, Will Brown was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma, a rare childhood form of bone cancer. “Treatment was really rough at some points,” Will said. “I would stay at Levine (LCH) for 2-6 days at a time depending on the specific treatment that week. I would be hooked up to the IV machine being pumped with different types of medicine. It was extremely hard to be mobile and move around so I ended up laying in the bed for most of the day. I would also become very sick due to the treatment. A common cold would put me down for about a week at a time.” 

Brown's treatments ended on Dec. 10, 2010 when he was 16. "My parents were the biggest help getting me through treatments. One of them would always stay the night with me just to make sure I was okay," Brown said. "Fortunately for me, I was able to have that support.  Along with my parents, my entire family was a huge support system for me. I would have family visit me and sneak in Bojangles (or food from other places) for me to eat. Without the big support system around me, treatments would have been a lot worse."

Today, Brown is a college graduate, works in information technology for a local company and is a hobbyist photographer (you can see follow him on Instagram here).  But sharing his experience as a cancer survivor is still a big part of his everyday life. He currently mentors a teen cancer patient who is undergoing treatment.

"The mentorship program at LCH (Levine Children's Hospital) is an important program to me because it allows me to be a positive influence on a young teen’s life," Brown said. "Being able to hang out with Noah is a great experience for the both of us. Noah is very passionate about photography and I hope that I can be a role model for him to learn from."

Brown also spends time each summer volunteering at Camp CARE,  a week-long camp that allows patients to escape the hardship of cancer and what treatments bring. 

"Camp CARE is a tremendous experience," Brown said. "Depending on the specific theme of the year the activities are centered around that theme. It’s a great experience and I would recommend volunteering. It’s a very humbling experience to be able to volunteer for a great organization."