Brandon was engaged to be married to his beloved Monika through their early adulthood and until she passed away in 1996. He still misses her.
Brandon had surgery last week for RRP at the Methodist Hospital at the Houston Medical Center. He has had RRP since he was seven years old and has had too-many-to-count surgeries for this rare disease. Dr. Donovan and Nurse Sarah, along with his beloved extended medical team that has cared for him for thirty-five years are loving and kind beyond compare. Years ago, at the very beginning, Aunt Genemarie made him a Superman costume to wear and going as “The Man of Steel” was empowering for the tiny seven year old—of course everyone at the hospital LOVED that. After a while he decided to dress as Clark Kent, but then finally chose to just be Brandon. This was his situation and he was going to make the best of it, although those few years of Interferon trials were undeniably bizarre torture. We are very fortunate and thankful for the loving kindness given to Brandon by these wonderful people.
Surgery went well. Brandon even has a little bit of a voice since surgery. Now—on to BCG next week.
Brandon spends lots of time thinking and planning his art. He sees scenes or pictures that inspire him and then he paints. We believe he is imposing a sense of structure and control in his life, which is amazingly perfect. Through it all, he is sweet and happy. We admire him enormously!
Surgery is scheduled for August 10th with his beloved Dr. Donovan for RRP and he will begin a preventative round of chemotherapy on August 24th for the currently undetectable bladder cancer. I believe that his creative expression through his art is an important factor in his well being. He feels good and he is happy. What more could you ask for?
Same great band, same great Austin place, 36 years later. Bran had no trouble staying awake through all the encores!
Not only can I confirm the fantastically loud music at home and the child labor, but my parents took Brandon and me to many music concerts, as well. Brandon's first concert was when he was SIX YEARS OLD! At that first one, we went to see the Eagles. Since he was a tiny 6 years old and it was SO late, the little guy fell asleep before the encore. When the first notes of the next song came blaring through the speakers, Brandon mumbled loudly, "turn it over daddy"! Apparently, he liked the flip side of the record better. I remember everyone around us thought that was the most adorable thing they had ever heard in their whole life. I loved every minute of it.
Many times over the years we have gone through periods of housecleaning on Sunday morning to the sounds of 1970’s music no matter what decade we were in. The music (preferably vinyl) had to be played so loud that we couldn’t hear each other speak. We are in just such period now and Brandon loves it. Brandon grew up with music everyday. All day. Loud rock ‘n roll. Somehow, cleaning just goes more easily with Pink Floyd, Bob Dylan, Elton John, The Band, and some others cheering us on. His love of music is well founded.
I admire my cousin for his honesty and sweetness but I depend on him for his tireless loyalty and love. He takes care of his people. I have come to realize that group of people is actually a very large crowd. However, I choose to believe that I am exceptional because he makes me feel that way. Part of my identity and personality is who I see reflected in his eyes...and thank goodness for that.
While Brandon is at work he loves to visit me in my office at M Station. I can be sitting at my desk and I will look up and he will be standing at my door. As part of his volunteer role he believes it is his responsibility to make sure I am fulfilling my duties as site director. It is good to know that someone is keeping me on task.
I love when I get to spend time with him and learn all I need to know and more about Brian Adams because he is a rocker just like Brandon.
Brandon loves his Open Door family and hates to miss a day. We miss him when he is not here.
Tracey, Site Director, Open Door at M Station
Painting is resetting Brandon's priorities and expectations. He looks forward to the focused time and appreciates the structured control. Together we have created an art therapy dynamic with Brandon, although not entirely preplanned. His painting is truly a gift.
My brother... for my entire life it has been Rebecca and Brandon. He is my heart.
Uncle Bran is my best friend but Sebastian is my kid best friend.
Just when I thought I had an understanding and acceptance … I was driving Brandon to work the other day traveling northbound on Lamar—Brandon was listening to The Eagles and I listening to NPR. We drove past the ramp to enter 15th Street and Brandon abruptly looked at me and asked, “Why are you going 19th Street today?” There are many complex and interesting implications to that question, not the least of which is I had NO idea that Brandon knew the names of streets on rarely used routes around town. Or pretty much any streets. Or cared. Also, 19th Street was changed to MLK when Brandon was three years old. I loved that this happened. I will pay attention, more closely.
Hello, and welcome to Brandon's story page, where people who know my brother will submit anecdotes from their time with him. This way, people who have not had the privilege to meet him can get a taste of his specialness. I guess I should kick it off:
Brandon has been my go-to model since I began my photography career at eight years old. He has accommodated my every whim and posed as movie characters (one of my all time favorites was Mrs. Doubtfire), underwater swimmer, super hero, animals and an endless list of ideas that I have enlisted him to help me with. He has done so with kindness, although sometimes a begrudging endurance shows a little.