“Brandon’s Make-A-Wish was to meet Big Ben and the Steelers. That day was the best day since Brandon was diagnosed with cancer.” — Brett Brawdy, father of Brandon.

The Brawdy family reached out to us this week to share their son, Brandon’s experience in meeting Big Ben, Brett Keisel and all of their teammates last summer:

Ben_Brandon“The day Brandon got to meet the Steelers, Ben yelled out ‘Make-A-Wish’ and was the first one to run right up to Brandon on the field as soon as the horn sounded that practice was over”, said Mr. Brawdy. “Then it was on…the whole team surrounded him like he was a rock star to sign his football! They stayed out there until he got to meet all of the players that were there.”

It was exactly what 15-year old Brandon, who was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer a year and a half ago, had wished for ever since his parents contacted the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

“The smile and awe that was on my nephew’s face that day, captured in photos that we will forever cherish”, said his aunt, Janice Brawdy. “He lit up when he was around them. I love looking at all the photos! It was such an amazing, wonderful day for him. Thank you Big Ben and all the Steelers family for making Bran’s day one of the best days ever!”

One of the best moments of the day for Brandon was meeting his favorite player, Brett Keisel. He also posed for photos with Ben, Brett, Antonio Brown, Coach Tomlin, and smiled in several group shots with the Steelers defense!

More from Brandon’s father:

Ben_Brandon_1“The story behind the picture I sent of Ben reaching out to shake my wife’s hand with the huge grin on Bran’s face is one I will always remember.

After Ben yelled out ‘Make-A-Wish’, he ran towards Bran and about five feet before he got to him, he turned towards my wife and acted like the wish was for her. Everyone that was with us cracked up laughing – it immediately put everyone at ease!

Ben also knew that Brett Keisel was one of Bran’s favorite players, so Ben was introducing himself to our family as Brett!

We just couldn’t believe how much time Ben and the Steelers spent making sure Bran had a great time.

In recent weeks Brandon’s cancer has returned with a vengeance and there is no way of stopping it now.

Brandon has battled this like a warrior for a year and a half, and his battle is coming to its final stage. What I am trying to do for Brandon is show him how powerful Steeler Nation is and get him as many followers that I can in the next month on his Facebook page. Right now Brandon needs all the support he can receive. Please leave him a like on his page at www.Facebook.com/tbrawdy and leave him a message. You can follow him on twitter at @team_brawdy.”

If you can, please visit Brandon’s page and lift this young man up, Steeler Nation!

You can read about Brandon’s day with Ben, Brett Keisel, and their teammates here!

You can see more photos, courtesy of the Brawdy family, here.

Update, April 18th:

Sadly, we report the passing of young Brandon Brawdy. Sincere condolences to his family and friends and all whose lives he touched in his short but special life.

His father, Brett posted this to his son’s Facebook page on his passing –

“Brandon, you have taught me and your ma so much since your battle started! We will always love you bubba! Your battle is now over and I can picture you with your wings! RIP my best friend! Love ya, Dad.”

God bless you, Brandon!