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Six-year-old with life-threatening brain tumor goes to prom


FAYETTEVILLE, Ala. -What adversity did you face as an elementary-aged child? For most of us, a spanking or getting put in “timeout” by our parents was as bad as it ever was. Even if it was worse than timeout, chances are you probably never had to face the adversity six-year-old Colton Brannen now faces on a daily basis.

2017 started off like every other new year for the Brannen family, but that did not last long.

On January 25, Ashley and Kristen Brannon found out their son had a brain tumor.

The lives of everyone in the family changed that day. “We could not believe it,” said Colton’s mother Kristen. “It took a while for it to really sink in.”

Four weeks later, the bad news of Colton’s brain tumor got even worse. At a doctors visit, the family found out exactly what kind of brain tumor Colton had. That day he was diagnosed with Gliomatosis Cerebri, a rare type and aggressive form of brain cancer that is very resistant to treatment. It typically attacks children and adolescents.

The survival rate for those diagnosed with Gliomatosis Cerebri slim.

Colton’s mother told children normally do not live more than three or four years after diagnosis. “That really hit is hard,” she said. “We have learned to take it one day at a time, and we thank God for everyday he gives us with Colton.”

Kristen said her son knows he has a brain tumor, but she said he never shows it. She said he puts a smile on his face everyday and exudes the characteristics of determination and courage. “He knows everything will be okay one way or the other,” she stated. “He has been very positive throughout this process.”

Although Colton’s situation may seem dark and gloomy to those on the outside looking in, his life has been brightened lately by Fayetteville High School senior, Hannah Hammonds. Knowing Colton’s diagnosis, Hammonds asked him to be her date to her senior prom.

Most seniors in high school are looking forward to the after party and spending one of their last high school memories with their best friends. But Hammonds went out of her way to give Colton a chance to do something he may never get to do.

“It was a very emotional experience for us,” said Brannen. “We are so thankful that she asked him to go. It was great for him to have this chance, because there’s a possibility that we won’t have a chance to see him go to his own senior prom.”

His mother said Colton had “the time of his life” being with Hammonds at the FHS prom. She said she is so thankful for Hammonds, and, with tears piling up, stated Colton loves her to death and thanked her for giving her son the chance to attend prom with someone he cares so much about.

The trip to prom gave the family some relief for a moment, but the Colton’s battle and struggles continues.

Brannen described the last few weeks as “emotional.” Just last week Colton was admitted to the hospital for two days. He has been struggling with seizures caused by medications he was taking and other issues. Colton has to go through physical therapy weekly. He has a hard time walking and experiences weakness in his legs and hips.

In addition to the seizures and physical therapy sessions, Colton is now going through chemo-therapy.  The treatments have been tough for Colton. He is experiencing the normal symptoms of weakness and hair loss, but Colton remains positive and keeps a smile on his face. His family has asked for everyone to keep Colton in their prayers as he continues on this journey.

Jeremy Law for | © 2017, City Media LLC. All Rights Reserved.

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