Honored Kid

Branden Joiner

Age 33
Branden Joiner Kid Photo

Location

Lakeport, CA, US

Diagnosis

Osteosarcoma

Date of Diagnosis

April 2007

Status

Cancer free

Treated At

St. Luke's Mountain States Tumor Institute

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My Story

Thank you for supporting me and the more than 300,000 kids worldwide who will be diagnosed with cancer this year. By sharing the gifts of your time, talent and money with the St. Baldrick’s Foundation, you're supporting research to give all kids with cancer a better chance for a cure. Being 18 was supposed to be free loving and a wild good time. As most eighteen-year-olds are I was running amok and found myself incarcerated. It was only then that the reality started to set in, something wasn't right. The pain begin to worsen I wasn't able to exercise I wasn't able to simply bear any weight on my arm. After numerous visits to a so-called doctor to be told I had a rotator cuff injury and that I might want to take it easy. I was released on Valentine's Day of 2007 went straight to McCall Memorial Hospital where I was given a simple x-ray only to be told that you're going to need to see a bone surgeon specialist to address the golf ball-sized tumor that has encompassed my humerus bone. From there multiple tests were initiated only to confirm my fear I had stage 4 osteosarcoma. Immediately I was addressed buying a wonderful team of doctors at St Luke's led by Dr. Johnston. He made it very clear with what I was dealing with he tried his hardest to calm my parents, but it's cancer you can't. I never knew the road ahead would have been so grim. pre chemotherapy followed by the removal of my deltoid muscle and humerus bone followed by post-chemo 6 months into that brutal treatment I was faced with another major hurdle. Living in such a rule area mosquitoes were everywhere I didn't listen to the doctors when they said just stay home stay inside and relax I found myself hiking fishing trying to hunt. That's where I was also diagnosed with West Nile encephalitis. I remember the doctor saying that they needed to give me morphine and that's the last thing I remember before slipping into an 8 day long coma followed by waking up paralyzed from the neck down not even knowing my own name and birthday and my grandmother staring down at me. I was told that my potassium level had gone to a dangerous low and that if I did not simply take the potassium pill in the coma state I was going to die. My father, home is not with me anymore due to cancer, told me he whispered some words in my ear and that I literally chewed the potassium pill. I had a very grueling recovery being told that I might not be able to walk again and here I stand being told I might not have children again here I am with two beautiful children. I am blessed and I'm thankful for every given day being on this Earth.

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