Two years ago last May, Matt’s younger brother passed away from a 10-month battle with Leukemia. He was only 19. Although it was a completely awful experience for all of us, I’ve never seen such a positive outcome from an entire community.
Brandon’s blood type was B+ so they turned it into a motto “Be Positive”. Throughout his treatment and difficult battle, he never complained or asked, “why me?” While his friends went on to college, he passed up his scholarships to UW-Madison, celebrated birthdays and holidays in the hospital, and went through hell while being as positive as possible. It has always served as an inspiration for everyone that hears his story, because no matter how difficult a situation or day you’ve had, there is always room to be positive.
The summer that Brandon was diagnosed (2009), Brandon’s friends put on a 5K fundraiser to help offset the significant hospital costs. Hundreds of people from their community came out to run and support their family. A year after Brandon passed away, Matt’s family brought back the 5K as the “Brandon’s B+ Run” in effort to create a scholarship fund for high school seniors since Brandon never got to go to college. Even more people from their community came out to support such a strong and loved family.
Saturday was the second annual “Brandon’s B+ Run”, which happened to land on Brandon’s 22nd Birthday. Although it’s obviously an emotional time, Matt’s parents and volunteers in the community did an excellent job organizing this run, including a raffle, silent auction and concessions.
Over 300 participants ran/walked, there were 62 baskets for raffle and 40 items were donated for a silent auction. It was truly impressive to see the effort from Matt’s family and the support of their community. We even had cake to celebrate Brandon’s life.
One of my personal favorite parts of the day was that my mom came!
She has fibromyalgia but she is determined to lose at least 50 lbs before my wedding. To kick off her weight loss, she walked her first 5K! I’m so proud of her for being responsible for her health and I was thrilled to be by her side the whole race!
They’re hoping they can give away 3 scholarships this year. It’s amazing how Matt’s family turned this tragedy into such a positive situation to help others. I’m so proud to be part of the family soon!