“What do you want to be when you grow up?”
“A RACE CAR DRIVER!!” Brooks proudly exclaimed at his Pre-K graduation. I can remember that day like it was just yesterday. It was filled with such hope and promise of a future for him. However, it ended up being one of the last days we ever dreamt about his future together and the last day he would ever feel like a normal student. Just one short month later, our lives forever changed.
Our son, Brooks Blackmore, was a healthy, active and loving 5 year-old boy until June 13, 2015 when we experienced every parent’s worst nightmare. Brooks was unexpectedly diagnosed with two, stage IV inoperable brain tumors (anaplastic astrocytomas, often referred to as GBMs). We were told there was no cure or any effective treatment options. He received a shunt and tumor biopsy on 6/14/15 and then suffered a brain bleed 10 days later because the tumor was growing so quickly. Brooks immediately started brain radiation in hopes to slow down his tumor and prolong his life. He endured 6 weeks of radiation along with oral chemo. The nasty tumors started to shrink. It was a miracle! After losing almost all motor function, speech, and feeding abilities, Brooks started to improve! With therapy and hard work he regained almost all lost function and was finally able to attend kindergarten part-time. He still had several deficits and struggles as a result of the tumors and treatments, but we felt in our hearts he was going to beat the odds. Throughout his battle Brooks was so brave and did everything he was asked to do. But unfortunately on March 16, 2016, a new tumor was found on his cervical spine. This time the tumor was too aggressive and resistant to radiation. Our hearts were shattered when Brooks gained his angel wings on May 21, 2016. Brooks has forever changed our lives and we are so blessed to have loved him even for 6 short years. We would do it all again, just to call him our son.
Brooks’s love for life and his family (especially his younger brother and sister who are twins) radiated throughout his battle with brain cancer. He fought with such bravery and with a “faith over fear” attitude. He was BRAVE beyond his years and one could not help but be inspired. He never gave up. We now take his bravery, faith, and love with us as we face adversity and try to find our way in this lifetime without him.
So have that dance party. Stay up to catch those fireflies. Do the hard things. Try something new and scary. Laugh loud and Love deeply. Be Present. Be Patient. BE BRAVE. But most importantly... set your heart to the unseen and never give up HOPE"
Brooks teached us to be bigger than Brave, to be BROOKS BRAVE, But what does that mean? "It means to wake up everyday and choose happiness. To face adversity with a "faith over fear" mentality. To be scared, but to do it anyway. To love deeper with a kinder heart. To do the hard things. To smile through the pain. To try new adventures. To quit that bad habit or to create a healthy one. To BEElieve in myself and the good of mankind. To BEE strong. To feel the pain to find the joy. To cry when you feel the need. To ask for help. To say "yes" more than no". To stay in the moment. To be still. To dig deep into my faith. To ask the hard questions and to accept the answers. To trust that love always wins. #BeBrooksBrave #lovealwayswins"