Miracles Still Happen

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Miracles Still Happen

Miracles Still Happen

Brandi Benson decided to put her college education on hold to join the United States Army in 2008. After months of basic and advanced training stateside, she was deployed to the ongoing war in Iraq in December. She was placed close to the front lines, where constant explosions and hostile activities were ongoing. She was aware and understood she had been deployed to a war zone, but she didn’t know that she was about to engage in a war from within her own body.

During a day of fitness exercising, Brandi noticed a bump in her upper thigh, which had seemingly just magically appeared. Needless to say, Brandi was very concerned, but tried to play it off as mental stressors of her deployment or physical exertion, after all she was exhausted and fatigued. Her friends talked her into going to the medic station. Upon examination, she was flown to a hospital in Baghdad for a CT scan and then on to Germany for an MRI, revealing the bump as a cancerous nerve sheath tumor, which was a grim diagnosis. Terrified by this news, Brandi would call her mom, who immediately made plans to be by her side.

 “Basic training had taught me how to fight, how to use a gun, throw grenades, how to push past my physical limits, combat techniques, and how to defend my country. But this was a different kind of battle.”

Brandi would arrive at Walter Reed Medical Center in Maryland within a few days. With her mother at her side, they learned her cancer was Ewing’s Sarcoma, which was news no one wanted to hear as Brandi was given a 15% chance of survival with eight to 12 months to live. The stage was now set for an aggressive attempt to save Brandi’s life. Her mother reminded her that miracles happen always, and she can be a miracle, too! So aggressive chemotherapy started with regiments of 5 days on, then 8 days off for 10 months. Additionally, Brandi had to also endure multiple blood transfusions as part of her treatment plan.

Today, Brandi continues to be cancer-free with a story of victory for all to hear. She has authored a book titled “The Enemy Inside Me” and speaks to groups about her journey and recovery from Ewing’s Sarcoma. To learn more about this veteran, speaker, author, cancer survivor, and the Ora Lee Foundation, please visit brandilbenson.com and oralee.org.

By Terry McAfee