CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - September 5th: Brayson Melton started college at Clemson University this past month. He’s a freshman from Shelby who loves sports and jumped into his new college life by signing up to work as one of the football equipment managers.
By looking at Brayson, you’d never guess his past two years. This 18-year-old has been through the wringer and come out on top. Brayson was diagnosed in November of 2017 with Medulloblastoma. A brain tumor. Prior to his diagnosis, this Cleveland County teen was a three-sport athlete.
Sadly, the surgery to remove the tumor caused a stroke and left him with double vision and unable to walk.
"Brayson went into surgery a much different child than he came out," said his mom Kerri from her job in Shelby. “My husband Chris and I have two other kids at home. Our lives were turned completely upside down.”
With perseverance and lots of intensive physical therapy, Brayson is now standing strong – as you see in this picture – and walking again. He just had an MRI last weekend.
Scans came back yesterday. Kerri was honest about those scans when we first talked last week. She was nervous to have us lift him up and write about him until she got scans back and knew they were clear. Which is fully understandable.
You’re reading this post which means…. Brayson’s scans were all clear. They’re clear! It’s great news. “We’re exhaling,” Kerri said. “He’s good. We’re all good.” To get to this point, Brayson had lots of PT. He had to re-teach his body things. He also underwent six weeks of daily radiation, four rounds of high-dose chemo, and four stem cell treatments. (Sidenote: Four stem cell treatments is a whole lot on one person.)
Brayson recovered from the last two rounds of transplant as an outpatient – his mom says he’s the first patient at @Levine Children’s to do so. “He pushed through and refused to let his situation get the best of him,” she said. As an extra amazing fact, throughout it all Brayson continued to exercise and maintain a 4.4 GPA.
He also had two corrective eye surgeries and now -- 22 months after the original surgery when that tumor was removed – he finally doesn’t see double anymore. He has been back out on the baseball field and as mentioned, is the football manager for Clemson. “But he is a different child,” Kerri said. “He used to be catcher for his baseball team. After all this he was still on the team and able to get back out there, but not play as much and he wasn’t catcher. But when he would head to the plate to hit, the stands would go nuts. He proved you can persevere and find new paths in life.”
The pride in Kerri’s voice jumps through the phone. “He has drive,” she says. “He never gave up.” Brayson has a younger sister named Landry (16) and a younger brother named Brock (11).
*Editor’s note: This is about one of #MollysKids, children WBTV Anchor Molly Grantham follows closely on her Facebook page. It was first published there, which is why it’s written in a personal way. For years Molly has followed hundreds of kids with uphill medical battles. Find this story and updates on all #MollysKids here.