Former Radford University student Brandon Brinkley, 28, lost his fight with cancer on Jan. 14. He left behind his wife Lindsay and son Tristan.
Brinkley was diagnosed with Stage 4 testicular cancer in 2006, and rediagnosed in Nov. 2012. His three-month-long battle is detailed in his blog, which can be found here.
But what defines him was not his death, but the way he lived life.
Brinkley has been described by his professors as a passionate student who was devoted to his family and his goal of graduating from college, which he jokingly called his “ten-year plan”.
His ardent Christian faith gave him strength to continue fighting and push forward with his academic goals. His post, “We Will Overcome” speaks to how vast his faith was and how much strength it gave him. He found a support system among the people he went to church with.
He wrote extensively about his young son, Tristan, and about his desire to grow old with wife Lindsay. He was determined to graduate college despite his illness, and he did so in Dec. 2012, one month before he passed away.
On his blog, Brinkley described the agonizing pain he felt as a result of the tumors on his liver. But what one can note based on his online presence isn’t his illness. It’s the picture on the blog homepage; a sunny photograph of him smiling proudly with his family. It’s the sadness-tinged pride one can hear in his mother’s voice when she speaks of him, and the legacy he left behind in his son.
He led a full life, and fought with a kind of tenacity that few can claim as their own.
Read his obituary here.