#BradenStrong - Friday Night Lights to a Fight Against Cancer
Meet Braden Kent, a young man from West Texas with a love for sports, especially football and basketball. Braden began his sophomore year as the starting quarterback for his high school, the Iraan Braves. After a game in September, he had some lingering rib soreness that concerned his mother, so they went to the ER for x-rays. But, his mother also requested they run blood work. The results from the blood work turned out to be life changing. Braden was diagnosed with leukemia, a cancer that affects the blood and bone marrow.
Braden's aunt reached out to FanLocks and encouraged us to share Braden’s story. She informed us that Braden recently entered a phase in his treatment called consolidation. It means his bone marrow is currently free of cancer and Braden is in remission. However, the consolidation phase isn’t an easy one. Braden will still be undergoing chemotherapy treatments to ensure the leukemia doesn’t return to his body. The good news is, Braden is producing his own healthy bone marrow.
While Braden is not yet out of the woods, he is hanging in there with the encouragement and support from his friends and family. They created the hashtag #BradenStrong, for anyone to use as a way to show Braden that he has the support of everyone to encourage him on his journey.
After receiving a Fanlocks Skullcap and Dreadlocks in his favorite football team's colors, Braden’s aunt reached out to FanLocks again to ask about making custom locks in Braden’s school colors. Working with his aunt, we created a custom logo incorporating Braden’s high school team colors, logo, an orange ribbon as the symbol for leukemia, Braden’s jersey number and the words Braden Strong for his own custom football dreadlocks.
With thanks to Braden’s family we were able to chat with Braden and ask him a few questions about his love for football, including how a kid from Texas ended up a fan of the Green Bay Packers.
Q: Braden, how did you become a Packers fan in Texas?
Braden: I remember when I was about 5 or 6 years old playing Madden 09 on Nintendo Wii and Brett Favre was on the cover, so I would always play as the Packers. I also had some influence from my mom and Paw-Paw who are also Packers fans.
Q: What excites you about the Packers this year?
Braden: Aaron Rodgers and Davante Adams' great connection on the field. Also, I’m excited to see David Bakhtiari return from his injury and finally get to play.
Q: What did receiving FanLocks mean to you?
Braden: If I get back to school before the year is out, I am definitely wearing these!
Braden’s story and courage has inspired us at FanLocks and we hope to get Braden to Lambeau Field to experience a Lambeau Leap as soon as his immune system allows. Braden is a perfect example of why FanLocks mission is so important.
For every FanLocks Dreadlocks hat sold, a cap is donated to someone currently receiving treatment or recovering from cancer. Cancer is never easy, but if we at FanLocks can do anything to help someone’s fight by sharing with them some encouragement, that is a fundamental part of our mission.
We wish Braden the absolute best as he continues his road to recovery. Thank you to Braden and his family for sharing his story with us.