San Francisco 49ers legend and University of Notre Dame alum Bryant Young never missed an opportunity to put in the work, be a leader, and have faith that his family and teammates stand with him. This August, Bryant will receive his gold jacket, bronzed bust, and place in NFL history as one of the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Class of 2022 Heroes of the Game. But now that his moment in Canton has arrived, there is one person missing in the celebrations – his son Colby, who passed away at the age of 15 following a long and difficult battle with brain cancer.
Shortly before he passed away, Colby organized a “Change for Change” fundraiser to benefit the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation (www.curethekids.org), raising more than $50,000 with the help of his high school Charlotte Christian. Today, Bryant, his wife Kristin, and their family carry on Colby’s legacy by partnering with PBTF to help families facing the deadliest and most common childhood cancer.
“My family takes every opportunity to honor Colby, share our family’s story, and carry on his legacy,” says Bryant. “Twenty-two was his favorite number, and this year is representative of him. It is such an incredible honor to be in the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Class of 2022, and we want to use this moment for a greater good — to remember Colby and help other families facing brain cancer.”
Children and teens with brain cancer receive toxic and ineffective treatments developed over 40 years ago for adults, even though science has shown pediatric cancer is different and often more aggressive than adult cancers. Far too many children, like Colby, don’t survive, and survivors face debilitating, long-term health problems. Yet, childhood brain cancer takes a backseat in research and resources because it’s considered a rare disease. As the Youngs and so many other families know firsthand, the impact on patients and their loved ones can’t be measured simply by the number of diagnoses.
To raise awareness about the urgent need to stand with pediatric brain tumor patients, survivors, parents, and siblings, the Youngs have partnered with PBTF to produce a public service announcement that will air before and during the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Enshrinement Week (Aug. 4-7).
Bryant and Kristin have also invited a 14-year-old brain tumor survivor from Indiana to be their special guest and PBTF’s behind-the-scenes ambassador in Canton. An up-and-coming actor and musician who lives near where Bryant grew up, Zion will share about his brain tumor journey and Hall of Fame experience over PBTF’s YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter channels throughout Enshrinement Week.
“PBTF is so excited to work with Bryant and Kristin to provide Zion and his mom this once-in-a-lifetime experience, and we’re humbled by the Youngs’ unwavering commitment to help pediatric brain tumor families in honor of Colby,” says Courtney Davies, PBTF CEO and President. “Families like Zion’s and Colby’s go through the unthinkable, and the Youngs’ continued partnership and generosity ensure no family will have to walk alone through their battle. Bryant is truly an inspiration to everyone who knows him, and the PBTF community is thrilled to cheer him on as he’s enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame this August!”
You can join Bryant and Kristin Young in supporting PBTF’s mission of a world without childhood brain cancer by donating today at team.curethekids.org/bryantyoung. If you or a family you know has been affected by a child’s brain tumor diagnosis, PBTF is here for you from the moment symptoms start, along every step of the journey. Call our Helpline today at 800-253-6530, x306 to connect with resources and our community of family support.
About the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation
No parent believes their child will be diagnosed with brain cancer. When it happens, no patient, parent, sibling, or survivor should have to stand alone. The Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation is there for families facing the deadliest and most common childhood cancer, responding with resources and community support that address every family member’s needs. The largest patient advocacy funder of pediatric brain tumor research, PBTF also funds and advocates for innovative projects that lead to vital discoveries, new clinical trials, and better treatments – all bringing us closer to a cure. We’re able to do that because of people and partners committed to supporting families and ending childhood brain cancer. Learn more at www.curethekids.org.