When San Francisco 49ers’ legendary defensive lineman Bryant Young was enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Saturday, Aug. 6, his poignant eight-minute speech moved the crowd and everyone watching on television and online with emotion.
After thanking family, teammates, friends, and opponents in his heartfelt words, Bryant turned his thoughts to his son, Colby, who passed away of pediatric brain cancer at age 15:
“Colby sensed where things were heading and had questions. He didn’t fear death as much as the process of dying. Would it be painful? Would he be remembered? We assured Colby we’d keep his memory alive and continue speaking his name. On October 11, 2016, God called Colby home. Colby, you live on in our hearts. We will always speak your name.”
Bryant ended his speech with lessons he has learned on his journey: “From my pain, I found purpose. Letting someone grab my hand is as important as reaching for theirs. In an isolated world, personal connections matter more than ever. I keep my gaze on Christ and pour myself into good works, including the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation.”
All of us at PBTF are honored to walk alongside the Youngs and keep Colby’s memory alive. Bryant, as a PBTF Special Ambassador, and his wife Kristin, as the Vice Chair of PBTF’s Board of Directors, are incredible partners in supporting our mission to help families and end the deadliest and most common childhood cancer. We are grateful to have partnered with them throughout Bryant’s Hall of Fame Enshrinement Week to raise awareness about the urgent need for more research and better treatments.
As Childhood Cancer Awareness Month approaches in the coming weeks, PBTF will be sharing new information about how pediatric brain tumors are impacting families at both the state and national levels. You can sign up to receive emails about this news, resources for families, and ways to get involved at www.curethekids.org/stay-connected. Members of the media interested in running a story about this information and how organizations like PBTF are addressing childhood cancer by funding research and providing direct support to families can reach Amanda Hicken, National Director of Brand Strategy and Integrated Marketing, at [email protected].
No family should have to stand alone on their brain cancer journey. PBTF will continue to honor Colby’s name by standing with families today, tomorrow, and every day to come.
You can join Bryant and Kristin Young in supporting PBTF’s mission of a world without childhood brain cancer by donating at team.curethekids.org/bryantyoung. If you or a family you know has been affected by a child’s brain tumor diagnosis, we’re here to help. Contact our Family Support team today at 800-253-6530, ext. 306 or [email protected].
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.