Wednesday night I had the pleasure to represent Make-A-Wish Mississippi at Brandon’s wish reveal party hosted by Southern Pipe & Supply. As I walked in, I scanned the room to see who I knew, and my eye was quickly drawn to a teenager sitting at a table smiling and having a grand time. That teenager was wish kid Brandon. After talking to Jay Davidson and Mark Rancier of Southern Pipe, I was asked to present Brandon with a few gifts on behalf of Make-A-Wish. Brandon joined me center stage in the room. I shared with everyone how this was my first wish party to attend, how proud we were of Brandon’s recovery and how excited we were for he and his family as they will soon be travelling to Hawaii. Through my conversation, I realized exactly how special Brandon is. He asked questions about Hawaii and what he would be doing on his trip. I asked him questions about what he wanted to do. He mentioned he wanted see some hula dancers and then proceeded to give a demonstration. Everyone in the room began laughing with Brandon. Once the presentation was over, I watched Brandon interact with everyone in the room. He approached friends, family and even those from Southern Pipe he didn't know. He had a smile on his face as he engaged each person with conversation and questions. He was genuine and at ease with everyone. I told his mom that it did not look like Brandon has ever met a stranger. What his mom went on to tell me made my respect for Brandon increase tenfold. She said prior to his brain tumor Brandon was a shy child who would have kicked and screamed before being the center of attention at a party like this. The tumor led Brandon to re-evaluate his life and made him realize how blessed he was to be alive. All Brandon could say was, “I have my life.” Brandon’s experience with cancer completely changed his outlook on life. Gone are the days of a shy, confidence lacking child. Now, he is full of joy with new found self-confidence. He is an inspiration to others as he shares his story of how he conquered his “giants”. He is excited to see what each day has to offer. As I was preparing to leave, Brandon came up to me and said, “I want to stay friends.” I could see the sincerity in his eyes as he waited to see what I would say. I said, “Brandon, I would like that.” Driving away, I reflected on a teenager who has faced tougher obstacles than a person should. I could see a young man who has walked through the fire, has been refined by the experience and will now impact everyone he comes in contact with whether they are from Meridian or Hawaii. I know he impacted me. Enjoy your trip Brandon; you and your family deserve it.