Chris Brown // Wife – Shirley Ann // Son – Rudy ten months old // Clemson fan // Enjoys music, sports, traveling, and spending time with friends and family //COO at Adeptus
“In 2012, I was set to enjoy my last semester at Clemson,” said Chris Brown. “I was visiting some friends in Raleigh, and I asked a friend of mine who was a pre-med major to look at a lump on my neck that felt odd. I didn’t really think it was a big deal.”
“Little did I know it would change my life.”
“My friend suggested I go and see my doctor about it. The doctor thought it might be an infection initially but decided a scan would be prudent to rule anything else out. The scan revealed a tennis ball-sized growth, which the doctor had immediate concerns of a type of lymphoma. A biopsy days later confirmed that it was Hodgkin’s lymphoma.”
Not The Plan
Brown had to leave Clemson for treatment.
“I was more frustrated than anything. The hardest part for me was going through treatments and being forced to be at home while I was missing out on a semester of college with my friends.”
Brown isn’t the type to do much sitting around. In fact, he would often visit the driving range after a chemo treatment to ease off the adrenaline rush brought on by the drugs. He even got a part-time job at an accounting firm to keep his schedule and mind busy.
Keeping a Positive Mindset
“I never got scared. I think my parents did most of the worrying for me. My doctors did a great job of ensuring me that the odds of survival were in my favor.”
“My close friends would come and visit. I loved it. This was before social media; they kept me up to speed on what was happening. That helped me stay connected.”
But even more important, with the benefit of hindsight behind him, Brown keeps a positive mindset on his experience and views it mostly as fortuitous.
“At first, I was frustrated and thought that Hodgkin’s had completely derailed my path in life. Little did I know that it would lead me to a completely different career path, my future wife, and now my first born, Rudy. You could say it’s the best thing that’s ever happened to me.”
Learning from His Experience
“As a 22-year-old, I didn’t quite grasp the big picture and maybe was a bit immature. In hindsight, I had a much less invasive and intense treatment plan than other cancer patients and survivors that I’ve met. I also had a tremendous support group, which I am extremely thankful for. There needs to be a stronger group of resources for adolescents that are going through treatments that might not have the same support that I had.”
“I was lucky. My friends and family were very close throughout the entire process.”
“Cancer unfortunately has been a story throughout me and my family’s history. My mother is a breast cancer survivor. She was diagnosed in 2022. Her path to remission was much more complex than mine. I like to think my experience helped prepare her for hers.”
“Both of my mother’s parents passed away from lung cancer. Her father died when she was 12. Her mother died when I was 10.”
“Last year, my grandmother-in-law, Shirley, also passed away from lung cancer.”
“Friends and family are everything. Cancer can never take that away from me or anyone else.”
“I’m at a great spot in my career. I really love what I’m doing. I love being a dad and a husband. My son, Rudy, is ten months old. I love it and wouldn’t change anything about how I got here.”