Brain cancer survivor takes a step forward

By Michaela Gibson Morris/NEMS Daily Journal

TUPELO – When the Hope Steps Forward run starts Saturday morning, brain tumor survivor Bobby Bratton will be there.
The Tupelo man, who was diagnosed in 2001, crossed the finish line at the 2010 5K run.
“I did the whole thing,” said Bratton, who walks with a limp, a side effect of cancer surgery. “I came in dead last, but I finished.”
This Saturday, the annual run will begin at 8 a.m. with a 5K run/walk and 1-mile fun run in the Brewer community near Shannon. The cost is $20.
The goal of the run is to raise awareness of brain tumors.
“Brain cancer affects everybody, too, but you don’t hear about it as much,” Bratton said.
Having a brain tumor is not an automatic death sentence.
“You learn to overcome and adapt; that’s one thing I’ve learned to do,” said Bratton, who is raising two sons, AJ and Spence, with wife Kimela.
More awareness pushes the demand for research, Bratton said.
“If there’s not any research, we’re going to fall by the wayside,” Bratton said.
The funds from the 2011 run will benefit the NMMC Cancer Patient Assistance Fund and the Hope Steps Forward Scholarship, which will go to a graduating high school senior who plans to pursue a career in health care.
There’s a lot to learn from brain tumor survivors like Bratton, said Tupelo neurologist Dr. Rhodemarie Maron, who helped start the run three years ago.
“Each step and each moment is a gift for each of us – those with and those without brain tumors.”

Hope Steps Forward
– 8 a.m. Saturday

– Brewer community near Shannon

– $20 race entry

– For information, contact Elise McMasters at
(662) 844-7021 or eliselong7@hotmail.com