A few days ago I had the pleasure of hanging out with September Brooks Brown who I had met last Sunday as I was leaving my campsite just across the Oklahoma border.
I had met September and her husband after crossing into Oklahoma and shared with them my story and my anti bullying walk.
Little did I know that this amazing story would emerge from meeting these two wonderful people.
September shared with me that my walk for this cause had really hit her hard as she had lost her son Greg who was bullied.
This is a true story of a mother, the loss of her son, bullying and her way of honoring her son Greg for decades to come ..
Most of us could hardly fathom the experience of losing a child much less losing them to leukemia at age 14.
Gregory August Allyen Brown was sick for only 5 days when he was diagnosed with a very aggressive form of leukemia. Within 6 months he lost his battle but his story was far from over.
As a kid Greg had really bad speech problems. He didn’t begin to talk until after he was 3 years old. As he got into school he began to get bullied. He’d get made fun of for the way he talked and was excluded from games and birthday parties and other things kids his age did. He learned to play by himself mostly. He loved legos, video games and DRUMS!! But he mostly loved rockets!!! On nice days Greg would go out and launch hand made rockets. He dreamed of some day being an astronaut out in space.
But sadly Greg was never able to become an astronaut as he lost his battle with leukemia on September 14th 1999.
Then on December 20th 1999 the Millennial Flight memorial spacecraft carried the remains of Greg’s ashes into space orbit. His mom, September, was able to get her son’s ashes launched into space as a way of honoring her son and his love of life. After successfully launching him into space he will now orbit the earth every 90 minutes for the next 57 years!!
While I was in Tulsa a few days ago, September and her husband Terry took me to Tulsa Air and Space Museum & Planetarium to see Greg’s exhibit and learn about all the amazing things and people that helped make this happen. It was a great honor to hear his story and be with his mom and family. Greg is the 1st Oklahoma’n to be buried in space !!
There is a lot more to story and I will be writing more in-depth version in my new blog coming soon. This is s story that really needs to be told.
For now let me leave you with this from Greg’s mom ...
Greg was angry about having cancer. Several times, he asked “Why me? Why ME? All these other kids are so mean, so why am I the one who had to get cancer?” I didn’t have a good answer for him, and I would answer “I don’t know, Greg.” I promised him that if he got through this, and got to go back to school, the kids wouldn’t tease him anymore. Greg didn’t believe me though. His teacher, Mrs. Blanchard, stayed in touch with us. One day, she told the class that she was going to the hospital to see Greg, and if anybody wanted to send him a card or note, she would take it to him. When she came up there, she had a whole stack of cards. Some of them were from people who had bullied him, and more than one kid even said they were sorry. Greg read them all, and when he got to those, he’d say “hmmmff”, because he didn’t believe it. It had gone on for so many years, that it was hard to convince him it would ever end. Another time she brought some more cards, and this time, he started to believe it. Years later, after he died, another classmate found his Facebook page. They said “I’m sorry I wasn’t very nice to you.” It helped me to know that these kids hearts were changed. It’s sad that it took a deadly illness to do it, but I’m glad that they had remorse. Hopefully, it kept some other kids from having to go through what Greg went through. “
Wow what a power message that was. Let this be a reminder to all of us the importance of living a life of compassion and love towards our fellow man.
We never know what tomorrow brings so let’s not wait until tomorrow comes. Let’s be in the now and live through love and compassion as we are all gods children....
Thank you to September Brown for allowing me to tell the story of her and her son. Bullying has effected so many across this country. I am still almost 2,000 miles away from completing my walk and gathering stories of bullying. To help contribute to my walk and get me on down the road you can go here to my PayPalMe link to help out with lunch, dinner, hotel ect ...
To donate to my anti bullying campaign go here and together we can do our part to teach compassion and love.