Stone Oak Dad, Sheriff’s Deputy Awarded Fundraising Support
Submitted By Erin Kirwan
In November 2017, Brandon Rivas, was selected as one of two recipients by Putting 4 Pops, a local non-profit that organizes an annual Golf Fundraising Tournament specifically benefitting dads fighting cancer. Beyond grateful for the support, in fall 2018, Amy, Brandon’s wife, looks forward to a different scene.
“This fall, I hope to see my husband on that putting green, golf club in hand and smiling, as he ceremoniously taps the golf ball,” said Amy Rivas.
It’s a big dream packed with a lot of hope for Amy, a Stone Oak area wife and mother of three. Brandon is fighting a rare cancer that for months has kept him within the four walls of his hospital room or the confines of his own home. To be outside on a golf course, surrounded by people and smiling from ear to ear, would be a defiance of the odds.
Brandon , an Army Veteran and Deputy with the Bexar County Sheriff’s Office has Anapestic T cell ALK negative non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. He received the diagnosis in May 2017. Since then, he has endured chemotherapy and fought through a stem cell/bone marrow transplant while waiting for upcoming scans that will reveal the intensity the battle that lies ahead.
While enduring the fight of their lives, the Rivas family remains like a beacon of light, attracting love, generosity, prayer, random acts of kindness, and undeniable luck that has helped them to stay afloat over the last few months.
Last year, the media picked up on Brandon’s story, helping to shed some light on his uncommon diagnosis and the family’s needs. Many responded with donations and prayers. Then, in November, a huge prayer was answered when Brandon learned he could be his own stem cell donor with enough for the transplant. Additional good news followed. Later that month the family received word that they had been chosen to receive a donation from Putting 4 Pops. Just days after Brandon was released from the hospital after his transplant, he and Amy along with their children, were presented a check for $5,000. The Rivas’ met and interacted with a new support system of sorts as Brandon bonded with other recipients, including a dad, who today, is cancer-free.
“What a blessing and total surprise,” Amy Rivas said. “The financial burden is great so learning about this organization that specifically helps dads came at exactly the right time.”
Amy, a nurse, recently had picked up a third job to help pay for Brandon’s medical bills. The Sheriff’s deputy has been on leave since his diagnosis, unable to work in public or crowded areas due to a weakened immune system. Brandon hopes to return to work as soon as it is safe to do so.
Meantime, an online donation site created for Brandon has raised about a quarter of its goal. While every monetary donation helps, it’s sometimes the less obvious gifts that are welcomed and much needed as the family begins to grow accustomed to living life fighting cancer in 2018. Favors including yard work and other everyday tasks Brandon once did while healthy are greatly appreciated. Even something as simple as a phone call or impromptu visit can make all the difference. In fact, these simple acts of kindness are needed because, as Amy has learned, fighting cancer can be lonely and isolating.
However, with the support and love from so many friends, family, and even strangers, the Rivas are pushing forward fueled by faith and hope. Hope, that one day soon Brandon will be back among his Bexar County brothers and sisters, able to chase his kids as he did before his cancer diagnosis, and be reunited again on the golf course with his newfound Putting 4 Pops family, making a difference in someone else’s life, as so many others have done for him.
You can stay up to date with Brandon’s fight by visiting www.youcaring.com/BrandonRivas. For more information about Putting 4 Pops and its effort to help fathers beat cancer visit www.Putting4Pops.org.