Brooke’s Cancer Journey

I had the privilege of meeting Brooke at the Still Waters Cancer Retreat in California in the Summer of 2018. We quickly learned that we both attended Texas Tech University for college and we immediately connected. The conversation carried from college life to cancer to faith and a forever friendship began. 

Brooke and Nicole working out in California at the Still Waters cancer retreat.

It is an honor to share Brooke’s story with you today. She is resilient, kind, and has a heart of gold. I hope her story encourages you that God has a plan for your life and to never give up hope in Him.

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Brooke’s Cancer Journey

I started college in 2015 and was so excited to be on my dream dance team at Texas Tech University. I had dedicated all of my high school career to improve my dancing to be at a college competitive level.

Brooke Dancing for Texas Tech University

My first year was spent with a crazy, demanding schedule dancing and cheering at Texas Tech football and basketball games and the NDA Nationals.

Photo of Brooke cheering for Texas Tech Pom Squad on the field at a game with pom poms.

After my first year, I decided not to try out for the team again because my energy and attention span was extremely low. I felt I would be unable to fulfill the schedule and expectations. No one understood why I wasn’t planning to stay on because this was all I had been dreaming about since middle school.

The next year I went to a university closer to my home where my older brother attended. If I wasn’t in class I was taking a nap…really. I had ZERO energy and that summer when I returned home, everyone noticed I was different. I was sleeping all the time, antisocial, and always felt odd.

I was very distant from God. I remember about a month before returning home for summer, I had been chatting it up with God but this time I was annoyed, angry, and told Him I lost desire to draw near to Him. I begged Him to spark something in me to want to pursue Him more. And being diagnosed with brain cancer shortly after brought me closer to Him than I could have ever imagined.

Brooks' CT scan results of the brain tumor in her head.

After an awake brain surgery with 34 seizures, proton radiation, egg retrieval, and a year of chemo, I had plenty of time to find myself and who I wanted to be. God gave me the time to draw near to Him.

Brooke in the hospital post brain surgery

There are a million ways from growing up and to decisions I have made that everything came together through God’s plan to provide for my family and me in this stage of life. He has always brought me exactly where I needed to be.

Brooke with part of her head shaved due to scans and surgeries on her brain for cancer.

He calms me down when I am about to explode from fear.

“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”
-2 Timothy 1:7

This verse is where I go when I am worried. God doesn’t want us to worry. The devil LOVES when we choose to focus on fear and anxiety. I choose to give my worries to God and always look on the bright side. No matter what happens, we end up in the same place if we choose Him.

Brooke doing an aerial cartwheel on the beach dressed in white

I’m not saying cancer isn’t challenging or exhausting, or just plain hard when I see other young adults out there living life differently than me. But if you are open to Him, He will be WITH you and will shape you through your circumstances to be a light to others in their life.

Cancer has shown me how I want to be known and how I want to live my life. I spent too much time focusing on things that weren’t important. I spent so much time dancing and in rehearsals, I couldn’t even make it to church or form other relationships because I was too busy. I needed to adjust my priorities.

Today I am a part of an amazing organization called I’m a Dancer Against Cancer (DAC).  

Brooke at a Dancer's Against Cancer Event

This organization helps dance students and their families financially and helps spread awareness. I get to do what I love by connecting with and supporting dancers with cancer. You can learn more, find ways to get involved, or donate to this amazing cause by clicking here.

Brooke on the red carpet at Dancer's Against Cancer

To this day my cancer isn’t gone. It is hard to know for sure with cancer in the brain without having to go back in for surgery. I am watching my tumor every few months and even though I don’t know what will happen, I do know I can make it through with God, my friends, and family support.

Brooke posing with a complex dance move for the camera.

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I am so thankful to Brooke for sharing her story. She is so lively and loves others tremendously!

Brooke, you are in our prayers and we love you. You inspire us to never give up; to take our passions and use them to serve and love others well. To take a curveball and surrender it to God. To shine the light of Christ so brightly! To be the hands and {dancing} feet of Jesus. We love you dearly and we are praying for you!

If you would like to connect with Brooke or even to say a kind word or prayer, please post a comment or send me a message by clicking here and I will forward them to her! 

Brooke with the Texas Tech Dance Team

God bless you!

Sparkle on,
Nicole Body

Has something happened in your life that came “out of the blue?” Are you needing to hear the words “you have so much to offer this world?” Because you do! Please feel free to reach out to me or send a message for Brooke!

 

 

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