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A Success Story - Brandi Chambers

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Brandi Chambers 

Brandi is a freshman at Central Michigan University, in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan, majoring in Education.  Brandi's experience with cancer and her volunteering work has helped her discover a passion for helping children as a career educator.   She has survived Melanoma.  In her own words:

“In August, 2001, I was diagnosed with Melanoma, the most curable, but deadly form of skin cancer.  Fortunately, I was diagnosed early.  The cancer was able to be removed through surgery and did not spread to my lymphoid system.  I regularly get checked since my family has a background of Melanoma, and I am at such a high risk.

In 2005 my father was diagnosed with Ocular Melanoma, which is so uncommon that there isn't any treatment for it.  My father fought for as long as he could.  He passed only seven months after being diagnosed. 

Cancer, as horrible as it is, has really helped me grow as a person.  I don't think people realize what they have until something tragic happens to themselves or a loved one.  In my case, it happened to both.  And now I thank God for everyday, whether it is good or bad.  I realize how fast everything can just be taken from you and how fast your life can change.

All throughout high school, I was nervous that I would graduate and not know what I wanted to do with the rest of my life.  I changed my mind all the time, but always stayed in the medical field; because that is what my family wanted.  I wanted to help people and being in a medical profession, I would be doing that everyday.  But I realized it just wasn't for me, not my calling.  So starting my senior year, I went to my counselor to talk about my scheduling, and I decided to take a student mentoring class.  So for one hour each day, I went into a second grade class to help out - I loved every minute of it!  I never thought I would want to go into teaching, but nothing is better than knowing you are helping a child.  These students are so grateful that you are there to help and teach them.  So the way I want to help others is through being a school teacher.  Maybe someday, one of my students will be the one to find the cure for cancer.  Who knows?

I volunteer by doing community service through my high school's SERVE program or my church.  I help in nursing homes and other senior citizen events, such as dinners.  I also work with elementary school students.

This scholarship has been a blessing to myself and my family.  Cancer Survivors' Fund is not only helping me reach my dreams, but is also helping my mother put me through school.  I look forward to my weekly emails; they are always inspirational.  Thank you Cancer Survivors' Fund!”

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