Social media movement documents Mebane teen’s fight against cancer

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MEBANE, N.C. — A 19-year-old from Mebane is battling an incurable form of brain cancer. But he’s staying positive, thanks in part to a social media movement showering him with support, according to WTVD-TV.

Joining that movement is simple – just take a picture of yourself anywhere, hold up a handwritten sign that reads #breakingbrad, then post it on twitter. It’s a small gesture that helps lift one young man’s spirits.

Bradley Joyner has glioblastoma, an incurable form of brain cancer. In March, he had surgery at Duke Hospital that removed at least 90 percent of the tumor.

During that time his aunt, Kristin Shyla Cook, started documenting his journey through photos on her blog. Then she got the idea for “Breaking Brad,” partly a play on one of Brad’s favorite television shows, “Breaking Bad.” But the name also serves as symbolism for what the 19-year-old is going through.

“Sometimes in order to glow again, we have to be broken for a season, so I thought, well, ‘Breaking Brad,'” Cook explained. “Sometimes in order to be stronger, you have to break a little bit.”

Since the Twitter movement began, pictures have popped up daily. ABC 11’s own Don Schwenekker posted a picture with the morning crew wishing Brad well.

“He loves it,” Cook said. “I think you know, when you’re going through brain cancer it feels like you’re going through it alone. And these are small ways, actually big ways, small equals big, that he knows people are praying for him and supporting him.”

Brad’s mom said he finished radiation last Thursday, and soon he’ll go back to Duke to participate in a promising new clinical trial involving a vaccine that could keep the cancer from returning. That possibility is also helping keep hope alive for the Mebane teen and his family.

Meanwhile, Brad continues to check twitter daily, and he’s hoping the play on “Breaking Bad” will catch the eye of the show’s star, Bryan Cranston. So far, Brad hasn’t heard from him, but you never know, that could change with this campaign taking off.

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