Mount Clemens hockey player battles brain cancer

MONT CLEMENS, Mich. – After a sudden cancer scare, a young hockey player from Metro Detroit is back on the ice.

Braydin Lewis says he played with his team one day, and the next he was having emergency brain surgery.

One day Lewis, an 18-year-old defenseman for the Mount Clemens Metro Jets, was on the ice playing the sport he loves. Before he knew it, he was undergoing brain surgery for cancer.

Lewis has been playing hockey since he was three years old, so naturally he’s tough.

He had his malignant brain tumor removed by his doctor in Fort Wayne, Indiana, where he was living at the time. But he traveled five days a week from Indiana to Beaumont royal oak for a unique complementary treatment called Proton Therapy.

“It’s like specific on the spot, and I won’t lose all my hair, and it doesn’t become a healthy brain,” Lewis said. Like it was huge.

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He also relied on his teammates like his best friend Alex Schaumburger, who accompanied him to his appointments and put him up when the journey was too long.

“In the end, like he was my best friend, and that was really all that was,” Schaumburger said. “It was just hanging out with him. But with an additional appointment in the morning.

“I would stay awake at his house and he would take me to treatment every morning,” Lewis said. “He was there for me, and we would train together and eat together. He would buy me food. He is the best.”

Lewis’ coach recounts how the Metro Jets rallied behind him as they made a big difference in his fight, but it’s also that hockey mentality he grew up with.

“And so we knew with his characteristics and the way he was going to, you know, come to the rink and get close to that head that he was going to beat that, and we know he’s going to keep fighting, but that’s It was very impressive to watch him grow up with us,” said Metro Jets hockey coach Justin Quenneville.

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As September is a month to raise awareness for children battling cancer, Lewis hopes her story and attitude can influence any other child or adult faced with the difficult diagnosis of this disease.

“Keep a positive mindset,” Lewis said. “It will be much easier for you and your family members. If you’re positive and you keep pushing to keep pushing, keep pushing, and when you have that satisfaction of saying you’re cancer free, that’s going to be the best day for you and everyone around.

The next step for Lewis is a CT scan on September 21 to determine if his brain cancer is gone. And we will certainly support him both in the hospital and right here on the ice.

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Catherine J. Martinez