Inspirational SLU fan's message lives on through foundation

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by Mike Columbo / News 4

KMOV.com

Posted on December 27, 2013 at 8:00 PM

(KMOV.com) - Joshua Brown's song is one of hope and happiness. A little guy thankful for the little things. Like his favorite toys and his favorite team, the Saint Louis University Billikens. Appreciating Joshua's joy comes with knowing his journey.

"He didn't walk until he was four years old. He didn't eat solid foods until he was almost five,” said Joshua’s mom Rhonda Brown

He's battled brain cancer since he was two months old. Now nine years old, that familiar foe returned for a rematch.

"In December 2012 we found out there were new spots growing,” added Rhonda.

This time around, Joshua fought cancer with a medical team and a basketball team. He connected with the Billikens through Friends of Jaclyn, an organization pairing kids fighting brain cancer with college and high school sports teams.

The Billikens rallied Joshua through radiation. He hung with them on the hardwood. Teamed together, SLU went on an incredible run. But one round into the NCAA tournament, SLU’s tournament run came to an end.

Basketball games like life can’t last forever. Less than three months after SLU's season ticked to a close, the clock was winding down for Joshua.

"We found out the tumor spread dramatically at the end of April. Within ten days of when we had the MRI, he was in coma,” said brown.

On Sunday June 2nd after a month in a coma, “You know, you just saw him just taking longer to breathe. Taking longer to take a breath. Until he just stopped breathing.”

"I think in those moments, everything starts to slow down.  You start remembering this is for real. He's not here anymore. I won't go to his house and see him tomorrow." said SLU guard Jake Barnett.

Jake spoke at Joshua’s funeral.

"To say here's a kid who struggled, who had a lot of problems, but yet had a hope and a motivation that was not of this earth was easy to say to people." added Barnett.

Through wins and devastating losses teammates pick each other up. The Billikens carried Joshua to his final resting place.

"We have all the confidence in the world that he's in heaven. That he's healed,” added Rhonda.

For the Browns, part of moving forward means going back. Back to a place and people keeping Joshua’s memory alive.

"It makes you proud as a mom to know that Joshua’s influence was so huge in just that short time,” added Rhonda.

An influence the Brown's share through their foundation Joshua’s Great Things.

"Every night before Joshua would go to bed he'd say, ‘God will do great things in me.’ And wouldn't go to sleep until he said it. We believe it. That's how he lived his life. Doing great things. Influencing people. That's what we want to see continue."

Living life on borrowed time, Joshua Brown shared his greatest gifts: hope, happiness, and a light that shines eternal.

Click here for more information on Joshua’s Great Things. 

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