Danielle and her son Grayson - Capes for Grayson

What would inspire a mother to hand make super-hero capes? Meet Danielle Brannan and her son Grayson. At the age of three, Grayson has already been diagnosed with Gardner Syndrome (GS), has had six sebaceous cysts extracted from his head, and an abscess removed from the base of his skull. 

 

With the surgery to remove the abscess approaching, Danielle, who is also facing her own challenges with GS, asked Grayson what she could do to make things better for him. "Make me a superhero cape," Grayson says. "When I wear a cape nothing hurts me. I want to wear it in my surgery." If that is not cool enough, Grayson asked Danielle to "make one for dad to keep him brave, too." (From the mouths of babes, right?!?)

 

Danielle has coupled Grayson’s request with her own passion to raise awareness about GS to create “Capes for Grayson”. Danielle makes and sells capes so others can be a superhero for Grayson. The scrapbook she keeps holds pictures of Grayson’s fans wearing her handmade capes and it reminds Grayson of everyone praying for him and supporting him.

 

 

P.S. If you have a young one with a Familial Adenomatous Polyposis, I highly recommend picking up FAP for Kids from the National Society of Genetic Counselors.  Also, click here to find forums, support groups, and support organizations for young people dealing with a hereditary colon cancer.

 

A final note about Danielle. She first became symptomatic of colon cancer 12 years ago at the age of seventeen. While exhibiting digestive problems like bleeding, her GI diagnosed her with hemorrhoids. I have heard of this happening all too frequently, but what makes things worse is that she sought a 2nd and 3rd opinion. Both confirmed only hemorrhoids. 

 

Danielle was finally diagnosed with Gardner Syndrome about two years ago, when Grayson was six months old, after she was found to have a tumor on her adrenal gland. The surgeon had the wherewithal to recognize that these types of tumors are rarely an isolated symptom and subsequently scheduled a colonoscopy. Thankfully, prophylactic removal of her colon was still available to her. Danielle, along with the Hereditary Colon Cancer Foundation, is highly motivated to reduce the instance of misdiagnoses.

 

Danielle Brannan joined the Board of Directors of the Hereditary Colon Cancer Foundation for the 2013-2014 fiscal year.

 

 

Presently, the young lad has a tumor actively growing around his carotid artery, requiring testing every three months to monitor its growth. Proceeds from the sales of Capes for Grayson help defer the cost of their medical expenses. These include frequent testing, which cost $100 each, co-pays for office visits, and travel expenses. She also has ambitions to donate towards pediatric research.

 

To order a customized cape for yourself or a loved one, search “Capes for Grayson” on Facebook or email CapesforGrayson@yahoo.com . The suggested donation is only $10 per cape.  Click here to view a video by WHNT in Huntsville about Capes for Grayson. 

 

Personally speaking, there is nothing I hope more than to never see the inside of an operating room again. But if I do go under the knife again, I can promise you one thing...I'll be wearing a cape!