Steve Brown has become a superhero in the eyes of the many people he has inspired during his battle with blood cancer. Also known as “RemissionMan,” Brown has endeavored to use his diagnosis of Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL) to help others who are waging their own wars against cancer. More than just a cancer patient, Brown is a triathlete, a coach, an author, a speaker, and a survivor. He has exhibited the strength and determination of a true superhero, competing in numerous marathons and triathlons despite his diagnosis.
Brown’s experience with cancer began with a sore throat. After a number of failed treatments, including antibiotics and steroids, Brown’s symptoms had progressed to the point where it was difficult for him to swallow even his own saliva. Brown sought the advice of an ear, nose, and throat specialist (ENT) who suggested a tonsillectomy. The results of routine blood work performed before the scheduled procedure revealed that he had cancer. In February of 2006, at the age of 46, Brown was a triathlete leading a healthy lifestyle, and he was diagnosed with CLL.
Determined to maintain control of his life and his disease, Brown would often run all the way home after chemotherapy treatments. By staying physically active, he was able to demonstrate to his children and to others that he refused to allow his cancer to control his life. While running, Brown would envision cancer cells falling from his body and visualize kicking them into storm drains. His positive mindset provided a powerful weapon in his fight against cancer. Brown draws many parallels between the challenges he has faced as an athlete and the challenges faced by people battling cancer.
By July of 2006 Brown was in remission and once again racing in triathlons. Although he experienced relapses in 2012 and 2013, he has responded well to treatment and has been in remission ever since.
Shortly after being diagnosed with CLL, Brown realized that he could help others by sharing the insights he has discovered in his fight against cancer. He has written several books chronicling his experiences with CLL. Brown’s most recent book, “Relentless Mettle: My Cancer, My Rules” was published earlier this year. He also presents at speaking engagements where he aims to give hope to people who have been diagnosed with cancer. Many who have read Brown’s books or heard him speak have been inspired by his message of positivity. Particularly rewarding for Brown, he also has the privilege of serving as a coach in the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s Team in Training Program, which provides athletes the opportunity to raise money for blood cancer research in exchange for training and support. Brown credits the multisport community with having a significant positive impact on his recovery. Through his work, he strives to instill that positivity and hope in other patient athletes and their families.
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