Hey there, I’m Brandon Best. Born in Los Angeles, but raised in Lake Oswego, Oregon. Before my dad's diagnosis, I was a happy and relatively social person at the University of Arizona.
I was pretty involved on campus, but that all came crashing down in my final few months approaching graduation when I found out my dad was diagnosed with CMML with the doctors giving him only 6 months to live. Unfortunately, I had no idea where to turn or what to do. It was a spiraling period for me after hearing my hero had a terminal illness.

Luckily, I had an amazing support group of friends who are like brothers, sisters, aunts, and uncles. Our family rallied together as much as we possibly could to be there for each other in our final holidays. It was all very surreal. Luckily, my girlfriend (now wife) helped pull me through the darkest moments to see the light in our time left together.

This is probably something every son or daughter thinks when they’re losing a parent. You always wish that you could ask the “what if” scenarios, or what did you learn in xyz scenarios. My dad was extremely successful from a business perspective and a holistic life perspective as well. People gravitated towards him. I would do anything to get more one-on-one time with him again.

The acceleration to become frailer and frailer. He must have aged 10 years in a matter of months. That was particularly hard as he played his last game of golf and needed further assistance with day-to-day activities.

If I were to give a tip to anyone going through the same experience as me? Talk. Nothing helped me more during, or after, this experience than having honest conversations about my father’s feelings, or my own. If you can’t talk to your family, then I wholeheartedly believe in finding comfort in therapy, or others with shared experiences. 

You don’t have to be strong. You don’t have to hold the weight of the world on your shoulders. Lean on your community to find the light in this fight!