Article

A Young Fighter Gets Ready to Battle for Another Round

Thomas Gerbasi, UFC - Brandon Rayner is a fighter. No, he’s not a newcomer to the UFC, scheduled to compete on one of the organization’s upcoming cards, but the 10-year old Las Vegas native’s courage and determination will serve him even better than a Chuck Liddell right hand in his battle against leukemia.
By Thomas Gerbasi

Brandon Rayner is a fighter. No, he’s not a newcomer to the UFC, scheduled to compete on one of the organization’s upcoming cards, but the 10-year old Las Vegas native’s courage and determination will serve him even better than a Chuck Liddell right hand in his battle against leukemia.

It’s a fight that Brandon is determined to win, and if you need any proof of his resilience, he’s been battling with the heart of a champion since the age of two, when he was first diagnosed with NF1 (neurofibromatosis). Two rounds of chemotherapy (at the age of three and seven) would follow, but by the time he finished his second round in September of 2007, Brandon was overjoyed to learn that he was finally able to begin studying martial arts, which he did in impressive fashion at former UFC heavyweight champion Frank Mir’s Striking Unlimited Gym, hoping to follow in the footsteps of his fighting heroes. He even earned an award for attendance in school, an amazing feat in itself.

Yet by the time he finished fourth grade earlier this year, Brandon was diagnosed with leukemia and soon after began his third round of chemotherapy. For ten days straight, he took the treatment, yet his spirit wouldn’t be broken, and he remains upbeat and an inspiration not only to the patients at Sunrise Children's Hospital, but to everyone who has come into contact with him or who has read his story.

But now, as he continues his fight against leukemia, he is looking for a hand from the mixed martial arts community, not only by having people register as bone marrow donors, but by having the fans of the sport get the word out as he looks to set a new world record for most business cards collected.

So far, Brandon has collected over 200,000 cards. And as a young man who has trained in martial arts before his medical battles began, nothing would brighten his day more than some business cards from people who share his love for the sport as he prepares for an arduous schedule that includes a bone marrow transplant and more rounds of chemotherapy.

Business cards can be sent to Brandon Rayner at Sunrise Children's Hospital, Attention: Pediatric Oncology, 3186 S. Maryland Parkway, Las Vegas NV 89109. The deadline to send in cards is August 15, 2008.

The next bone marrow drive for Brandon is on Sunday, August 3rd from 9am to 2 pm at The Crossing Church. 7950 W. Windmill Lane, in Las Vegas.
Friday, September 5
9PM/6PM
ETPT
Mashantucket, CT

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