Eagle Scout Battles Brain Tumor Against the Odds

Eagle Scout
Eagle Scout Bryan Da., stands with his completed project at the Gardens at SIUE. (Photo credit: The Intelligencer)

Based on the principles of the Scout Oath and Scout Law, Scouts are encouraged to be examples of positive Scout Spirit. Helpful, kind, brave, and cheerful – Scouts understand the importance of a good attitude, no matter the circumstance.

For Bryan D., he underwent surgery to remove a brain tumor at six months. From that point on, Bryan’s family was always hopeful the same experience wouldn’t occur again. And despite hard times, Bryan learned to appreciate life and decided to join Scouting when he was eight years old.

Scout Spirit Defies Adversity

At age 16, the tumor returned. But Bryan didn’t let the news bring him down. His positivity never waned.

“It’s really defined his fighting spirit,” Michelle shared with the Intelligencer. “The oncologist who re-diagnosed him encouraged Bryan to find the blessing in this. He told him that just because life isn’t perfect doesn’t mean it’s not good.”

And then seven days before his surgery, Bryan heard good news – his Eagle Scout project had been approved.

Bryan spearheaded an Eagle Scout project to build a permanent information kiosk at the main entrance of the Gardens at SIUE. With help from Scouts from his troop, he constructed the structure from scratch and built a stone path welcoming visitors to the event venue.

After his third surgery, he began radiation therapy and completed his Eagle Scout project in September. By October 8, Bryan officially earned Scouting’s highest rank.

“He definitely has a lot of faith,” Michelle said. “He found out he was stronger than he ever thought he was. This brought clarity to his life and he sees this whole thing as a blessing. He’s a hardworking kid, but then again, I’m a little bit biased.”

Read the full story on this inspiring Eagle Scout’s journey by visiting the Intelligencer.


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Hayley Cordaro is a communications specialist at the Boy Scouts of America. She loves sharing inspiring success stories and uncovering new ways volunteers and employees can make the most of their Scouting experience. If you have story ideas or questions, reach out to us at