13-year-old back to playing baseball after battling brain cancer

Branden Schwartz
Branden Schwartz

WOODBURY, Tenn. (WKRN) – A 13-year-old who spent years battling brain cancer is finally back to doing the thing he loves: playing baseball.

Branden Schwartz was diagnosed with brain cancer in 2011, leading to weeks of radiation treatments and chemotherapy.

At the time, he was a member of the baseball team at Woodland Elementary School and had to give up the sport.

Woodland Elementary School
At the time, he was a member of the baseball team at Woodland Elementary School and had to give up the sport.

After more than a year of heartache, doctors finally told Branden he was cancer-free in 2012.

Branden undergoes MRI scans every three months to make sure he stays cancer-free, and he was given the most recent good news in April.

“It felt wonderful to not have to worry like I did when I had it,” he told News 2. “I felt free.”

Since then, the 13-year-old has been working on rebuilding his muscles, attending physical therapy multiple times a week.

This week he delivered the ceremonial first pitch at a Middle Tennessee State University baseball game.

“It is an accomplishment. After seeing him at his lowest, to see him overcome and to be able to do that,” said Angela Schwartz, Branden’s mother.

His hard work has paid off. Branden is now strong enough to return to the game he loves so much.

“Never give up. Just keep on trying. Even if it does not work, just keep on going. Don’t give up on yourself,” he told News 2.

Branden said he plans to try out for the high school baseball team and his goal is to keep playing through college.

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