Bowling alley in Michigan helps teen who lost leg to cancer

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Teen who lost leg to cancer is getting help from a bowling alley (KTRK)

Since he was a little boy, Brendan Brown has spent life on the lanes.

"I was ten years old when I threw my first 200 game," said Brown.

The 16-year-old from Mason, a small town south of Lansing, Michigan topped out at a 223 average. Then in October of 2014, an MRI after a knee injury led to devastating news.

"A cartilage-growing bone tumor in his right femur," said Brendan's mother, Rachel Loucks.

Brendan and his mom soon learned the cancer had spread to his lungs. Months of chemotherapy and surgeries followed, but in July the tumors in his leg returned.

Brendan's entire right leg is now gone. The following months brought a number of personal losses -- his father died, along with his longtime bowling coach and a friend. None of it has kept Brendan away from the sport he loves.

Fast-forward to last month, when a chance tournament brought the teen to Riverbend Bowl in Corunna.

Brendan won his division.

Ernie Tilson, who works at Riverbend, took notice. "Just listening to the story of his father passing and bowling coach and everything, it hit me really hard," said Tilson.

Tilson, who battled cancer 20 years ago, came up with the idea of a 9-pin no-tap tournament fundraiser to help with medical bills.

"It's rather touching to think that there's so many good people out here that would take into account what we're going through and want to help us," said Loucks.

Brendan recently learned the cancer may have returned to his lungs, but he is still remaining positive.

"God throws us all curve balls and sometimes we have to choose whether to take a strike and hit them out of the park and I try to hit every single one out of the park," Brown said. "I just try to do everything an able-bodied person can in a wheelchair."

The goal is to raise $10,000 for Brendan's family to help with mounting medical costs.
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