Brian Bedell was a husband, son, brother, uncle, nephew, cousin, teammate and friend to many. He was your next-door neighbor, your buddy at work and the guy you played basketball with on Tuesdays. He represented each and every one of us and yet, he was extraordinary.
On September 8, 2003, Brian was diagnosed with a grade IV glioblastoma (GBM) brain tumor. He received his first craniotomy at INOVA Fairfax Hospital on Sept. 10th.
After his diagnosis Brian was forced to take leave from his job at the American Red Cross.
Because the standard treatments for GBM provide little hope for long term survival, Brian participated in experimental clinical trials at The Brain Tumor Center at Duke University in Durham, NC. His treatments included four craniotomies, internal radiation delivered via a catheter directly into his brain (MAB), and external beam radiation. He also underwent multiple aggressive chemotherapy treatments. Brian was 35 years old when he passed away on May 23, 2005. He was a wonderful husband to Amy and the proud father of Libby, a 65-lb. yellow lab. Family and friends had always been the most important part of Brian’s life. His parents, Mary Bedell of Vienna, Virginia and Bob & Jenny Bedell of Indianapolis, Indiana were amazed at the way he chose to approach this battle and marveled at Brian and Amy’s positive nature. He was the beloved brother of Kristin Bedell Byrne of Saint Louis, Missouri, only sixteen months apart – they were very close throughout their entire lives. Brian was the proud uncle to Sam and Charlie Byrne, Kristin and Paul’s twin sons.
He had an amazing group of friends from every aspect of his life – be it VYI athletics or the variety of telecomm companies where he found employment. Brian had a way about him that made people want to stay connected. His zest for life always included sports – both watching and playing!
His favorites included hockey (self-taught in his early thirties,) basketball, softball and golf. Any given “season” he played on 2-3 teams. Brian had a quick wit, an easy laugh and a winning smile. He used his amazing sense of humor and ability to remain positive to help others deal with his cancer. He is truly an inspiration to everyone who hears his story.
Immediately following Brian’s first craniotomy, he began thinking “why not me?” rather than "why me?" His thoughts frequently focused on the meaning of his battle and why he was chosen.
In a testament to his character, Brian believed that he had been given this challenge to assist other patients diagnosed with GBM and support their families, but, most importantly, to help find a cure.