OSU Medical School Graduate Overcomes Thyroid Cancer To Achieve Dream Of Becoming A Doctor

A graduate of OSU's medical school has a unique story after battling cancer. Brandon Garner is in remission and on a mission to heal others.

Tuesday, May 28th 2024, 5:32 pm

By: News On 6

A graduate of OSU's medical school has a unique story after battling cancer.

After dissecting a pig heart for a middle school science experiment, Brandon Garner knew he wanted to be a doctor, but he didn't know just how hard that path would be.

"Since an early age, I hated seeing people in pain, and so I love being able to help people," he said.

When Garner found out he got into OSU School of Medicine, he was one step closer to his goal.

"It was such a surreal moment because it had been my dream since fifth grade, and so getting that call was just amazing," Garner said.

He didn't know it then, but Brandon would face a major setback during those four years.

"We were in a lab, and I asked one of the doctors, ‘Hey, I have been having these weird symptoms. Do you have any ideas?’ and she said, ‘Oh, let me check your thyroid,’ so she did, and she said, ‘Oh, it's enlarged. You need to get that checked out.’"

After an ultrasound and a biopsy, it became clear something wasn't right.

A word that was a part of his classes and seminars--possible cancer--took on a different meaning.

"Going through medical school, it's already tough enough, and then you have this weird-looking diagnosis kind of hovering over the whole thing also," Garner said.

Brandon was diagnosed with Papillary Thyroid Carcinoma.

"As the radiation went on it, it got pretty hard to retain information in school,” he said. “My throat was burning, and it felt like a sunburn on the outside, and it was tough. I tried pushing through; I thought, 'I can't give up.'"

Brandon didn't give up. He went into remission and graduated from med school two weeks ago.

He lost the title of patient and gained a new one--doctor.

“We went through this horrible journey with setbacks, and to me, it was like victory. We did this."

Brandon starts his residency at OSU Tulsa Family Medicine soon and will be there for the next three years.

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