LEGOS lined the stage as family, friends and community members celebrated the life of Brody Nelson today at The Heights Church.
Brody, 10, of Cleburne passed away Friday after a year and a half long battle with brain cancer.
After his diagnosis, Brody began LEGOS for Little Warriors, a program that collects legos for children in the hospital.
Adam Grubb of Westhill Church of Christ said Brody’s story started long before his cancer diagnosis in January 2018.
“Many may not know that Brody was born fighting,” Grubb said. “It actually took seven minutes for him to take his first breath. Then he spent two weeks in the ICU fighting for his life. He entered the world defying odds.”
Brody loved the Cleburne High School baseball team and everything that had to do with Cleburne ISD and the Yellow Jackets.
“The Yellow Jackets baseball team were his idols, his idols became his teammates and his teammates became his brothers,” he said. “I wanted to say to the Yellow Jacket baseball team: you are first class. ... I say that sentiment about the entire Cleburne ISD family.”
Many in the community showed their support for Brody when he came home in July from St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. It was while receiving treatments at St. Jude that Brody launched LEGOS for Little Warriors and donated thousands of LEGO kits to the hospital.
“What amazes me about LEGOS for Little Warriors is you think it’s something someone would have started after going through the battle and possibly even before the battle began,” he said. “But LEGOS for Little Warriors started in the midst of the pain, when things were at the most difficult and most critical time because he loved kids and he didn’t want people and other children have to go through what he was going through alone. It was a small way he could do something to reach other people.”
Brody’s sister, Emily, will continue the project.
Westhill Pastor Gary Albritton said Brody had a passion for Jesus.
“What Brody was handed was not good,” Albritton said. “It was not right. It’s something that no 10-year-old child and his family should ever have to go through. But Brody did not just endure it. He embraced it, and he made the bad good once again.
“Because in the midst of the pain and the midst of the hurt, you see thousands of people’s lives he touched. ... It’s amazing what one person is capable of as a partner of God in making the bad good once again.”
Brody’s dad, Ty Nelson, said his son loved with all his heart.
“A lot of people have asked Courtney and I the last year and a half how we do it,” Ty Nelson said. “Trust me, we didn’t want to go through this. We didn’t sign up for it. This is not something I would wish on my worst enemy. But that face right there is why we can.”
He thanked their family, friends and community for everything they have done for their family.
“So what he would want us to do is live for today,” he said. “He loved like no other. My daughter loves like no other. I’m not sure where they got it from, but they love like no other. If Brody were here right now, he’d tell you to make today count. ... He didn’t want it to be about him. He wanted it to be about Jesus.”