By: Roger Hoke – News Editor & Mary Macrae – Asst. News Editor
Brandon Ronning, a sophomore at the University of Dayton, will not be returning to UD this semester after being diagnosed with stage four non-Hodgkin’s diffused large B-cell lymphoma.
Starting in the middle of September 2014, he began experiencing excruciating pain in his upper back preventing him from working his job as a grill cook at Kennedy Union, according to Ronning.
“When the pain hit me consistently for two weeks, I consulted the UD Health Center, and they felt I was undergoing a muscular strain,” Ronning wrote. “The muscle relaxer they prescribed me was known as Cyclobenzaprine; it did not provide much relief, which furthered my worries.”
According to Ronning, his roommate took him to the emergency room when the pain worsened and moved to other areas of his back. Ronning was told there was no major issue with his back.
“We waited about an hour or so to get in with an emergency room doctor who spent all of five minutes with me. He felt my spine and suggested that it was just a muscular issue and it would heal with a spinal muscle relaxer, Robaxin, and a pain reliever, Hydrocodone,” Ronning wrote.
According to Ronning, the new medications did not help with the pain much, either. Ronning went into see Tim Dooley, a chiropractor. Dooley knew something more was wrong.
After numerous MRI’s, doctors had still not found an answer to the pain Ronning was experiencing, and Ronning’s pain was not receding.
“It got so bad one day that I could not take a shower or brush my teeth without experiencing severe, breathtaking pain,” Ronning wrote on his blog.
According to Ronning, on Nov. 25, 2014, doctors ran a PET scan of his back to search for cancer in his body, and a suspect lymph node was found in Ronning’s groin area. On Nov. 26, Ronning was given the diagnosis.
“On Nov. 26th, 2014, it was confirmed that the lymph node was malignant and tested positive for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma,” Ronning wrote. “It took all of two hours later to tell us and diagnose me with stage four non-Hodgkin’s diffused large B-cell lymphoma.”
According to Ronning, since the time of his diagnosis, he has undergone several cycles of chemotherapy. It has been hard, but he is fighting.
“Chemo cycle three starts Tuesday,” Ronning wrote. “Hoping for a smoother treatment from now on.”
Some of Ronning’s friends have given their thoughts on the journey Ronning has gone through.
“We did not expect anything would be too serious because the other multiple doctors he went to could not find anything seriously wrong,” sophomore Alex Knueven, Ronning’s best friend, said.
“I have a heavy heart for Brandon and his current situation,” sophomore Joseph Dunham said. “Cancer is a scary thing; I have had my run in with cancer through my own family members.”
“However, I feel with the love, help and support of not only his family and friends but the community of UD, he can overcome it,” Dunham said.
Dunham is organizing a 5K run in support of Ronning’s fight against cancer.
“Brandon is one of the kindest and most giving kids I’ve ever met; he is willing to do anything for his friends and put us before himself,” sophomore Alex Knueven said. “He is always willing to help others out.”
To get involved with helping and supporting Ronning, visit www.caringbridge.org/visit/brandonronning or www.gofundme.com/i02lck.