High School Rallies Around Teen Diagnosed With Cancer

The Waterbury community is rallying around Jaden Bracey, a 15-year-old Career Academy student battling a rare form of cancer.

”How does this happen to a young, healthy active boy?” said mom, Jeana Bracey. “If you had asked me six months ago, what is your big fear as a parent? I might have said, injury or an illness, but I don’t think I ever would’ve said cancer.”

Jaden is an active basketball player. Jeana first noticed something was wrong in May.

“In one of his basketball games he had collided with another player, and we thought maybe it’s a bruise or a torn muscle from what happened from that incident, but it just wasn’t going away.”

“A few months later I was looking in the mirror and I noticed it looks a little bigger than my left leg,” Jaden said.

In September, they found out Jaden has synovial sarcoma, a rare form of soft tissue cancer. He’s been undergoing chemotherapy and radiation since then.

“I don’t wanna call it our new normal,” Jeana said. “I think it’s a phase, and we’re doing everything we can right now to battle this and to treat it and to cure him.”

The Waterbury community is rallying around the family by raising money selling t-shirts and wristbands with the #BraveLikeBracey.

Career Academy is dedicating a football game in his honor.

”When you’ve got a lot of kids that want to do something really good it’s easy to do,” said John O’Toole, teacher at Waterbury Career Academy.

“It’s been completely overwhelming but in a positive way,” Jeana said.

Jaden still has a few more rounds of chemo, radiation and surgery ahead, but he hopes to be back out on the court as soon as possible.

“A big thank you to my parents because they literally do pretty much everything to make things work,” Jaden said.

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