After years of courageously battling cancer, former Penn State Football player and State College native Brandon Ream has lost his fight.
Brandon graduated from State College High School in 2002 and walked on to the Penn State football team as a punter. Throughout his time in college he dated, and eventually married, Penn State Volleyball player Sam Ream.
Once they graduated from Penn State, Brandon and Sam kept up their athleticism and went on adventures to stay in shape. A weekend trip in the fall of 2011 resulted in some bangs and bruises, but nothing out of the ordinary. When Brandon realized that the bruise on his left femur wasn’t healing, he went to the doctor just to make sure everything was okay. When he visited Lancaster General, a biopsy revealed that he had chondroblastic osteosarcoma, a malignant bone tumor.
Throughout 2011 and 2012, Sam kept a blog titled “Team Ream…Brandon’s Road to Recovery” to keep supporters apprised on his situation.
Since his diagnosis, Ream has had the support of friends and family in the State College community, known as Team Ream. They rallied to get behind him and give him the strength and support he needed, even creating a race just for him. The Coaches vs. Cancer chapter in State College, as well as the Penn state Men’s Basketball program devoted time and effort to his cause, and dedicated a portion of the Coaches vs. Cancer basketball game to honor his battle. Word of his battle spread throughout the country, even garnering support from U.S. Olympic Gymnast Shawn Johnson, who this morning posted “God brought home an angel today.”
Ream was a devoted Penn State fan, sitting court side at every home basketball game, despite going through rough bouts of treatment. Members of the Penn State and Team Ream community have sent their thoughts to Brandon’s friends and family during this tough time.
— Adam Taliaferro (@Tali43) November 25, 2013
Saddened to hear about the passing of former PSU football player (and high school classmate) Brandon Ream after a long bout w/cancer. RIP.
— Tim (@happyhourvalley) November 25, 2013
— Tim Shaw (@TShawsTruth) November 25, 2013
RIP brandonream… You were family, a friend and an inspiration to me and many more! We will miss you… http://t.co/OkCj1TcHJ8
— Nathan Stupar (@thenastynate54) November 25, 2013
Life is precious. Don’t forget to say “I love you” to the people you love today… Rest easy, Brandon. We’ll miss you so much. #TeamReam
— Melanie Collins (@Melanie_Collins) November 25, 2013
“He never gave up and kept fighting which makes him a superhero to me,” said Brian Allen, a former Penn State Basketball player and major supporter of Team Ream.
“Brandon inspired me. He never let his adversity stop him from smiling and enjoying life,” said his former teammate Adam Taliaferro. “He was so positive about all he was going through. He was a special person and his fighting spirit will be something I will never forget.”
Ream’s strength was something that plenty of his supporters brought to light. Brandon always said, “You don’t know how strong you can be, until strong is your only option.”
Our thoughts are with the Ream family and everyone who knew Brandon during this difficult time.