PHILADELPHIA (CBS)–Meet Brandon Holiday. Brandon is a former police officer who has dealt with some serious health problems, but that hasn’t stopped him from helping others.
Brandon founded the Athletes With Disabilities Network Northeast, which organizes adaptive sporting events for people like him – with life changing issues.
His issues began after being diagnosed with systemic lupus at age 21. He went on to become a police officer after college, but was unable to continue because of the disease.
“While I was a police officer I was injured, and then I started getting clots and other issues with my legs – opening wounds,” says Holiday. “That eventually led to a complication where I developed a blood clot in the back of my leg and that resulted in me having my amputation. “
Those health issues continued to spiral out of control.
“The lupus has caused adrenal insufficiency, it attacked my adrenal glands. I hemorrhaged those in 2009. I’ve had many pulmonary emboli. I’ve had 10 heart attacks,” Holiday said.
Yes, 10 heart attacks!
Despite his rocky situation, Brandon is a medal winning para-athlete. He’s also a mentor to 30-year-old Morrisville, PA native Michael Hanuschik, who lost his leg in a forklift accident. He credits Brandon and the program for pushing him.
“To me it was very devastating,” says Hanuschik. “I saw everyone around me and no one was walking and no one was doing anything. I thought everything was done and over with. But he came in, and I thought wow, I can do whatever he’s doing.”
With his service dog, Dyson, by his side, Brandon continues to preach that no matter the circumstances, everything remains possible.
“I’ve been told you can’t do this you can’t do that, then made the U.S. National Team and represented the U.S. overseas. There’s limitless possibilities. Just don’t be afraid to reach out to your community,” says Holiday.