8-15-14: Everyday Hero - Brennah Llanos
8-15-14: Everyday Hero - Brennah Llanos
Posted on 08/15/2014

Brennah Llanos 

Grade 8 

Ballou Junior High



 Brennah Llanos is described as a leader among her peers.


“She goes out of her way to make sure others feel included,” said Ballou Junior High English teacher Tamara Chipps and social studies teacher Troy Halfaday. “Everyone considers Brennah their friend. In her eyes, there is no excuse for not helping others.”


At lunch, it’s common to see Brennah, who starts eighth grade this year at Ballou Junior High, sitting and chatting with students who have special needs. She also seeks out and eats lunch with classmates who are sitting by themselves.


“I don’t want anyone to be left out,” she said. “You can’t judge people by what you think you know about them. You have to get to know their heart first.”


The teen also goes above and beyond in all of her classes, her teachers say, despite medical issues that she has to overcome on a daily basis.


Brennah was born with McCune-Albright Syndrome, a rare genetic disease that affects the bones and skin. She has six tumors on the left side of her skull surrounding the optic nerve in her brain.


The disease causes her to mix up her words sometimes, she said, adding she had extensive speech therapy throughout her preschool and elementary school years. She also suffers from scoliosis, an abnormal curvature of the spine, and stopped growing earlier than most of her peers.


The 13-year-old refuses to let her medical issues interfere with her drive to excel in her classes, athletics, and other extracurricular activities.


Brennah sings in the school choir and competed last year in multiple junior high sports including basketball, track and field, and flag football. She also played soccer after school with the Franklin Pierce Soccer Club Fury, Black.


“I’m not letting my disease get in the way of what I want to do,” she said. “I just fight for it, and I don’t give up.”


In addition to helping her school classmates, Brennah is committed to serving her community. In winter, she pulls a wagon through her neighborhood to collect food for people in need.


Her love for animals inspired her in recent summers to set up a lemonade stand and donate the earnings to the local animal shelter. She also asks family and friends to donate to the Humane Society instead of giving her birthday gifts.


Brennah enjoys playing with her dog, “Wags,” a Border Collie-Labrador Retriever mix she adopted at the animal shelter, and her Siamese cat, “Angel-Bell.” A neighbor cat also regularly follows her to the school bus stop, she said, and waits for her to arrive back at home.


Her career interests include being a professional athlete in basketball or soccer, working as a veterinarian, or becoming an FBI investigator.


“Integrity and determination are the two words that I would use to describe Brennah,” said Ballou Junior High Principal Krista Bates.


Chipps and Halfaday added, “Regardless of the distractions life brings, it is Brennah’s humility and courage that we most admire.”


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