Brandon Dahley’s Life Story Chapter 5

September 1993

Brandon September
Written by Brandon’s Grandma J

At five months Brandon continued to engage in all the motions and activities of a normal five-month-old. He had a contagious smile that melted everyone’s heart and as his Grandma “J” mine melted every time I saw him. Brandon was my first grandchild, so I took every opportunity possible to spend endless hours with him. Of course, he was the “cutest” baby ever and I really enjoyed pushing him in the combination buggy/stroller on any given beautiful fall day. I continued to burst with pride on all his everyday accomplishments. He brought so much joy and happiness to me and Grandpa Dale. I’m sure Grandpa Dale had daily visions of hunting with Brandon someday and sharing his love of the outdoors with him. Having Brandon as a grandson was the ultimate gift we shared together.

Because it was the fall and bow and arrow season was fast approaching Heather, her sister Jennifer, Brandon and I flew to Florida for a week and stayed in Venice at the family condo. Brandon’s first time flying and he was a very content and happy traveler.

Heather and Jennifer with Brandon

Brandon loved being strolled around the condo complex and got his first taste of warm pool water and the attention of so many people. Little did I realize that week would be his only experience of being at the beach and lovingly cared for by his mom, aunt, and grandmother. The week went by too fast but the memories of Brandon’s first out-of-state trip will be fondly remembered and cherished.

Brandon continued to thrive and grow and the flight back to Michigan was uneventful. Grandpa Dale was so excited to see and hold him again. He even volunteered to babysit from time to time upon our return. Life was good and our family rejoiced in being able to watch Brandon develop as a normal 5-month-old.  

At this point we still had no idea Brandon had been born with a rare condition called SCID (Severe Combined Immune Deficiency), leaving him without a properly working immune system. SCID affects less than 100 babies born in the US per year but is more prevalent in certain populations, like the Navajo, Irish Traveler and Amish and Mennonite communities. All types of SCID are caused by genetic defects.

Heather and Brandon