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Harlan County cancer survivor credits God, family and friends

MGN Online

MGN Online

HARLAN Co., Ky. (WYMT) - Harlan County native Tony Brewer said in order to have a testimony you must first have a test.

Brewer is an evangelist, philanthropist and cancer survivor of nine years.

At 24 years of age Brewer said he was given a death sentence.

Diagnosed with a brain tumor doctors at the Johns Hopkins Hospital gave him just three weeks to live.

While T.J. admits his journey is not easy he is using his obstacles as inspiration for those around him.

Philippians 4:13 says, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."

"I held on to that verse every single night when they told me I was dying" said Brewer. "I just held on knowing that I could live."

Nine years have passed. Last April, he underwent surgery removing part of his brain.

Wheelchair bound for six months physicians said he would never walk again.

"They said it was bigger than my fist," Brewer said. "They said it was a softball sized tumor and I was having up to 100 seizures a day for the first year or so."

He held on tight to God despite loosing his father to cancer just weeks before.

"I ain't gonna lie," said Brewer. "There have been times where I've actually prayed to die. The pain was so bad."

Childhood friends like Suzy Bennett said he is a pillar in their community.

"He's an inspiration for everybody he comes across," said Bennett. "Children, men, elderly women, everybody. He's just an inspiration for all of us."

T.J. spends a majority of time at his gym teaching classes and making plans for his nonprofit organization.

He said he never looses sight of caring for his mother who is now battling cancer.

Brewer asked, "If I give up who is going to help them?"

By finding strength through Christ in all circumstances Brewer said he is not going anywhere without a fight.

Brewer is writing a book.

He hopes to complete the autobiography within the next couple of months.

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