STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

Benefit for Durham teen battling cancer

Chico, Calif. -- A Durham student's recent brain tumor diagnosis brings together his local community Friday night.

Posted: Jan 12, 2018 11:42 PM
Updated: Jan 13, 2018 1:05 PM

Chico, Calif. -- A Durham student's recent brain tumor diagnosis brings together his local community Friday night.

17-year-old Brandon Gasper was recently diagnosed with stage one pilocytic astrocytoma.


He was getting tested last summer for growth hormones when some of the tests revealed Brandon had a brain tumor.

"It sits on his optic chiasm which is the nerve that controls your eyes. It also displaces his pitutary gland," said Kendra Moss, Brandon's mother.

Without assistance, Brandon would have a hard time growing and wouldn't start puberty.

"When I was reading the report to read there was a mass, I was in shock, disbelief," said Moss.

From there, Brandon underwent brain surgery, but his tumor was unable to be removed because of the fragile position it is in.

"We started seeing pediatric neuro-oncology, they had a tumor board and they had a plan for him to start chemotherapy," said Moss.

Brandon's family takes him to UCSF for treatment.

"We have a lot of co-pays right now, TRICARE, military insurance for him," said Moss.

But despite this difficult diagnosis, Brandon's family and friends choose to focus on the positive by hosting "Hawaii Strong." The lasagna-feed benefit at Tackle Box Deli in Chico helped raise money for Brandon's treatment.

Brandon grew up in Hawaii while his parents were stationed at the United States Marine Corps Base.

"Everywhere he goes he always has a smile on his face, he's always cracking jokes," said Hunter Polk, a friend of Brandon's. 

"It's huge to have that backbone not just from Durham, but from Chico to support Brandon through these tough times," said Shane Scott, a friend of Brandon's. 

Brandon is a member of the Durham High Future Farmers of America, also known as the FFA chapter.

"What he found in it was comradery, a brotherhood. All of his friends became his siblings and rallied behind him in his hardest time," said Emmalea Wilkinson, Brandon's FAA advisor. 

FAA inspires young people to get into the agricultural lifestyle and teaches them about good values.

"It makes rough days a lot easier. Knowing I have the community behind me is really cool," said Brandon.

If you would like to help out Brandon's treatment expenses, you can do so by clicking here.

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1160940

Reported Deaths: 18968
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles3783237543
San Bernardino884531129
Riverside836851434
San Diego75305988
Orange731521559
Kern39721447
Fresno37021477
Sacramento35143557
Santa Clara32049470
Alameda28225502
San Joaquin25318504
Contra Costa23146258
Stanislaus21145422
Tulare20352305
Ventura18637175
Imperial15725356
San Francisco14874160
Monterey14354116
San Mateo13707170
Sonoma11712157
Merced11460179
Santa Barbara11166135
Kings1035987
Solano1003681
Marin7621129
Placer622468
Madera604785
San Luis Obispo588535
Shasta460147
Yolo447674
Santa Cruz413228
Butte381259
Sutter305715
Napa290417
El Dorado20914
Yuba194810
San Benito178416
Lassen17153
Tehama156525
Mendocino146822
Nevada11639
Glenn8837
Lake87719
Tuolumne8738
Humboldt8199
Colusa6826
Siskiyou5822
Mono5093
Amador47016
Calaveras46622
Del Norte2981
Inyo28316
Plumas1920
Trinity1360
Mariposa1242
Modoc1190
Alpine470
Sierra190
Unassigned00
Chico
Clear
39° wxIcon
Hi: 63° Lo: 36°
Feels Like: 36°
Oroville
Clear
41° wxIcon
Hi: 65° Lo: 38°
Feels Like: 36°
Paradise
Clear
39° wxIcon
Hi: 58° Lo: 37°
Feels Like: 36°
Chester
Broken Clouds
17° wxIcon
Hi: 43° Lo: 24°
Feels Like: 17°
Red Bluff
Clear
44° wxIcon
Hi: 64° Lo: 40°
Feels Like: 39°
Willows
Clear
39° wxIcon
Hi: 64° Lo: 39°
Feels Like: 36°
Your Thanksgiving will be sunny & breezy with mild temperatures.
KHSL Severe
KHSL Radar
KHSL Temperatures

Community Events