SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - Brandi Benson was deployed to Iraq five weeks after graduating boot camp. And that was just the start of her adventure.
The last 10 years has been a series of challenges and successes for the Army veteran and she now uses all of those experiences to help local students.
There is a consistent theme to the goal-setting work shops Brandi Benson holds for local high school students.
“You can be that one percent chance. You can be that story that everyone is speaking about. So, I just try to share that and incorporate they into everything I do,” said Benson.
And that lesson of perseverance comes straight from the cancer survivor’s life story that she has told many times.
“I had two choices. I was either going to give up and live in the darkness, or I was going to push through the pain and the mental blocks.”
Benson is able to talk to kids about overcoming obstacles because that’s what she has done, beating a rare and aggressive cancer that ended her military career, kept her from playing professional soccer and almost cost her her leg.
“She didn’t give up on her goal. Still remained pushing,” said Adraine Tyson, Groves High School Student.
“Hearing it from someone with so much encouragement and so much enthusiasm, it motivates me to do it as well,” said Rashawn Porter, Groves High School Student.
Ewing Sarcoma disrupted a couple of Benson’s plans, but started others. She has written a book about her journey and started a career-planning business to help people with resume, writing, and interviewing skills. And her free workshop series draws from own experiences and ambition to get through to students.
“It was very impressive actually, to actually have cancer and to go through that and have your dreams shot down out of the sky, but actually grow from it and still be able to pursue what you have pursued in the past, it was very great,” said Danell Townsend, Groves High School Student.
Benson has been cancer free for 10 years. Her book "The Enemy Inside Me'' will be out soon.