By Brenna Eller
Editor In Chief
As many around Hutchinson Community College may already know, Vice President of Student Services Brett Bright was diagnosed with stage 4 rectal cancer in November of last year. As March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, “The Hutchinson Collegian”would like to give our full support and thoughts to Bright as he fights through this tough time.
Insight on the man behind the computer screen:
Q: Where are you from?
A: I am originally from Velma, Okla. It is a small town of approximately 1,200 and I had a graduating class of 32.
Q: Where did you graduate from?
A:I received my Bachelor’s degree in Counseling and Masters of Education from East Central University in Oklahoma. I am pursuing my EdS from Fort Hays State University and I only have one class to go.
Q: How long have you been at HCC?
A: I just celebrated my fourth year at HutchCC.
Q: Do you have children? Who are your greatest supporters through this tough time?
A: I have my wife Nichole and two children, Micayla (16 going on 30) and Landon (12 going on 12). Nichole has been amazing in supporting me, she deals with my daily needs as well as reaching out to friends, family and the community to assist in raising money to fight cancer. I have had many friends from near and far contact me on Facebook as well as call, text and even donate to my cancer fund. My family has been very supportive, and I am grateful that Nichole’s parents live in Wichita. They have been a tremendous.
Q: How supportive has the HutchCC Community been with your fight?
A: Everyone at HutchCC has been supportive and I am truly humbled. Athletics provided me with sweats to wear during treatment, many of the faculty and staff have donated and purchased bracelets in the SSC office. They have also gone to meetings in my absence and taken over some of my job duties so that students will continue to be served in my absence.
Q: How have you been doing personally? Has your diagnosis changed? Are there good days and bad days?
A: I have done pretty well so far. I was able to work during my chemotherapy and radiation. I am scheduled for surgery on March 28 to remove the tumor, and then I will have another round of chemotherapy. Fatigue has been the main symptom of treatment at this point, but making it this far with minimal complications has been a blessing.
Q: What has the hardest part been for you through your battle?
A: The inability to be in control and make plans. Facing a stage 4 cancer places your life in perspective and you want to make every moment count.
Q: How has working at HutchCC helped you through your fight?
A: It has given me a purpose and the ability to interact with others to take my mind off of cancer. I appreciate everyone that stops by to check on me and has helped me along the way. I couldn’t ask for a better supervisor and staff that I have the enjoyment of working with on a daily basis.
Q: Anything else you would like to add about your condition?
A: Today (March 12th) is my 47th birthday, and a great birthday present that everyone can provide me with is a prayer or moment of thought on March 28, when I have my surgery. I know that the thoughts and prayers from everyone has helped me make it this far and I know that they will continue through this process.