Former ECU linebacker Braddy shares first hand message with locals about the importance of Colon Cancer screening

He was diagnosed with Cancer last summer.
Former ECU linebacker Braddy shares message about the importance of Colon Cancer screening
Published: Mar. 31, 2023 at 6:44 PM EDT
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AURORA, N.C. (WITN) - ECU football players and coaches present publicly as warriors. Toughness and hard nosed. The battles on the gridiron sometimes prove to be examples of how to face adversity later in life.

That’s the case for former Bath high school and ECU linebacker Stephen Braddy.

“I was recruited by NC State when I was in high school as well and they didn’t offer me a scholarship,” says Stephen Braddy, “They offered to possibly give one the following year after walking on. ECU did. It ended up working out perfectly.”

Stephen Braddy was part of the historic Peach Bowl winning season with the ECU football team.

“That was the year we went 11-1 and played NC State in the Peach Bowl,” says Braddy, “There was just a roar in that stadium. At the end of the game when the NC State kicker missed that field goal then we knew we had wrapped up the victory. It was such and exciting time. I was tired from playing in the game I think I was more tired from when everybody rushed the field from hugging everybody’s neck.”

He lives and works in Beaufort County now. Which is where he found himself Friday at Aurora’s Snowden Middle School speaking to the faculty about a new opponent he has had to tackle.

“Push and encouragement from my friends and family I finally got a colonoscopy set up,” says Braddy, “I remember the doctor came in and he told me he said we’ve got some issues. Just like that it was like my whole life changed.”

Colon Cancer runs in his family and Stephen says the mass they found this past summer was about the size of an egg.

“When they did the scans on me later on, it was isolated in one area,” says Braddy, “The doctor told me if you had waited much longer you would have been dealing with a whole new situation.”

He ended up receiving chemotherapy treatment. Thanks to a fasting regimen was able to limit the side effects.

“They did it with the IV,” says Braddy, “I did it in three months time.”

For the first time he publicly shared his message of getting screened even if you are healthy football player looking person.

“If I can say something that might trigger a thought in somebody’s head and push them to go ahead and get their colonoscopy,” says Braddy, “I’m going to do that.”

The play call from the former ECU football player was heard loud and clear by the team of school workers.

“He was a healthy person, he was a football player, he was a go getter. Then he found out. He kept putting it off, putting it off and that is what a lot of us do. Put off going to the doctors for whatever reasons,” says event organizer Vanessa Oden, “He went, he found out he had it, and he said with the grace of God he was able to get through it.”

“I have always enjoyed life. But it has given me a new outlook on life,” says Braddy, “The sky’s a little brighter, the sun is a little bit brighter you know.”

It’s Colon Cancer awareness month and part of the message is doctors recommend now people age 45 and up get screened.