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May 6, 2013

Lawrence 6th-grader gets to live hockey dream while dealing with life-threatening illness

Salem State University Vikings draft Bryen Davies to be their teammate for fall hockey season.


Senior co-captain Kyle Phelan of Barnstable said he and his teammates embraced the opportunity to become a part of Bryen’s life and grow from the experience.

“Having Bryen as part of the Vikings going forward will be a very fulfilling experience for all of us,” Phelan said.

“Bryen faces adversity every day, and our team will be there for him with all the support and help he needs going forward. ... We anticipate that this will be an awesome relationship, and one that will transcend far beyond next season. We think Bryen will inspire us immensely, and we hope we can do the same,” he said.

Bryen is one of about 30,000 people in the U.S. who inherited cystic fibrosis, a genetic disorder that causes the body to produce a thick and sticky mucus that can clog the lungs and cause life-threatening infections. The mucus can also cause problems with the pancreas and prevent enzymes from helping the body break down food.

Brenda said she and her father, Maurcie Davies, are both carriers of cystic fibrosis. Bryen’s older brother, Jonathan, 20, of Lawrence, also has cystic fibrosis. He graduated from Greater Lawrence Regional Vocational Technical High School in Andover.

Taking care of a young child, afflicted with cystic fibrosis can be a challenging task, especially for a mom with a full-time job like Brenda.

“She’s very dedicated and gets up early in the morning to take care of Bryen,” Maurice said.

“It’s like another full-time job. She sacrifices her own personal time to make sure he’s well. It’s worth the price of rubies to have a mother like that,” he said.

Brenda acknowledged she’s had several close calls where she had to rush Bryen down to the emergency room of Boston Childrens Hospital. “A couple of times, I was scared,” she said.

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