YOUNGSVILLE, La. — Keith Bergeron of Youngsville is the father of Brennan Paul Bergeron. And it was when his son turned three that Keith went from a simple father to a St. Jude father.
“Brennan was diagnosed in 1997, April 9th with A.L.L. - Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia,” says Keith.
And when Keith heard that cancer diagnosis? The most prevalent emotion was? “Fear. Fear of the unknown.”
Fathers are traditionally fixers—and letting go is tough. But as he walked through the doors of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Keith knew he had to have faith in the staff of that amazing facility.
“They’re going to do as much as they know how to take care of your child,” recalls Bergeron. “So it was a sense of comfort, relief. Yeh, you had to relinquish control, but you knew your child---no matter what the circumstances--was in the best hands possible.”
Brennan survived—and went into remission early in his treatment. Keith says being part of the St. Jude family has made him a better father. It’s taught him patience and openness.
“But it was all good. It made me a better man, and a better father to find other ways to interact and show our love, my love as a dad to my son.”
His son Brennan is now 27, recently married and a member of a biomedical PhD program at—where else?—St. Jude.
Proud moments indeed, an the St. Jude father has this advice for his St. Jude son who might be a father himself one day.
“Interact with your child, be open to listen to what your child or children are telling you,” smiles Bergeron.
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