It’s been almost a year since Brendan Prince was paralyzed on one side of his body after surgeons removed a golf-ball-sized piece of his brain.
He’s come a long way since.
On Friday, Brendan, 17, found himself on stage with pop band OneRepublic, singing a duet with the band’s lead singer in front of thousands of fans at Rogers Place.
“It’s a bit of a blur to me still, to be honest,” Brendan said Saturday, still floating on the emotional high he experienced with a band he’s loved since 2010.
The experience was made possible by the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Brendan’s dad, Jeffrey Prince, said he was initially hesitant to apply for the program on behalf of Brendan, who has epilepsy.
Jeffrey said Brendan has to deal with seizures every day. He’s unable to get a driver’s licence and has undergone four procedures in the past two-and-a-half years, including brain surgery last September.
Now, Jeffrey said he’s happy he applied for the wish — a unique experience he and his family won’t forget. Brendan, his parents and his two younger siblings were treated to a new outfit, haircuts, dinner and a limousine, courtesy of Make-A-Wish.
“It was surreal. It was being treated in a way that you feel like only rock stars or the Edmonton Oilers or celebrities get treated,” Jeffrey said. “We felt special.”
But the day of perks was only build-up to the performance that night.
The Prince family arrived at Rogers Place in the limousine Friday night and were guided backstage to hang out with the band for a little while before the show. The band fitted Brendan for his earpiece and showed him a previous performance of the song they were going to sing together.
Then, he and the family took their seats in the fourth row for the night.
Midway through OneRepublic’s show, the band’s security led Brendan and his parents backstage. Brendan was about to hit the stage with one of his favourite bands in front of thousands of people.
He was set to perform the OneRepublic song “I Lived,” which Brendan also performed in talent shows and at his Grade 9 farewell a few years ago.
He selected the tune because of how much he likens the song to his life. “I just relate to it on such a personal level because of all the surgeries I’ve been through,” he said.
“I lived. I did it all.”
Brendan may have a performance…