Long Beach six-year-old returns to school after being diagnosed with a brain tumor

It was a big day for Hendrix Branning, the six-year-old from Long Beach who is battling a brain tumor. Today, he was able to go back to school for the first time in nine months.

Six-year-old Hendrix Branning is back in school after being diagnosed with a brain tumor in July last year.

Even though he spent months in a hospital in Birmingham, Alabama, Quarles Elementary School in Long Beach wanted to make his first day back was as normal as possible for him, but also wanted to make sure Hendrix knew how happy they were to have him back by wearing t-shirts with his name on it. Principal Sarah Sanzin said, “When he walks through these halls you just see how excited he is to be rejoining his peers and his teachers and the staff and the students here are just as excited and his determination is what keeps us going. His strength is what keeps us going. It brings my heart such joy that I have the opportunity to watch him continue to grow and continue to be successful in school.”

Hendrix’s first-grade teacher Lindsey Stout made sure he had his class work throughout the year to help him continue getting his education while he was in the hospital. “He essentially did the same work that we did. We modified it just a little bit for him. I would send it to the teacher at the hospital where he was in Birmingham. If she had any questions, she could ask me, but I would send her the same schoolwork, the same class work that we were doing each and every day.”

Even though the school has two-and-a-half weeks left before summer vacation, Stout was happy to work with Hendrix in her classroom before he moves on to second grade. “My students have asked about him weekly, daily, all the time. A lot of them and their parents followed him on Facebook so we talked about him all the time. To have him back, my students were so excited to have him here with us and to have him back just fills that void and makes the end of the school year that much sweeter.”