Funeral today for young Durham boy who lost 5-year battle with brain cancer

DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) — A young Durham boy, who CBS North Carolina introduced you to a number of times over the years, lost his long, hard fight with cancer on Aug. 25.

Brown had a winning smile and the personality to back it up.

Both shined back in 2014 during a mock news conference of his signing with the North Carolina Central University Eagles football team.

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Doctors diagnosed Howell with pineoblastoma stage four brain cancer in 2012.

He fought it hard for five years, with help.

“Friends. People visiting me. Nurses and God,” Howell said.

The avid sports fan met many friends along his difficult journey.

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One of those included Duke Football Coach David Cutcliffe who Tweeted: “This young angel on Earth changed many lives for the better in 13 plus years. He’s now an angel of Heaven.”

In 2016 Howell talked about his excitement at going to the Daytona 500.

“I was thrilled. This is cool. A lot of history at that track. Hope to see another driver get his name on the trophy.”

Durham Sheriff Mike Andrews gave him an honorary badge.

The two later met Vice President Joe Biden on his plane and Howell lobbied for research funding for children with brain cancer.

Aboard another plane this year, he headed to Florida for treatment with other kids.

“He was wise beyond his years and touched so many hearts. I am only one of many,” Andrews said.

Howell shared his wisdom with other sick kids — telling them to keep fighting — even when they don’t feel like it.

“You’re going to go over the waves and the waves and you’re eventually going to hit the smooth part,” he said.

Back in 2014, at his signing day, he said he hoped to one day be an oncologist — to help other kids with cancer.

Howell Brown was 13 years old when he died last Friday. He was just shy of turning 14. His funeral will be held Wednesday at Duke Chapel at 2 p.m.

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