It’s been a tough year for 17-year-old Brendan Prince, but he was all smiles on Friday as he took the stage on Friday with his favorite band, OneRepublic, during their concert in Edmonton, Canada.
“It’s a bit of a blur to me still, to be honest,” Brendan told CBC News on Saturday.
Just one year ago, the Alberta teen was left paralyzed on one side of his body after surgeons removed a golf-ball-sized piece of his brain. Brendan’ father, Jeffery Prince, told reporters that his son, who has epilepsy, endures daily seizures and has undergone four procedures (including the September 2016 brain surgery) in the last two and half years.
Through the Make-A-Wish Foundation, Brendan and his family had a day of experiences they will never forget, enjoying fresh haircuts, new clothes, a nice dinner, and limousine ride, before culminating in Brendan’s once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to joining OneRepublic on stage.
“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 told CBC News. “We felt special.”
Prior to the show, the Prince family got to hang out with OneRepublic backstage, where Brendan was fitted with an earpiece for his special performance of the band’s inspirational hit “I Lived,” which has been his go-to song at talent shows over the last few years.
“I just relate to it on such a personal level because of all the surgeries I’ve been through,” Brendan said. “I lived. I did it all.”
About midway through the show on Friday, Brendan and his family made their way backstage for his big moment. Despite the thousands of screaming concertgoers in attendance, the teen said he was no more nervous to take the stage than he would be for a school musical.
His parent’s, however, were not nearly as composed.
“To be able to see him on stage with someone who he literally idolizes, and to see that person put his arm around him and sing with him… it was almost more than we could bear,” Jeffrey said of watching his son.
Check out the performance below:
Returning to his seat after the euphoric moment, Brendan did admit he was overcome with emotion reflecting on just how far he’s come.
“Even before I was down the stairs and I saw my mom wiping her eyes I got a bit weepy,” he said. “I’ve come from being paralyzed on the left side to performing on stage at Rogers Place. This is going to stick with me forever.”
(H/T: CBC News)