Skip Navigation

Spreading smiles: Brady Lucas’ dedication to NMDP’s mission

Brady with his wife, Julia

Brady Lucas was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) in 2005 at the age of 8. When he relapsed at 14, his 10-year-old brother stepped up to be his donor. Brady had his bone marrow transplant in February 2011. At the time, he had no knowledge of NMDPSM. Just years later, NMDP would become a big part of his life.

A survivor’s story

Brady was introduced to NMDP while attending college at Penn State University. Inspired by a friend in need of a blood stem cell transplant, Brady, himself a transplant recipient, was eager to help. In support of his friend, Brady attended an NMDP golf event, which helped raise funds towards the mission.

Unfortunately, Brady’s friend passed away, but Brady found a way to honor his friend. As philanthropy chair of his fraternity, Brady organized a donor recruitment event and along with over 15 of Penn State’s student organizations, they added 450 potential blood stem cell donors to the NMDP RegistrySM in just four days.

Brady continued to stay actively involved with NMDP through a summer internship and now participates in NMDP Peer Connect and is a member of the NMDP Institutional Review Board (IRB).

A reason to smile

After his experience with childhood cancer, Brady saw the value in educating children throughout their transplant journey.

“With the help of people like the child life specialists, music therapy, my parents and the doctors and nurses, I felt very empowered to be a part of my health care journey. My mission is for all children to feel this empowerment and to find power within education,” said Brady.

This inspiration led him to write his book, “Smiley’s Smile.” The book follows characters Smiley, Rocky and Ollie as they learn about support, courage and friendship.

With the motto “smiles make the world go round,” Brady’s book is set to put a smile on many children’s faces. He generously donated 20 copies of his book to NMDP pediatric patients, helping provide a valuable resource for children and a tool for parents to have open and honest conversations with their children about cancer.

When asked what brings him joy and hope, Brady said “Just waking up in the morning and being able to thank God for the little things.”

The little things make a world of difference, there are so many ways you can get involved and support NMDP.

Discover more about Brady’s mission and purchase the book on his website