Briggs Berry loved sports — golf in particular — his family and friends, and social media. The many people who love Berry are now celebrating his life, one that touched thousands of people.
The 18-year-old from Granbury, Texas, passed away Saturday after a lengthy battle with X-linked hyper IgM, a rare syndrome in which a lack of certain antibodies makes fighting infections extremely difficult. Back9Network ambassador J.J. Henry, who resides in Texas and got to know Berry well, tweeted out the news Saturday evening:
— JJ Henry (@jjhenrygolf) September 14, 2014
After months of chemotherapy, Berry underwent bone marrow transplant surgery in February, and soon thereafter showed encouraging signs, tweeting that he was completely healed in April. But complications have kept him in an intensive care unit, and over the weekend, according to KDFW in Dallas, doctors told his family that if they made any changes to the ventilator he was hooked up to, his lungs would be damaged more than they already were.
Berry inspired many people during his battle, including a number of PGA Tour players. Among the kid’s Twitter followers were Bubba Watson, Rickie Fowler, Jordan Spieth, Jason Dufner, Hunter Mahan, and, of course, J.J. Henry. One of Berry’s final few tweets was this exchange with Dufner:
@BriggsBerry thanks for the support brother. We going to be hitting the golf course in no time!
— Jason Dufner (@JasonDufner) May 26, 2014
One pro athlete in particular really took the time to get to know Berry. Texas Rangers pitcher Derek Holland visited Berry in the hospital when he could, and the two texted each other often. Holland visited his friend earlier this month, knowing it might be the last time. He posted this touching message to Instagram when he learned of Berry’s death:
Today we lost one of the greatest kids I have ever come in contact with. Briggs Berry was a inspiration to us all. Touched so many lives not just mine or the fellas from @1053thefan but all of the Dfw community. Briggs has showed us how to live life to the fullest and never take anything for granted. A wonderful kid with a strong heart and someone who meant a lot to me. We know now he’s in a much better pain free place in heaven watching over us. Thanks for everything you have done for me Briggs and taught me. You will be truly missed. Love you buddy #teambriggs will always live on and stay strong!
A week ago, Holland brought Berry a jersey signed by LeBron James:
A golf tournament to honor Berry, called Birdies for Briggs, will be held Oct. 3 at Hidden Oaks Golf Course in Granbury:
— April Kitching (@aprilkitch) September 15, 2014
Rest in peace, Briggs.
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