One of the most beloved contestants on Next Great Baker might have only competed for a few episodes, but Lexington’s James Brown (Brown’s Bakery) sure made an impression. In episode 2, he made the tearful announcement that he wasn’t physically and emotionally up to this season’s challenge. On the same day that he found out he was going to be a contestant, a doctor was giving him MRI results: that he had a benign brain tumor, and would need surgery.
On January 10, 2013 Brown went in for surgery at the University of Kentucky. The night before surgery he wrote, “I really want all of you to know I have never felt so loved and cared about by so many people. I have so much appreciated your stories, thoughts, prayers, and donations. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t scared. But whenever I feel that way I read your messages of encouragement. I wish there was something more I could say, but Thank You guys, Thank you.”
The next day, he kept his sense of humor, posting a pre-op photo of himself announcing, “it’s go time.”
The day before the surgery, fellow Next Great Baker competitor Letty Alvarez reported that her crowdfunding campaign for James had made its goal of $4,000 raised. (As of today, the total raised is $4,439.00.)
He is convalescing at home now, and reports, “I’m finally able to sit at a computer myself. This is my new look, for now. I’m doing really well, it’s kinda strange when I think about it that just last week at this time I was in surgery. I am so grateful for All the Thoughts and Prayers. I had a great team at UK Hospital. I was released on Sunday and each day is getting better and better. There are some things I am having to adjust to. Hopefully that will be temporary as many of you have shared with me who have had the same type of tumor. Although they were not able to remove all of it, the doctors did remove 85 percent of the tumor. I have been up walking and have not really experienced dizziness, or had very [many] balance issues. Yes, I am taking it easy. My nurse (wife) has put her foot down on a lot of my requests, such as me driving?”