At the delicate age of 11, Bral was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkins’ Lymphoma, right about the time he started 6th grade at Sinai Akiba Academy.
It was during Middle School basketball tryouts that Bral first noticed something was seriously wrong. A wheezing, a tightness in his chest, a shortness of breath. These were the first symptoms of one of the biggest challenges of his life.
Bral remembers those harrowing two years of chemotherapy, recalling simultaneously the powerful, unwavering support he received from the Sinai Akiba community and especially his teachers – who were “able to help make my childhood uninterrupted, in terms of educational process,” Bral said.
Through those tenuous couple years (he was declared in remission in 2003), Bral not only managed to stay on top of his studies at Sinai Akiba; he excelled. And he discovered a love for science that would carry him into adulthood.
There were those plastic cubes in 3rd grade that he and his classmates used to “measure” out various metric weight levels up to a kilogram. And the many hours he and classmates spent trying to protect an egg from splattering in the famous “egg drop” experiment. To Bral, it was easy to embrace learning here, because the teachers always made it fun.
Now, with only a couple of months to go before he completes his medical degree at Nova Southeastern University of Osteopathic Medicine, Bral has poured all that same tenacity and courage he found in Middle School into building a career as a doctor, specializing in Emergency Medicine.
A Master of Science recipient from Georgetown University, Bral also remains a prominent advocate in the field of Adolescent Young Adult Oncology, a new and growing specialty that Bral – not even 30-years-old yet – has helped pioneer in the United States.
One of Dr. Bral’s biggest passions is advocating for teens with cancer, and the unique challenges that they face, given he’s been there himself and knows what they’re going through firsthand. As a Teen Cancer America Board member, Bral represents young people’s voice in the medical research community. He advocates for more funding, attention, programming, and research to be allocated for the unique challenges facing young adults with cancer in the medical research community.
Among the many charges that Bral absorbed during his Sinai Akiba experience, it’s clear that he took to heart most the mission of Tikkun Olam – healing the world. “The biggest thing that I appreciate about Sinai is the strength of its incredible reputation nationwide and, more importantly, the strength of character its graduates come away with.”