If you were to ask me if there is anything or anyone on God’s green earth that I would not bet against my answer would be emphatically, Brandi Rae Toney.
Almost 28 years ago, doctors told her parents that she would not live past the age of 2. Brandi suffers from a rare neuromuscular disorder known as Spinal Muscular Atrophy or SMA. In spite of this affliction, she celebrated her 29th birthday this month.
There is no cure at this time for SMA; however, Brandi is now taking a new drug that will hopefully give her some benefit in developing and maintaining muscle mass.
Brandi’s condition has never slowed her down from her attempts to live as normal a life as possible. She operates her own business creating vinyl decals and custom shirts from her home. Her presence on social media is a constant source of entertainment for those of us who know and adore her, because as she will be the first to tell you, she is a bit of a ’90s fan and a total diva.
Her support system includes her mother, Debra, her father (she refers to him as “Diddy”), Charles Toney, and his wife, Christin, along with her sister, Brittany Thomason, her husband, John, and their family and Brandi’s immense circle of friends.
Some years back while on the staff at River 101 radio, I was privileged to be part of a group that staged a benefit called “Angel’s Wish.” Charles made one caveat when we did the benefit: that it not be a one-time deal. Brandi was the first benefactor. To the best of my knowledge, all of the recipients that followed have since passed on.
Brandi, or Brae as she prefers to be called, continues to defy the odds. Her kindness and perseverance are an inspiration to all who know her.