“Sometimes life can be like a card game,” said senior, mass communications major Dunte Brown.
“What may be considered a good hand could lose a card game in the end, and a bad hand could win, if cards are played well,” he said.
Brown strolled back onto campus from summer vacation with a new excitement and eagerness. He had a winning hand; it was finally his year to graduate from Dillard University. Little did Brown know he would be admitted into the hospital on the second day of school due to complications with lupus, an illness that he has been coping with since November 2002.
The 23-year-old Houston native has been part of the Dillard family since Aug. 2002. Brown faced several setbacks to his education because of hospitalizations during school semesters. He was forced to miss the 2004 spring semester when hospitalized in November 2003. The lupus affected his central nervous system causing seizures and psychosis.
However, Brown overcame the sickness and returned to Dillard for the 2004 fall semester. He even returned to attend school in the Hilton, but again was forced to end his semester early due to more complications with lupus. That did not stop Brown from returning to Dillard for the 2006-2007 school year.
He finished the year out strongly even while undergoing chemo-therapy treatments throughout the spring semester. After a summer full of chemo-therapy and blood transfusions, Brown once again returned to finish his college career.
One may wonder from where or whom he retrieved such strength to constantly persevere through, what seemed to be, a bad hand dealt. “I refuse to give up on myself,” said Brown. “I owe it to my family who always believed in me to be successful,” he added.
Brown said his inner strength also comes from a higher source. “That strength I have comes from Him,” said Brown. “Whatever God is supplying me with right now is what I’m supposed to have.”
Some may be surprised that Brown is ill and has gone through so much because he never wears the pain on his face. Even while lying in a hospital bed, Brown is still able to crack a joke and a smile. His joy comes from within. It does not come from anything superficial or materialistic, but from lessons he learned from obstacles placed in front of him.
Every hand dealt in Dunte Brown’s card game of life has not always seemed the best from first glance, but he has made the best of each situation and tried to pick his cards right. Once he gets better, he will return to get his degree.
“Understand, in the end, the cards you play will have a lasting effect on yourself and your life,” said Brown.