Duke cancer patient, 13, gets dance video birthday wish

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Wednesday, September 21, 2016
Nurses at Duke help boy with 'Running Man Challenge'
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Hal Brown has brain cancer, but that didn't stop him from showing off his dance moves

DURHAM (WTVD) -- Howell Brown is 13 and battling brain cancer.

During his fight, he's had a chance to be an honorary sheriff -- of several counties -- and a state trooper. He's met NASCAR drivers and hung out with the vice president. But what he really wanted for his birthday was to make a "Running Man Challenge" video.

Nurses at Duke Hospital worked to make that wish come true for Howell.

Howell has stage 4 brain cancer, and it has hit his spine, but despite his diagnosis, he's determined to smile.

"We're going through a difficult time right now but he's so positive," Howell's mother, Sue Brown, said.

"I can't think of a more positive kid that I've taken care of," Howell's nurse, Louie Labate said.

Howell saw the Running Man Challenge video made by law enforcement and said he wanted to something like that himself. That's when his nurses at Duke accepted the challenge

RELATED: Durham police release 'Running Man Challenge' video

"My friend Benita, she's one of the nursing assistants and stuff, and she likes to dance, so I said let's do the Running Man Challenge," Howell said. "So we're doing the Running Man Challenge."

The challenge is just for fun, but Howell is also a big champion for more pediatric cancer research, and it's something that's impressed Durham County Sheriff Mike Andrews.

"He has a purpose for Duke and for the other children that come to this facility," Andrews said.

Andrews and about a dozen Duke nurses and staff members all took the time to make the dancing video with Howell.

The photographer for the video volunteered to do it for free just to see Howell smile.

"I'm just so grateful. It just warms my heart," Sue Brown said.

RELATED: Local Spiderman fundraising for 12-year-old with brain cancer

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