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Brentsville’s Ryland Harris mourned after brain cancer battle

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Ryland Harris, 17, a Brentsville District High School senior, died Sept. 16 after a battle with brain cancer.

Brentsville High’s Ryland Harris passed away on Sept. 16 from an aggressive form of brain cancer. 

Harris, 17, was a former Tigers’ wrestler, football and baseball player whose brave public battle produced a wave of community support since his diagnosis in April 2020. 

He underwent brain surgery, radiation, chemotherapy and immunotherapy, but his health declined this summer. He had grade 4 glioblastoma, a fast-growing brain tumor. 

“Ryland Harris was a three-sport athlete at BDHS that exemplified what it means to be a student athlete,” said Brentsville High activities director Seth Cameron. “He worked hard in the classroom and equally hard on the field or mat.”

Fans at a recent Brentsville football game held signs that said “Ryland Strong.”  

Asked if he had a message to get out during his cancer fight last July, Harris said, “Just to say thanks for all your support to everyone that has done anything for me during this time or before this.”

Cameron said Harris’ upbeat personality will never be forgotten.

“He greeted you with a smile in the hallway and ended a conversation with yes or no sir. Ryland was a warrior when competing and always a gentleman. We will miss his smile but the impact he has had on the school community will last forever,” said the Brentsville athletic director.

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