By Becky Hanks
7:15 PM PDT, April 11, 2012
Faced with making a life-changing decision for their unborn twin girls, former Brawley resident Bryanne McCown and husband Adam found their faith challenged but discovered that the support of this close-knit Valley community and prayer helped carry them through the most difficult test of their lives.
Their victory was never more apparent than this past January when they stood before their church and christened their miraculously healthy daughters, giving thanks for them.
A native of Brawley and daughter of Carl and Evelyn Stills, Bryanne graduated in 2000 as valedictorian from Brawley Union High. She attended Occidental College where she received her undergraduate degree in biochemistry in 2004, and then following a year off, she enrolled in 2005 at the University of Washington’s pharmacy school in Seattle. That is where she met Adam McCown.
While sharing some elective classes together, the two were friends for a couple of years before dating, said Bryanne. “I played hard to get,” Adam teased.
Giving the couple an indication of what life would later bring, Bryanne had a lymphoma scare her junior year in college the Spring of 2007. Suffering from swollen and inflamed lymph nodes, facial swelling and fatigue, she went to the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance where they performed a biopsy.
Throughout the ordeal, Adam attended every doctor’s appointment, consult and procedure with her. All the blood tests and initial physical exams indicated malignant lymphoma, Bryanne related, but the biopsy was negative. They give credit to the numerous prayers that were being lifted up for her.
“Everything went away,” Bryanne said. “Prayer always has been, and continues to be, instrumental in our family.”
Adam and Bryanne forged a bond from that health scare, and by January 2008 they were engaged and then married in October the same year. Graduating a year earlier than Bryanne, Adam started his career in a Walgreen’s pharmacy in Seattle.
Following their marriage, Bryanne completed school receiving her Doctor of Pharmacy degree in 2009. They moved to Phoenix where she worked at The Apothecary Shop, a national pharmacy, and he transferred into a managerial post at Walgreen’s.
She was given the opportunity of broadening her knowledge when she was promoted to manager of an HIV and infectious diseases clinic and witnessed many patients suffering from a myriad of ailments, never realizing her background in pharmaceuticals and biochemistry would give her an edge when her own family needed it most.
In July 2010, Bryanne became pregnant but did not learn she was having twins until the start of her second trimester. “I don’t know why I can’t button my pants,” she’d complain to Adam. “I’m only 12 weeks pregnant!”
With a smile, Bryanne said they credited her father for the twins since he’d teased her for several weeks that he thought she would have two babies. “We call him the ‘baby whisperer,’” she laughed.
Because of the double fetuses, Bryanne switched from her regular obstetrics doctors to a specialist at the Arizona Genetic and Fetal Medical Facility in Tempe so the pregnancy could be monitored more closely. That same week, she received a phone call from the doctor saying they had found “fluid discrepancies” between the babies and would need to increase her visits to once a week.
Immediately, Bryanne began internet research and found information on “twin to twin transfusion,” a worst case condition with the symptom of fluid discrepancies.
Read more about Bryanne McCown in the March/April 2012 edition of Valley Women Magazine in print or our online E-Edition.
Copyright © 2013, Imperial Valley Press