Friday, August 2, 2019

Film to Spotlight Muldrow Boy’s Life

Trey Brown with parents David and Dayla.

An area production company is making plans for a film honoring the life of Muldrow’s Trey Brown, who died of cancer in 2005.

Trey, a baseball player known affectionately as “Double Play Trey,” died of T-cell leukemia at age 11.

The film, titled “Through it All,” is not only intended to celebrate Trey’s life. It is also a loving testament to his family’s long, continuing journey through their grief.

When people are grieving a loss, they often don’t talk about it within the family, producer Kendee Hughes said. That’s how it was for David and Dayla Brown, Trey’s parents. The film, Hughes said, will show how they worked through their grief and tried to make sense of their terrible loss.

Hughes’ production company, Revel8One8, is in the process of raising money to make the film, which will be shot in Fort Smith, Van Buren and Muldrow, she said. Organizers are planning a puzzle fundraiser, where people can buy a piece of a digital puzzle for $100 in memory of a lost loved one, along with other events.

Producers are also going to develop a grief curriculum that will parallel the film and they are also preparing a 365-day series of devotionals written by people who have lost loved ones.

The company name refers to the Book of Revelation, verse 1:8: “I am the Alpha and Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.”

Hughes said that after seeing “Facing the Giants,” a 2006 Christian film, “God put a fire within me. I knew what I wanted to do. I wanted to produce Christian films.” 

The company was formed in 2017 along with Michael Moore of Daily Bread Ministries in Van Buren; Jason Gilmore, music pastor at Muldrow Assembly of God; and Ken Howard, an area law enforcement officer. 

The producers want to show the film in local theaters around the area at first, then hopefully air it on streaming services such as Netflix and Vudu.

When Trey began having breathing trouble, his parents took him to Arkansas Children’s Hospital in Little Rock, where he was diagnosed with T-cell leukemia. After undergoing chemotherapy, Trey went in to remission, but the disease kept coming back.

Trey became increasingly ill during a Make-A-Wish Foundation trip, Hughes said, and doctors recommended he get a bone marrow transplant. He was taken to a San Antonio hospital for the procedure. The transplant was a complete success, Hughes said, but Trey’s organs began shutting down because of side effects from the medications he was given.

Trey died Nov. 18, 2005, his parents’ 16th wedding anniversary. He was their only child and “their world turned upside-down,” Hughes said. 

His family did what they could to overcome their pain, but their struggles were just beginning. It was only several years later, after the producers began background interviews for the film, that family members were able to open up about their loss, Hughes said.

Families often shut down after a death because they tend to keep their feelings to themselves, Hughes said. The film, she hopes, will show that there is hope through Jesus Christ and that other families in similar situations can find peace in knowing they will see their loved ones again.

“The path (through grief) will be difficult, but if you get up every day and choose to move forward, you will come out on the other side. You still feel the loss but you have found a way to deal with it,” Hughes said.

Dayla Brown, Trey’s mom, has taken up running as part of her recovery process, and she has run in several marathons over the years, Hughes said. She also began speaking publicly about her loss to various schools and groups. 

Trey told his parents at a young age that he felt called by God to become a missionary, Hughes said. After his death, she said, the Browns organized several “5K for Trey” races. The money raised from them was donated to various local churches to help with their own missionary efforts.

“It is important to show viewers the family’s pain, as well as to reveal the hope of some sense of peace,” Hughes said.

Laura Brown, KXMX Staff Writer

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