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Brandi Rae Toney, “Brae”, celebrates her 30th birthday



Brandi Rae Toney, “Brae”, is celebrating her 30th birthday, defying the odds doctors gave her as a child. Brae was told by doctors she would not live past the age of two. She’s lived her life battling spinal muscular atrophy, SMA, a rare neuromuscular disorder. Her condition has never slowed her attempts to live as normal of a life as she can.

Brandi Rae Toney

Brandi with her alert dog, Kylie, who sadly passed away last year (photo courtesy of Toney family).

She operates her own business out of her home, creating vinyl decals and custom shirts and has chosen to document her life experiences and emotions through body art. Each of her tattoos holds a significant meaning for Brae, but none more so than her son’s memorial tattoo.

Inside the heart is baby Carter’s sonogram (photo courtesy Brae Toney)

“I was with a guy for five years on and off. We ended up getting pregnant, but the pregnancy was literally draining the life out of me, and in order to save my life we had to induce labor. I was far too early for my baby to make it,” Brae said. “A lot of people don’t see wheelchair users as romantic or able to live a normal life,” said Brae. “I’m mentally capable of making my own decisions, and I live my life just as anyone else would.”

She now celebrates 28 additional years of life that was told she would never have and serves as an inspiration to many.

Her support system includes her mother, Debra, her father (she refers to him as “Diddy”), Charles Toney, and his wife, Christin, along with her sister, Brittany Thomason, her husband John, their family and Brandi’s immense circle of friends. The community came out in celebration on Thursday to express their best birthday wishes and showed just how large that circle has grown.


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