Brandi Renee Rhoads
Sep 1, 1984 - May 3, 2018
A Solano County native who used her platform as Ms. Vacaville to advocate for finding a cure for breast cancer has died of the metastatic form of the disease.
Brandi Rhoads, 33, died in Sacramento on Thursday, May 3, 2018, four years after her initial diagnosis.
Born in Vallejo on Sept. 1, 1984, Ms. Rhoads was five when her family moved to Vacaville. She attended public schools, graduating from Vacaville High School in 2002. She earned a bachelor of science degree from the University of California, San Diego, majoring in management science and minoring in dance, and a master’s degree in economics from the University of California, Santa Barbara.
She settled in Sacramento, where she worked first for state government and later as an IT management consultant, most recently for OnCore Consulting, where she was helping create an IT system for the California Department of Conservation to monitor gas and oil wells.
Ms. Rhoads believed in sustainable living and wellness and enjoyed yoga, hiking, biking, running, snowboarding, walking her dog, Danger, and playing the violin. She fostered animals for the Front Street Animal Shelter and was a member of Active 20-30 of Greater Sacramento No. 1032 and Women in Technology International.
After receiving a breast cancer diagnosis in 2014, Ms. Rhoads quietly underwent treatment with the hope of a long remission. Two years later, upon learning the cancer had metastasized and her future was more uncertain, she chose to speak out and advocate for a cure.
She became a board member for the American Cancer Society’s Cancer Action Network and attended its lobby day just a few weeks before her death. She volunteered and served as a legislative advocate with Breast Cancer Prevention Partners (BCPP) and joined METAvivor and the Young Survival Coalition (YSC). She started a blog, “Beauty, Brains & Breast Cancer,” in hopes of “using conscious lifestyle choices to salvage the #goodlife from the #cancerlife.” Last May, she competed for – and won – the Ms. Vacaville title, providing more advocacy opportunities.
As the cancer progressed, Ms. Rhoads struggled to maintain her accustomed pace, acknowledging in a March blog post: “The last few months have been rough and the road ahead of me is unfortunately only going to get harder, in a physical and emotional sense. My new year came without a fresh start due to the Breast Cancer in my life that I have no ability to remove. This is difficult to process, but I am committed to maintaining my composure and love of life. I cannot control the Cancer, but I can control my reaction to it, which is where I will continue to find my strength.”
Ms. Rhoads is survived by her parents, Michael and Genele Rhoads of Vacaville; her sister, Mikaela, and brother, Tim, her grandmother, Eleanor Greig, her companion of 10 years – the “man” in her life – Danger, the dachshund, her cat, Squirtle, and many cherished aunts, uncles and cousins. She was preceded in death by her grandmother Joyce Clayton, and grandfathers Lawrence Rhoads and Gene Greig.
A Celebration of Life will be at 2 p.m. May 19, 2018, at East Lawn Memorial Park Chapel, 4300 Folsom Blvd., Sacramento. Memorial donations may be made to the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network at http://action.acscan.org/goto/BrandiRhoadsMemorial or the Young Survival Coalition at www.yscchampions.org/BrandiRhoadsMemorial.