Mom Traded Him For Car. Now Grown, Tells Story of How 'Angel' Saved Life, Sings About Adoptive Mom


Brandon Elder’s story doesn’t start on a happy note. When he was just an infant, his birth mother, who was only 15 or 16, traded him for a car.

The family who traded the car was not able to care for a baby so soon after, he was adopted. Patricia Elder took Brandon in as her own.

She sacrificed a lot for Brandon. As a single mom, she had to work multiple jobs so that he would be able to participate in various sports teams.

When Brandon turned 14, Patricia was diagnosed with cancer. Through intensive treatments, she became cancer free for two years!

When the cancer came back, however, doctors knew there wasn’t much they could do. Their family was devastated. This is when Brandon turned to music.

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His mom actually bought him his first guitar that Christmas! He just remembers playing and singing to her. He claims it wasn’t very good at the time, but she enjoyed listening to him anyway.

Patricia passed away in April of 2016.

When Country Star and American Idol judge Luke Bryan heard Brandon’s story during his audition, he was amazed. Luke commented that his story must make him a lot stronger in life.

Brandon answered, “Yeah. Stronger, I guess. Humble. Blessed to be here.”

He then began to play a song that he wrote about his mom called “Gone.”

In the song, Brandon sings, “The greatest love that anyone could ever know is the love form the mother’s heart… As tears fall on my guitar, I look up at the stars. You are finally home.”

After he finished, the judges were left speechless at first. They complimented him not only on his ability to sing but also on his songwriting and genuine heart.

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With that, they presented him a golden ticket and a chance to continue to honor his sweet angel mom.

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Kayla has been a staff writer for The Western Journal since 2018.
Kayla Kunkel began writing for The Western Journal in 2018.
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