By Angelica Niedermeyer, Staff Writer
Bryan Paredes, of the O’Malley School of Business at Manhattan College class of ‘24, died Mon. Feb. 7 at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital, surrounded by his loving family.
“With prayers for Bryan’s family, and with heartfelt condolences to everyone who knew and loved him. May he rest in peace, and may perpetual light shine upon him,” President Brennan O’Donnell wrote in an email to the MC community on Feb. 8.
“The loss of our beloved student and friend will undoubtedly cause much sorrow and sadness in our community — especially among those who had the good fortune to get to know this extraordinary young man well. This is a time when it is important to come together to mourn the loss of our friend, student and classmate,” O’Donnell wrote.
Born on July 31, 2001, in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, Bryan was always known as someone who lived in the moment. Survived by his older brother Ángel Paredes, his father Delfin Paredes and his mother Fátima Serrano, his light will forever carry on.
Bryan Paredes had been diagnosed with brain cancer in 2014, yet did not allow the diagnosis to halt his vibrance.
“In July 2014 he was diagnosed with a brain stem tumor,” Bryan’s mother, Fátima Serrano, said in a text message translated from Spanish. “This type of tumor is inoperable because of where it is located. He underwent surgery in 2014 but could not be removed. After this, he received 15 months of chemotherapy. This was not an impediment for Bryan to continue fighting for his dreams.”
Bryan was a member of the Black Student Union at Manhattan College, a fan of Spiderman and anime and enjoyed spending hours talking with his friends at Locke’s Loft. He loved hanging out, traveling into the city and was very close with his mom, Fátima.
Bryan is remembered by many close friends on campus at Manhattan College. The Quadrangle had the pleasure of getting to know and honor Bryan through them.
“He’s very charismatic, very open,” his close friend John Henry Genualdo said. “No matter where he would go he would always be happy, I have never seen him upset. Ever since I found out about the news, I have been hearing his laughter. It just keeps cheering me up, just like the energy he always brought. Me and my suitemates, we consider him our fifth roommate.”
Rodrigo Valenzuela, a close friend of Paredes’, stated similar sentiments, emphasizing Bryan’s ability to light up a room, even if he wasn’t feeling the best himself.
“I wouldn’t say he was always happy, but he always made people happy. He did always make sure to have a laugh with people and joke around,” said Valenzuela.
Bryan’s friends have very fond memories of going into the city with him, those memories of Bryan’s bright personality which will remain with them forever.
“One time we went to Central Park with a group of people, and there was a big open space in Central Park and he decided to go out and run in it and run as fast as we could through it. So we all joined. We were like running and tackling each other down. That was a fun time with Bryan,” said Valenzuela.
Bryan also liked to spend time studying or writing, truly balancing his academic and social life.
“He lived his life in the moment. He really liked to go to parties, he really did like to go out, have fun with people. He was very social. He was studious too, a lot of times I would find him studying,” said Valenzuela.
“He would spend hours in Locke’s talking to people. He was always that guy who was friends with everyone, just a part of every group. In some way he would be a main part of almost every group. He always made his presence shown everywhere he went. That’s what actually inspires me most,” Genualdo said.
Genualdo and Bryan dressed up as Myles and Spiderman to attend a party off campus, highlighting their friendship.
“There was a party at APD for Halloween and we both organized to dress up as spiderman. He dressed up as Myles and I dressed up as Peter,” said Genualdo.
Bryan left a strong impact on the people he knew, both his friends and family, which will remain with them forever.
Bryan, who was described as a “bright light” by close friend Melannie Estrella, and was also very extroverted and outgoing.
“He was hilarious. I just feel like he really was himself. He had a good time no matter where we were or with who he was. There was never a dull moment with him. Even when he was down, he found a way to make a joke out of it. He was still so honest and earnest at the same time,” Estrella said.
Our college chaplain and director of campus ministry and social action, Father Tom Franks, is available to speak with anyone grieving Bryan’s loss at any time. Father Tom can be reached at 718-862-7972 or at firstname.lastname@example.org, or students can visit the counseling center in Miguel. Students can schedule an appointment through (718) 862-7394 or by emailing Julie Egan directly at email@example.com.
The MC community remembers Bryan and sends prayers to his family and friends in this time of need. The funeral for Bryan Paredes was held on Sunday, Feb. 13 from 3-6pm at R G Ortiz Funeral Home Inc and the campus memorial of Bryan’s life and memory will be held in the Chapel of De La Salle and His Brothers on Feb. 18 at 2 p.m.