A Life Well Lived
Kevin went through almost 2 years of continual treatment that included 5 or 6 rounds of chemotherapy; radiation on his pelvis, spine, and brain; gamma knife treatment; and a round of stem cell treatment which requires a bone marrow test, stem cell harvesting, and 4 weeks plus in hospital while they kill your immune system and then replace your stem cells. Most people wind up taking morphine during the treatment, Kevin did not.
Part of that had to do with Kevin, his pain threshold or perception of pain (which was much different than most), but he also attributed his ability to tackle each new procedure, with a positive outlook and a smile on his face, to the love and support he received from friends and family. It was overwhelming to him and to all of us. There are few words that I can use to describe the emotions that came with each visit, phone call, card, or word from a friend of a friend. More often, our eyes would fill with tears and a smile spread across our faces. There really were no words that could adequately describe how we felt nor were they necessary.
I think the love and support that he received and which spread to us (his family) are a true testament to Kevin’s spirit, how he lived, and how he impacted others. This became even more potent once he was diagnosed. I remember watching Kevin meet people and draw them in. His smile was inviting and then he really set about getting to know them. It was genuine.
His impact on people is particularly evident to me through TEAM KEVIN. When Jenny Godnick told me last year that she and Susan Clifford, Jill McConnell, Suzie Baer, and Erin Hoesly were thinking of doing the NJ Triathlon as a team in support of Elixir in honor of Kevin, I was so touched. The enthusiasm with which they approached the fundraiser was incredible and it turned out to be our most successful fundraiser to date.
Immediately following the NJ Tri they set their sites on the NY Tri and worked with me to make that happen. It is not just that they are training for these events; they are directly involved with the planning and execution of the entire event as a fundraiser for Elixir and are personally invested in making it a huge success. So much so, that they have expanded the team beyond classmates and personal friends of Kevin. They have also inspired us to create another TEAM KEVIN for the TCS New York City Marathon.
In just under 2 weeks, TEAM KEVIN will rock the Panasonic NY Triathlon. Jenny Godnick, Susan Clifford, Jill McConnell, Suzie Baer, and now Rob Doolittle and Duncan Wilson will swim the Hudson River in support of the Elixir Fund – now that is dedication. They will also bike and run the streets of NY and finish in Central Park. We cannot wait to be there to cheer them on – once again, I am sure, at a loss for words, with tears in our eyes, and smiles across our faces.
They have each set a fundraising goal of $2,500 and are closing in on their goals but there is still time to help them succeed. You can visit their Crowdrise page and support any member of the team. And, if you are in the area and want to come out to NY to cheer them on, we would love to see you.