Monday, April 6, 2009

In Memory of My Dad

My dad was always my hero. He was some superhuman being with incredible strength, vast knowledge, and omnipotent powers. He was always available for a hug, a trivia debate, or guy advice. He taught me how to shoot a free throw, critique a movie intelligently, make the perfect margarita, and to stand up for what I believe in.

My dad was always game for anything, wanting to help me out in any way he could at any time during my life. When I was a teacher, he dressed up as “Zero the Hero” to celebrate the hundredth day of school. For my MOMS Club, he dressed up as Santa for our Christmas party. I could always count on my dad.

But I think my fondest memories of my dad were after my kids were born. He was the perfect grandfather, and my kids absolutely loved him. My son called him “Da” when he was a baby, and the name stuck. My dad and Volcano used to dance around the room and sing silly songs together, making up the words as they went. My daughter loved it when Da read her stories or played dominoes with her. I feel so fortunate that my children got to know him so well, and it made me so happy that he in turn was there for my kids.

I am who I am today because of the great human being he was, and I'll always be grateful.

It only took 6 months to kill my dad. He was diagnosed last September with pancreatic cancer, and died last month. This once healthy and vibrant man tried chemotherapy, medications, and a vast amounts of treatments to fight it, but nothing worked. It only took six months. He lost the battle, like most patients who are diagnosed with this disease. There is only a 5% chance of survival once a patient is diagnosed. The disease usually goes undetected until it's advanced. By the time symptoms occur, diagnosing pancreatic cancer is usually relatively straightforward. Unfortunately, a cure is rarely possible at that point.

The Pancreatic Cancer Action Network is a nationwide network of people dedicated to working together to advance research, support patients and create hope for those affected by pancreatic cancer. Through them, my family and I have set up a fundraising effort in memory of my dad. Please look at both websites and consider making a contribution.

I don't want what happened to our family to happen to yours.


marisa said...

Oh, sweetie. I wish I could give you a big hug.

Kally said...

I am so sorry for your loss. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.

Sweepea said...

I linked to your post, Pixie. I hope this spreads the word and builds awareness about this horrible disease.

Dad Stuff said...

You and your family are so fortunate to have had such a great soul touch your lives.
Your post was also touching in keeping him in memories.

Baroque Pop Radio said...

Wonderful words!

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