23 July 2008

Power of people

jad·ed (jā'dĭd)
1. Worn out; wearied
2. Dulled by surfeit; sated
3. Cynically or pretentiously callous

That's how dictionary.com defines the term. It's an adjective I use often to describe myself. This week, however, something happened which changed that, if only for a little while.

Sunday night, a guy who most of you do not know nor, sadly, will ever know, died of pancreatic cancer. He was 31 years old.

Joe, known widely as crakburn, was a husband, a retired Marine, and a die-hard Browns fan. He was also one of the moderators of the Cleveland Browns forum on Football's Future. It was in this capacity that made his impact.

Last summer, while I was busy welcoming a new baby into the world, Joe got the official word that the tumor that had been growing in his abdomen was, in fact, stage III pancreatic cancer. I'm not going to lie, when I found out, my first thought was to wonder if he had months left, or just weeks. Regardless, over the next few months, as his condition worsened, he kept following the Browns as diligently as ever. In fact, all but a few people knew that there was really anything wrong.

Three weeks ago, Joe went into a hospice so that he might receive the care he needed while he "got his affairs in order" (which is a polite way of saying "waited to die"). Anyway, the online community that exists on Football's Future wanted to do something to show Joe how much they cared. So, they started a Make a Wish drive for him. Led by a 15-year old from Kansas City (who's not even a Browns fan), the members contacted the Cleveland Browns and arranged to have Joe Thomas, crakburn's favorite player, come and visit him in the hospice.

For a group of people to come together from all over the country to help make something happen for
a man that none of them had actually met in person, that has to be one of the most touching stories I have ever heard and speaks volumes about the quality of people.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

RIP crackburn good story but unfortunatley didnt end how you would want it too.