Monday, March 23, 2009

Quinn Dunbar - 13th Birthday - Nothing Short of Amazing

On January 8 2009 I wrote about Quinn Dunbar, a twelve year old who was originally diagnosed with a Medullablastoma Brain Tumor and who passed away on New Year's Day following five years of illness. Following his death, the family planned a memorial gathering and selected a roomy public auditorium for the venue to which eight hundred people came to rejoice in this small young man with the compelling smile and the pleasant, happy, uncomplaining demeanor. Of course it was a farewell but from all accounts it was a love fest with several hundred people. In the midst of such a long term struggle to cope and recover and live and move forward there is a community that develops, a network of friendships that understand and support and genuinely love one another.

Quinn's father Dave recently wrote a note to express how predictably and yet for them personally, they miss Quinn. As you will appreciate it doesn’t take more than a glance at a photo containing Quinn or the sound of a shared familiar tune to cause them to miss their sweetheart deeply all over again. It will be a continual reality. Here is a family that moved with Quinn through all the stages of his lingering illness and did not miss one aspect of caregiving and therefore surely can have no regrets from that standpoint. The regret is always for the missing cure.

Dave wrote that Quinn longed to be a teenager and a few days ago on March 19th 2009, the date of his birthday Quinn would have been thirteen. In a private ceremony at the Surrey Centre Cemetery, a headstone/gravemarker was unveiled and positioned.The family and a few friends celebrated his birthday this way, even enjoyed a birthday cake at home later. In his note Dave invited people to visit the site later to view the marker. Perhaps that is something you will care to do. Quinn loved playing Scrabble, so creatively, the family chose to design a gravestone with Quinn's full name spelled in Scrabble shaped letters. As is so often true of families that pass through this extended grief and understand the needs and all that is involved in caring for a sick person, Dave and Suzanne remain committed to the care of others who hurt as they have and are board members of the British Columbia Childhood Cancer Parents’ Association, which assists the families of children with cancer.

Visit British Columbia Childhood Cancer Parents’ Association site
You can make a contribution. Perhaps you can consider this? What a profound way to honour Quinn's memory.

Quinn's story and his journey are carefully recounted at a website dedicated to him.

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