Inoperable brain cancer. The words knock me for a loop. I had just seen Ron last Friday. He looked good. After two months of treatment, he wasn’t chemo/radiation skinny; which probably fooled me into thinking he was doing better than he was. He smiled; he told his story. There was no self-pity in his voice. Nor in hers.
I learned that down in Boston he’s been undergoing a couple of months of radiation for glioblastoma, a nasty brain cancer. Hannah’s brother Doug died of glioblastoma thirteen years ago. Ted Kennedy, too. It’s a stage 4 aggressive brain tumor for which there is no cure. Treatment buys time.
Though Ron and I have seen each other time and again over the years, it’s his wife Wanda who is my connection to the family. For ten years she and I taught on the same 7th grade team in the Kittery, Maine public schools. She was the rock and soul of our team of teachers; just a good, decent, and dedicated person and teacher that you would very much want your kids to be around.
Their four boys went to York High School around the time our three kids did. York can be a small town in the best way. Looking out for each other. Feeling connected from one part of town to the other. Rallying around each other in good times and challenging ones like these.
At the bottom of the online article (May 12, 2015 seacoastonline.com) that I read, there was a place to click on GoFundMe.com/averystrong to donate to the family for travel and medical expenses. After four days of fundraising, 117 folks have already donated. Hannah and I are lucky to be able to do our part.
The money is the money, and it is needed. But mainly the 117 donors are saying “I love you, Ron. I love you, Wanda. I love you Averys, one and all. You are not alone.”