April 20, 2023
“Our lives are built by the stories we tell of our experiences. A death, a devastating loss […] is akin to the manuscript of our lives being torn to shreds and handed back to us with no instructions on how to re-write or live our lives. Grief is the journey we’re on as we re-write and live into our emerging story.”
— Lisa Keefauver, MSW
It has been nearly five years since I found Lisa, grief activist and founder of Reimagining Grief. We have never met in person, yet I credit her in helping me, and indirectly helping all of us get through the last four years. It’s hard to believe that four years have passed since we lost Drew.
Drew wanted more time. He would have done anything to be here with us, creating the life he dreamed about for himself. He would be the first one to tell us, as he showed us with such courage, that life is worth living. We honor him everyday with how we continue to live our own lives.
I would like to thank our family and friends who have continued to support us and Drew’s Foundation. Our family in California: Rob, Tina, and their family and friends continue to do an amazing job putting together an annual golf outing to both raise money and honor Drew’s memory. The 3rd annual California outing is just four days away on the 24th of April. To everyone participating and supporting this year’s event, thank you all and enjoy!
Last June we returned to Michigan for the 1st annual Michigan golf outing sparked by a group of Drew’s closest friends. Thank you to them and to the Walkley family for helping us make that first outing a huge success. We return this year on June 25th to Fox Hills in Plymouth for the 2nd annual Michigan outing. This year we decided to give a nod to Drew’s love of Jimmy Buffett music. JB was the first (and only) concert he ever attended. He didn’t stop talking about it for weeks. He brought home a beach towel that pictured a beach scene and the lyrics “Some of it’s magic and some of it’s tragic but I’ve had a good life all the way” and hung it in his new room in Charlotte. Over time those lyrics have taken on a much deeper and more personal significance.
When Drew began hospice care he expressed how unthinkable it was that there was very little success in the research to treat Ewing’s sarcoma. We hope to change this through the three pillars of the Foundation’s mission: Awareness, Research, and Cure. The first few years we have focused more on our first mission: Awareness. By telling Drew’s story, we continue to make other parents and doctors aware of this rare pediatric cancer. The signs and symptoms are most often missed or misdiagnosed, making awareness all the more important. We are working this year to meet with a national pediatric board to elevate our first mission.
This year, we’ve heightened our focus on our second mission, Research. We continue to search and hope to find and fund a clinical trial solely focused, if possible, on Ewing’s sarcoma. Thank you to those who have asked about our goals. We will keep everyone updated as we continue to pursue avenues for our missions and pray that one day our third mission, Cure, can become a reality.
On this day, April 20th, 2023 we reflect on what this date means to us. For four years we’ve been rewriting, reworking the manuscripts of our lives as best we can. Some days we write more than others. We’ve made it through another year and honestly we are profoundly aware that it is because of Drew and the strength that he demonstrated. He fought to live and so we keep moving forward. Drew’s story continues as well, playing out in our own. He’s passed his manuscript to us. All of us.