In October of 2009, Sheila and Jeremy lost their daughter, Donna, to brain cancer.
Before last night, I didn’t know them. Today, I feel I know them intimately, with shared purpose and conviction to honor Donna, her life and her potential.
Beth, a blogger friend and friend of Angelo, arranged a dinner meeting as an introduction of everyone to each other, and the potential of developing some sort of vehicle to expand fund raising efforts and awareness for “Donna’s Good Things”.
Donna was a toddler when Jeremy and Sheila were told Donna had brain cancer. A life with cancer was all she knew.
She was described to me as confident, bright, perceptive, sensitive, and courageous. After meeting her parents, it’s not difficult to see from where these traits came.
These aren’t powerful or famous people, just two people finding their way after losing the light of their life. Instead of being bitter, they are thankful for the time they had with Donna and want to deliver on the potential of her life. They want to deliver the positive message that Donna delivered every day with the courage and optimism she exuded. They want to provide support to those parents in the same situation, to let them know that life doesn’t end with the death of a child.
During dinner, Sheila pulled out a few postcards with photos of Donna. What a beautiful girl, with expressive eyes just pulling you in. Her picture showed everything her parents described.
It’s not often you get to meet people like Jeremy and Sheila, people who are prepared to take on something big in their own, small way.
I get a sense they are approaching Mount Rushmore with a chisel, encouraged by the progress they make, chip by chip, looking at how much they’ve done, knowing there’s so much more to do.
So, that’s where we start, with the death of a child, with parents who are committed to living, not in the shadow of death, but in the light of the life of Donna.
Thank you for including me.
To learn more about Donna and Donna’s Good Things, I’ve attached a link to the webiste.