Thursday, June 9, 2011

Goodbye Dori

The Internet provides immediate closeness to people with this terrible disease. You don't have to get to a support group or plan meetings. Click and you have found a new kindred spirit.

That's the way it was with Dori Brown, who died Tuesday of AML, the same kind of leukemia that I had. We never met or even talked, but thanks to the words of husband Jim on his blog Run for Dori, I felt like I knew her. I also felt like a knew Jim. He is a runner who participated in races benefiting the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and other organizations seeking a cure for blood cancers, and he drew attention to the need for more people to become bone marrow donors.

He chronicled in words and pictures Dori's four-year battle with leukemia, letting us into their life as parents to two children, writing about the effects on the kids, and as an extra benefit to runners, taking us with him on his runs on the good days and the bad days and speaking candidly about how they helped him, or didn't, depending on the day. He gave a full picture of a family going through the leukemia journey.

Dori's smile was always with us, most often in photos showing her having fun with her family. Jim's writing was expressive yet never excessive, realistic and informative and showed how this couple navigated the ups and downs with grace.

I loved it when he wrote after she came home from the hospital for the last time that she was the most beautiful cancer patient he had ever seen. She seemed tremendously warm and loving, like someone who  really enjoyed and appreciated life. And without ever being maudlin, Jim wrote about how much he loved her. You could also see how much her kids, Will and Kathryn, loved her, and you could see how they have the strength to be OK.

I really thought Dori was going to make it. When I saw Jim's latest headline, "Rest in Peace," I was floored. And there was Dori's smiling face. I'll miss her, and him too. It would be understandable if he signed off from the blog, but I hope he continues writing for a while so that his big support group can keep in touch.


Jim said...

I'm in tears, of course. Thank you and much love to you, Ronni. Jim

PJ said...

Wonderful tribute, Ronni.

pam said...

So touching, Ronni,

i will look for the links to Dori and Jim...

thank you,

Susan said...

I have followed Dori's story using a link from your blog Ronni for over a year and I'm very sad too. Thanks for writing this.
Next door Susan

Ann said...

I was lucky enough to meet Dori, and she was everything you imagined and so much more. Beautiful tribute.

Paula said...

Dori's blog via Jim has been a mainstay for me.

You are right, Ronni!

No support group, no phone calls, etc., just support, honesty, and integrity is a click away.

You, PJ, and Anne, continue to save my ravaged soul.

A piece of Dori is with all of us.

Paula said...

I mean Ann not Anne as previously posted