Tuesday, January 24, 2006

A Good Day; A Sad Day

I take this moment to reflect on Daegen Feyh. On January 25th, 2001, this beautiful boy was born. On July 17th, 2005 he died. Daegen was a beautiful boy who I followed towards the end of his illness. Because I walk with Friends of Allie, we had a team in Kansas that walked in his honor, that is how I was introduced to this sweet, beautiful boy. I remember when he died. I remember the post that read "another angel....Daegen aka: dman." I remember reading and feeling so sad knowing the world had truly lost something special.

In November, at a meeting in Las Vegas with The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society I sat across Janelle and Lance Feyh. I wasn't completely sure who they were, although I had a hunch. We went around the table and we all introduced ourselves and explained our roles with the LLS and our teams. There were approximately 17 people in the room, 8 of those being FOA team leaders. After we were done, the introduction went to Janelle and her husband Lance. I remember listening to Janelle say "my son Daegen passed away in July." My body grew numb. I remember looking at Lance, he had a long necklace on with Daegen's picture on it. I remember Lance looking down. I remember suddenly fighting the urge to cry, I felt ridiculous. I thought "I can't cry. I have no right to cry." I then noticed that almost every single person from my team was crying. Crying hard. It completely broke me. I know why we cried. For over a year, we had faced childhood cancer by reading stories, signing guestbooks, sending cards and raising money to help find a cure. But we NEVER truly faced the loss. And here we were, face to face. The reason why we volunteer was right in front of us. It was overwhelming and heartbreaking. It was real. I remember thinking "they are so strong. What is giving them strength?" I knew it was Daegen.

Tonight I went to my Friends of Allie board and saw a post that tomorrow was Daegen's birthday. January 25th. A day I celebrate. It's Anna's birthday, too. My beautiful daughter will be three. I have always believed that children choose their parents. I have no doubt that Daegen chose Lance and Janelle. They have something on their website called "A Grieving Parent's Wishlist." PLEASE read this. I could barely get through it, but it's worth it and it's eye opening, and so honest. Daegen's parents have started a National Friends & Family team with a first year goal of $500,000. I have no doubt this goal will be reached and that the Daegen Feyh Research Grant will no longer be a goal, but a reality.

So, on January 25th, Janelle, Lance and Daegen, I will be celebrating Daegen's life and reflecting on the impact he has left, not only in life, but also in death. I remember telling Janelle, in Vegas that "every dollar we raise and every minute we spend fundraising is in Daegen's honor." This will always be true.

After we sing Happy Birthday to Anna, it is my hope that Anna and Daegen will blow out the candles together.

All my best and all my love.

Hug your child extra tight, everyday.


  • At 1/25/2006 07:56:00 AM, Blogger Penny said…

    ok I cry now.. you suck Beth. I do't like crying. I remember that imagine of Lance.. Everytime I looked at his I saw Daegan. I never even followed him. So when ever I looked at Lance I would see Daegan.. It ofcourse helped that Lance is very soft of the eyes..
    They are just great parents.. ok I am going ot cry again.

  • At 1/25/2006 08:04:00 AM, Blogger Sara T said…

    Oh I am so crying now. Beth that was so incredible. Thank you for the reality check.


  • At 1/25/2006 08:12:00 AM, Blogger Penny said…

    i didn't want to delete the message so I thought I would do a follow up.. i saw daegan cause he has him around his neck.

  • At 1/25/2006 08:12:00 AM, Blogger Penny said…


  • At 1/25/2006 10:05:00 AM, Blogger christy said…

    Wow Beth. Tears are streaming here. What an amazing, heart wrenching post. I too remember that exact moment at the table when Janelle and Lance introduced themselves. I felt the same stinging in my eyes and the same guilt for crying in front of the grieving parents.

    Thank you Beth for that wonderful post. And Happy Birthday sweet angel Daegen and little princess Anna!

  • At 1/25/2006 12:55:00 PM, Blogger Tracy said…

    Beth, I too remember that moment just as you described it. I was sitting right next to you and I just started handing out tissues. They we all were face to face with parents who we never thought we would meet. Wonderful people that lost there beautiful son. Right there sitting in front of all of us was the reason we were there. I feel like we all bonded that much more. I treasure all of Janelle's comments about us going to the website, what it means to them and how they go through the day. I wish that Lance could have stayed. I think it would have been great for our husbands to have met him and had the chance to talk with him. Maybe next year. Thank you Beth for your amazing post.

    Happy Birthday Sweet Anna!!!

  • At 1/25/2006 04:44:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    What a nice reflection for Lance and Janelle...seems we all posted about them today.


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