My wife wrote a wonderful post about a dear friend of our daughter Meredith’s and his remarkable family. Five-year-old Charlie died yesterday. We’ve known the Wallers for several years and feel lucky to call them our friends.
I have been working on this post in my head since before we left Michigan. Since that afternoon in August when we had lunch with our friends John and Abby Waller, and their children Esther and Charlie. I knew that afternoon that I probably would not get to see Charlie again.
Back in April 2011, Charlie Waller was diagnosed with a particularly devastating form of brain cancer, diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma, or DIPG. It is a type of tumor that grows like grains of sand on a person’s brain stem. It is inoperable, has practically no effective treatments, and affects primarily children. Abby and John were told that without treatment, Charlie would die within a couple weeks. With treatment, he had maybe nine months. At the time Charlie was not even three years old.
Over the past two and half harrowing and joy-filled years, Charlie and his family have beaten…
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