Thursday, October 28, 2010

Steven Mackin, remembered

Four years ago today my friend Steven Mackin passed away from Erwing Sarcoma at the age of 27. He thought he had beat the rare form of cancer a few years earlier when he'd gone through surgery and chemotherapy but when it came back it was stronger than ever and took his life in a mere few months.

When the cancer first struck, Steven had been living in San Francisco and loving it.  The surgery left him with the need to use crutches in order to walk and forced him to relocate back to his hometown of Bardstown, Kentucky.

Although Steven just adored his mom Sheila and loved his family, it was hard for him to go back to live in Bardstown.  I remember the hours we spent chatting and talking about his desire to move on with life and move somewhere else: San Francisco, Miami, Las Vegas.  Somewhere where he could continue his life as a young gay man which was interrupted so suddenly by the cancer diagnosis in San Francisco.

Personally, I have never met anyone who took more pictures of himself.  Maybe it was a way for Steven to constantly remind himself he was a survivor.

He also loved this blog, at least in it's earlier form, and a couple of months before he knew the cancer was back we had a conversation in which he made me promise that if he passed away I would talk about him here, show people his pictures, make sure he wasn't forgotten.

So every year on this date, I write about Steven and share his life with the world - and share his pictures.

He was just an amazing, beautiful man and it's still tremendously sad he is no longer with us.

Steven also left behind an incredible testimony of his fight with cancer in the form of a LiveJournal which he very appropriately called "Things I've Found in My Butt".   It's an incredibly touching, irreverent, funny, maddening, sad and moving diary of his life in Bardstown.

In 2007, the Associated Press featured Steven's story based on the writings he left behind.

It's an amazing read if you have some time on your hands, and a living testament of the great Steven Mackin.

Oh, and, by the way, Steven Mackin IS prettier than you!


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