Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Steven Mackin, Kevin Broderick, Ewing's Sarcoma

Meet cuties Kevin Broderick and Andrea St. John (right). They got married in May after two years of courtship.

Andrea says "I think it took a little while for him to build up the courage to ask me to do something alone. We had a lot of seventh-grade-style dates" (cuteness rules!).

That according to a profile (and interview) posted at National Public Radio a few days back ("A Love That Defied a Cancer Diagnosis").

A week after the wedding, Kevin passed away at the age of 36. You see, when they met, Kevin was in recovery from a 2004 bout with a rare cancer called Ewing's sarcoma, which usually afflicts people during their younger years.

He thought he had defeated it but, unfortunately, a doctor's visit revealed that the cancer was back in a big way.

"There's a spot in my thigh, and my ribs, and in my pelvis," Kevin disclosed to Andrea, "The scans lit up like a Christmas tree."

When I read about Kevin and Andrea my thoughts, of course, turned to my friend Steven Mackin who also faced Ewing's Sarcoma and fought it back until it came back a couple of years later and took his life.

As a matter of fact today, October 28th, marks the two-year anniversary since his passing. And yet his spirit is still vibrant and present in so many ways.

Just this weekend I was writing about Roisin Murphy's first ever full-fledged concert in New York City as a solo artist as part of the CMJ music festival.

Well, David Banner also performed as part of the festival which brought up memories of Steven's thoughts about Banner's song "Play":

It sounds like it would be a really pretty song. I mean, David Banner totally sounds like the name of a wholesome pop star from the UK. I was sooooo wrong. He's a rapper!!!! And this rapper or whatever is a pretty dirty mofo. The lyrics to 'Play' are off the hook...
OMG! I miss Steven's humor.

And then there's the fact that he used to be a high school band team geek which accounts for his love of film scores including the theme to "Field of Dreams." I still have the mp3 file which Steven sent me long before he found out that the cancer was back and, from time to time - when I am listening to I-Tunes in shuffle mode - it will start playing unexpectedly and all sorts of emotions fill me up. Mostly gladness that Steven is still in my thoughts.

From time to time I remain in touch with his mother and Steven's friendship has also led to other friendships as well (including Kawika).

But the fact still remains that he is gone and I truly miss him.

If you haven't read about Steven in my past blog posts, please head over to his Live Journal blog "Things I've Found in My Butt." It is worth a read from start to finish. If you take the time, you will appreciate why so many people loved him.

You might also want to visit www.stompoutcancer.com while you are at it. Music producer Jake Wheat set up a site to raise funding for the research and treatment of Ewing's Sarcoma in the name of Steven and has put together a couple of indie music compilations which he sells to raise funds for related charities.

I'll leave you with this video which was put together a few days after Steven died. I don't know who put it together but for some reason an image I sent to Steven when he was in the hospital and expecting to get better opens up the series of shots. In some ways I find the video perfect and the song has come to represent his spirit so well. Rest in peace, Kevin & Steven and others who have succumbed to Ewing's Sarcoma.



Anonymous said...

This is a great blog, and I wanted to come say hello to you today.

It is a day of remembrance, and a day of hope as well. Steven would be pleased, and grinning....


- Jake

Unknown said...

My son in law Adam lost his battle with Ewing's on March 27, 2011. It was two weeks before his first wedding anniversary and six weeks before the birth of hi first child Luke.