Monday, September 27, 2010

In Memoriam

Today the world lost another fine young man to Cystic Fibrosis. This disease is cruel and still takes great people from our presence. This particular young man was special to me and many people down here in Chapel Hill and the Richmond area where he was from. I'm sure his story touched many people far away as well. We need to take the time to remember Joseph Roberts.

Joseph was a true fighter. He was in the medical ICU with me here at UNC before my transplant in early July. We both were barely holding onto life then, and his parents became aware of my blog and existence down the hall from him. Despite being a hallway away, we never met each other, mostly because of our conditions and infection precautions. But the Roberts family was very supportive of my journey and fight and have even left a few comments here. Despite both having CF we had different pre-tx issues. I was happy to hear he received a transplant not long after me. I followed his progress through his blog maintained by his Mom, Donna, and Girlfriend, Amanda. He had a difficult recovery.

What I drew from him, I never commented here on my blog. But I will now. For me, to get through this second transplant I needed something motivating to grasp on to. Yes, I had my family and friends. But Joseph became a silent force for me. I would envision how hard he was struggling and hear how he was never giving up. Always positive, always fighting for a normal breath, or the day when he would go home. It made my recovery easier to deal with. When times seemed dark and the days turned into weeks, I thought about how there were younger, stronger willed people with CF, like Joseph right here at UNC, going through much worse. There was no way I could give up and get negative.

I can't imagine what he had to deal with the last few weeks. It is something that not many could have done or dealt with. I know he helped save me and today I feel a huge loss and grieve for his family, but deep down I hope and know it will make me even stronger and enjoy life even more, so I can carry on his memory for as long as I live.

Please go learn about this incredible person..

Joseph Roberts 05/03/1990-09/27/2010



Anonymous said...

How very sad. He was such a sweet looking young man. Thank you for your tribute.

joan said...

Dear Mitch - I am very sorry to hear about Joseph. I am sure you were also an inspiration to him. How wonderful that you each had each other for hope and strength. My thoughts and prayers are with his family. Love, Joan.

Anonymous said...

Dear Mitch,

Thank you for your wonderful words.

Joseph and his family and friends (like me) kept up with your site daily and it gave us great hope during some difficult times.

As we sat in the waiting rooms at UNC, we knew you were behind those doors. After reading so much about you, we felt as though we knew you.
We are so happy that you have done so well and have prayed many prayers for you and your family.

You are right about Joseph, he was a fighter; a very strong and courageous young man that gave everything he had. He had a life a spirit that are matched by few. His life is an inspiration to so many and he will be greatly missed.

Please keep posting on your site, we love to read your updates. We would all get a bit anxious if you didn't post something every so often. We learned the importance of "blogging" from you. People actually read that stuff!

Joseph asked about you and his mother read to him from your site. your mother spoke to his mother in the waiting room, too. What a great thing - loving mothers.

We wish you the best and hope for all good things for you and your family.

God Bless you and yours,

Marci Muldoon
COTA for Joseph Roberts