My family would tell you that I get a little wrapped up in brain cancer awareness. It’s true. My brain is always thinking about how I can raise more money for Dragon Master Foundation and how I can help people understand why this database is so important. It’s a huge task, and it can be all-consuming. I’m grateful for my family’s support, but I don’t ever want them to feel like they take a back seat.
Today is Austin’s 20th birthday. I no longer get to call her “the teenager”, and she has definitely been taking on the role more and more of a young woman – not just a “kid”. It makes me a little sad – as I’m sure it does her. After all, those carefree days of childhood are to be treasured. I feel like she didn’t get to have a fully free childhood, in part because of cancer. It took David’s life, but it also took Austin’s best friend.
Despite that, she has picked herself up, dusted off the disappointments, and started building the person she wants to be. She is smart and has a sharp sense of humor. She is creative and has a sense of timing and awareness that gives her an insight that most people never develop. She is solid at the core, and I’m so proud that she is beginning to trust herself and her own decisions. I believe that once she settles on her true passion, she will be unstoppable.
In some ways, she will always be that little girl following her brother. But in so many ways, she has had to blaze her own path. Her first steps were timid, but she walks with more confidence every day. It is an honor to be able to celebrate her life today.