It’s difficult for me to comprehend the amount of ongoing grief a parent must endure after a child dies of cancer.
Bryan Carroll passed away in November 2015 from Leukemia. He was just 7 1/2 years old.
My wife, Karen, and I wanted to do something for the family. Karen and Marsha, Bryan’s mom, met at the Maritime School of Social Work in 1998 and became good friends. Marsha was the maid of honour at our wedding and, over time, we got to know the whole family, including Bryan’s dad, Sean, and Bryan’s sister, Abby.
As often happens, life drifted us all apart for a time.
Then Bryan got sick. The truth is we didn’t know what to say or do. We were worried about being intrusive or saying the wrong thing at the wrong time.
Then we heard about Team Bryan and TNT.
This was an opportunity to DO something meaningful. We jumped at the chance to be involved.
The idea: We’d run as a team to remember Bryan (who loved to run!) and raise money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Canada to help in the fight against blood cancers.
To date, we’ve raised over $14,000 and this May, Team Bryan will participate in Blue Nose Marathon events for a third straight year. We’re particularly proud of our Team Bryan youth runners. We had close to 100 kids sign up last year and hope to build on that this year.
We wear team t-shirts with a storm trooper on the front in honour of Bryan, who loved Star Wars.
Through Team Bryan we’ve come to appreciate just how many families are affected by blood cancers and to understand that we have an opportunity to make a difference.
Team Bryan has brought new and old friends together. We train together, socialize together, raise money together and remember Bryan together.
It’s a tradition we plan to continue.