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August 12, 2005

I am sad to report that your fair host and friend is no longer with us.

The doctors told us today that even if Dan did survive the pneumonia and associated problems he would not be strong enough to receive more chemotherapy for a while. The pulmonologist also said that the fluid in his lungs was probably almost gone, but the tumors were probably what was causing problems in his chest (in addition to the pneumonia). Considering that it's already been over a month since he had chemo, he decided that it was time to end his struggle. After receiving enough drugs to make him sleep and become unaware of what was going on, he was taken off the ventilator. Less than an hour later, he took his last breath. He did not struggle or have any pain. I am thankful that he was able to call the shots the entire time. It ensured that all measures taken were what he wanted, and it took a huge burden off of me. All I had to do was make sure he was asleep before the tube came out.

Dan was a blessing to many people and I would not be the person I am without him. If I could do it all over again, I would not hesitate to love him and be married to him again, even if I had to lose him again.

I will post information about his services for those of you who live around here or are just curious.

And just so you know, he received a big stack of Send-A-Smiles at the hospital today and most of them were from you guys. Thank you for your love and support.

Posted by Dan at August 12, 2005 10:40 PM

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My heart is broken. I will never, ever, forget Dan. He is a part of me for as long as I live.
Stephanie, please know that whatever twist of fate brought you to Youngstown, Ohio, it was the right twist of fate, and you and Dan have had a major positive effect on the people here that we will carry with us forever.
We love you and are so sorry for your loss.

Posted by: Bill B. [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 12, 2005 11:07 PM

I'm so sorry.

Posted by: Laura [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 13, 2005 12:26 AM

To quote Dan, "Cancer is a jerk and I hate it." I'm so sorry for your loss. More here. (I couldn't get Trackback to work.)

Posted by: red fish [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 13, 2005 01:16 AM

I knew Dan through an online game we both enjoyed. Unfortunately, due to illness, I lost the ability to type and, consequently, to play. I still don't type well enough to play, but I had to say goodbye to an old friend.

Dan made the world a better place. His wit, his unique vision of life and living it, and his relentless positivity was a gift he shared with those fortunate enough to have had him touch their lives, even in the most remote of ways.

Dan may have gone beyond our sphere, but his memory will live in many of us because of the gifts he gave us...the gifts of a gentleman and a gentle man.

Stephanie, I am so sorry for your loss. You were fortunate to have loved him and been loved by him.
May he rest peacefully, forever free of pain and suffering.

Posted by: Ryshan'sAlbatross [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 13, 2005 02:06 AM

Dan was fond of saying, "Cancer is a jerk and I hate it." But I don't think the cancer got him. I think what finally got him was the news that Bobby Knight was going to get his own reality TV show.

Dan was a sensitive and funny guy. He was just as likely to go on (and on) about a painting by Edward Hopper as he was to show us a picture of a little Korean baby stuffing a puppy's head into his mouth. And you know what? I bet if you asked him which picture he liked better, he'd have thought about it for a minute before answering.

Once, I asked this question on my blog: "What is the worst psychological torture you can imagine suffering?" You know, it was one of those blog-posts that you put up when you can't think of anything else to write about. I got the usual responses -- but Big Dan had a snappy come-back: "Knowing every morning that I'm going to visit your blog, but not having the will-power to stop myself." Hee.

Please don't get the idea that Dan wasn't a serious guy. He was a mature grown-up (rare in this world), with solid values and high standards.

After the last Presidential election, I posted a map showing an odd correlation between the old Confederacy and 21st century Red states. Dan cried foul, yanked my name off his blogroll and demanded an apology which, shaken, I provided. I valued his friendship and his opinion.

And after the Iraqi elections in January, he told me he was proud of something I had written. It was high praise and I'll never forget it, or him.

Dan's cat Ellwood died a few months ago and he was very sad. I told him that I believed that when you finally get to heaven, all the pets you ever had would be there to greet you. This morning, that's a thought that makes me smile for Dan.

Rest easy, pal. You earned it.

Posted by: Ara Rubyan [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 13, 2005 08:50 AM

My husband, Lex, studied with Dan at Colgate. Lex turned me on to Popping Culture, and Dan's images have frequently been used as the wallpaper on our computer.

I'm so sorry to hear that Dan is gone. But what he created here, this blog, is a real testament to his ministry. He spoke frankly about cancer (while some folks still whisper the word, like it's Lord Voldemore or something). He shared his courage and his vulnerability, his sense of humor and his sense of irony.

I never met Dan, but I really miss him. God spoke a lot of great things through Dan Champion.

Posted by: Amy Barlow Liberatore [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 13, 2005 10:55 AM

Sorry I've been away this past week, or Dan would have received an encouragement "hug" from me, too. But I join all your other friends to say that my heart is broken, as well... Know that our thoughts and prayers are with you, Mrs. Popping Culture: your loss is huge, but I know not even as big as the rich and joyous life you've shared with him.

Dan was a magnificent human being, in a world where fewer and fewer figure out what it means to BE fully human. I was telling my husband just now, through tears, that while I never got to have Dan in my preaching class, I know he would have been a holy terror in there! And I would have loved it. But when all is said and done, he didn't need it: he had a life that "preached," in the best sense of the word! We will miss him enormously, but remember him with unfailing smiles.

Thank you, Stephanie, for the wonderful partner-presence you've been for all these friends as well as for Dan. You've got an "invisible cloud of witnesses" holding you up and cheering you on! May you both rest now, albeit on different shores, in rich peace.

Posted by: Gail [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 13, 2005 11:01 AM

I knew Dan from gaming online as well, and later from Popping Culture. I was fortunate enough to meet him in person a couple of times, and he was as terrific in real life as he was online, a somewhat rare quality in our cyber universe.
Stephanie, words cannot express my sincere sorrow for your loss. Dan was an incredible person, and everybody whose life he touched was left that much richer for having known him. God bless both of you.

Posted by: Killer Kitten [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 13, 2005 12:30 PM

So soory for your loss. RIP, Dan.

Posted by: Rob [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 13, 2005 03:57 PM

So sorry for your loss. RIP, Dan.

Posted by: Rob [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 13, 2005 03:57 PM

I've been reading this wonderful blog for only six months, but in that short time I've come to respect and admire Dan more than words can say. Dan truly was a man of great character. His willingness to share such difficult truths about his experience with cancer was brave, honest, and most of all, an invaluable gift to untold numbers of us who had the privilege to read his dispatches and come closer to grasping what it must have been like to be in his shoes.

Dear Stephanie, please know how very sorry I am, but also how much gratitude I feel that you and Dan allowed us blog-readers to share in your extraordinary journey.

Posted by: Stevie [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 14, 2005 12:44 AM

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