This is Bill Tomoff's Reflection of Brian Lowe passing 9/16/2021 - the world has lost a kind soul and a caring young man | Childhood Cancer Awareness Month:
A component of Terri’s blog is an initiative to shine the light on and celebrate others. Two years ago, she was honored when Brian gave her the green light to profile him and share his story with the world. It is beautiful to know that Brian had the opportunity to speak from his heart and share with Terri his wonderful attributes, what is important to him, and his beautiful perspective of life that he brought to the world every day.
A few highlights from her blog post on September 6, 2019. Terri’s full post is linked below.
“Brian Lowe is the nicest guy you will ever meet.”
“While we talked about his cancer experience, Brian said that Special Love, hands down, was the pivotal camp/program, and the people associated with it, that helped him through his darkest hours.”
“Being involved in Special Love’s programs was a family affair and Brian has even been recognized twice: Special Person of the Year in 2012 and Counselor of the Year in 2017. He loves to give back at any chance he gets to this beloved organization.”
“Brian expressed to me his love of working at Starbucks, the support he receives from the management, and that his customers that have become his friends that keep him going and upbeat every day. Brian was even promoted to shift supervisor and exclaims that it’s “crazy cool” to work at Starbucks!”
"As I continued to shake my head and sigh over all Brian has been through in his battles of childhood cancer and beyond, I asked him how he continues to be so upbeat and loveable. Without missing a beat, Brian said that when a kid is diagnosed with cancer, they get a “shot” of reality very quickly and that they figure out that “LIFE IS SUPER PRECIOUS!”
Brian went on further to state that “every day is a blessing and to be enjoyed and not wasted.” “Every second matters.” And then this blue and green loving extrovert (his words) said that he loves and lives for his family and friends along with the deep friendships he maintains with each one; this really made my heart sing!
In addition to the love he has for those close to him, he also loves to talk to his customers at Starbucks, and people from all walks of life. He is willing to share his story, but knows everyone has a story and is a willing listener to those who wish to share their story with him…preferably over a hot cup of coffee!"
#CelebratingOthers with Five -Time Cancer Survivor Brian Lowe
When Terri had completed her memoir The Focused Fight , I wrote a reflection about the unimagined gifts that her effort brought to Ryan and our family. One point was that every child fighting childhood cancer “has a story” that the world needs to hear. Yet, these children and families often fight their wars in relative silence, and the story does not go beyond the scope of family, friends, and caregiving professionals. My specific observation (point four within the reflection) was:
“Beyond Ryan, we also came to realize that too many children and families fight the horrific war of childhood cancer, and their heroic efforts are rarely known outside their family, treatment specialists, and support organizations (like Special Love for our family). These children have dreams like everyone else, and they too deserve affirmation that they are a unique gift to the world. Unfortunately, most of these children fight in anonymity, and their blessing to the world is known by too few people. Terri’s, and Ryan’s gift to the world, through telling his story, is a way to honor everyone chosen to face the war of childhood cancer.”
Thanks to Terri’s blog post celebrating Brian, we are thankful to know that he shared his story. I am sure in his quiet way, he was grateful to have his journey and perspective shared with the world. The Special Love community and bonds developed with Ryan and other campers allowed his light to shine in magnificent ways. The world has lost an incredibly caring, loving, and tremendous young man. Despite his challenges, Brian lived to connect, help, and lift the spirit of others.
Brian, thank you for your contributions to the world. Through your example of living life to the fullest in service to others, you have left a legacy that will forever inspire others who were blessed to have been touched by you.
In closing, I am again reminded of these thoughts from Erica Neubert Campbell, Executive Director of Pinky Swear Foundation. Her quote is shared in The Focused Fight book, Part I Diagnosis.
“In a tough situation, few people wake up every morning and say, ‘I’m going to be resilient today.’ Most people under extreme stress wake up with heavy hearts, but with a small quiet voice that tells them never to give up. Resilience is listening to that small inner voice and finding people and organizations to help you slowly turn up the volume."
Not only did the Special Love community help Brian " slowly turn up the volume, " he was inspired beyond measure to do all he could to pay it forward and help others turn up the volume. Thanks to Special Love, Brian, Ryan, and the countless volunteers who give of themselves so selflessly to lighten the burden of others, many campers are in the world KNOWING THEY MATTER, THEY ARE LOVED AND CHERISHED, AND ARE INSPIRED TO FIGHT ON!