September 10th, 2008

“To be read in the unlikely event of my demise.

First, let me say that it’s been a really fun trip.  Looking back on all the fabulous things I have done, and the wonderful people with whom I’ve had the pleasure of doing them, I feel like I’ve already lived my share of life and then some.

I have only two requests:

First, that a very large party be thrown.  Make it the sort of party I would have liked to have been at. Second, take care and make sure to laugh often”

Damian Potts

It started with the “Kidney Party,” in which all thing Kidney were celebrated, for Damian had three of them. Two didn’t work and the third was donated. Now, we celebrate his remembrance in a fashion worthy of his approval for, in 2004, Damian succumbed to a rare cancer found in transplant patients like himself.

There was a party held shortly before his death, a sort of “farewell my friends.” More intimate moments occurred later, but this was a classic Kidney Party-esque celebration. Gaunt, pale, and in a house full of people hiding their tears, he still had his humor and wit.

Shot in my early days of digital production, I’ve pulled a poorly edited, poorly produced web gallery of that afternoon from my archives. For those who weren’t there, or who don’t know, it simply is what it is: people, moments, being together. But I think at some point we’ve all been there, and will again some day.

This weekend, on Saturday, I watched a helicopter hover over the summit of Mt. Index, thousands of feet above. On Monday, I watched another helicopter hover over Cascade Pass, thousands of feet below. I can’t help but think of accidents when I see a helicopter in the mountains. Although unrelated, those helicopters were a foreshadowing. In our community there were two deaths. One was quick and violent; a fall while climbing. The other, a gentle submission to brain trauma after days of coma. The news rippled out, striking with random timing, sudden like the deaths themselves.

Damian knew his time was limited. Transplant patients like himself have a high likelihood of contracting cancer; the doctors had told him he had about 10 years, and they were more or less right. For ourselves, we had time to prepare, time to absorb the last of his humor, his stories, and revel in his life.

And that is what we do today, September 10th. Together, from afar, or privately. We revel in his life.

(Click on the image to view the web gallery of Damian’s farewell)

Log on to the Northwest Kidney Centers website, go to “how can I help”, and choose donation.  Or call Foundation office at (206) 292-5351. Make sure you specify this is for the Damian Potts memorial.

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4 Responses to “Damian.”

  1. Jaynell Hutchinson (Kekona) says:

    I was a classmate of Damien’s at Lahainaluna High School. We were track athletes together in school and I have many fond memories of him and his funny antics. I have not seen or knew what happened with Damien until receiving a post from a friend on Facebook. I moved away from Hawaii for college and career many years ago. I am so sorry for the loss, but Damien’s family will be in my thoughts and prayers. I admire his strength and courage to embrace his beginning, middle and end. My God bless and keep you all..


  2. John Peltonen says:

    Wow, I can’t believe it’s been almost 10 years. I can’t believe how much I still miss him. Damian was a really special guy. I’m glad to have known him when I did.

    Thanks for sharing these pictures, Tim!

  3. amina zeinu says:

    Hi, my name is amina, and Damian was my cousin. He was very special to me, and I really looked up to him. He was a wonderful person, and I have many fond memories of my cousin. One thing that will always stand out for me, is when I was in school and I had a difficult homework assignment, he always knew how to explain it to me in a way that no one else could, and I understood it so well. He would always say to me, “I know you can do it.” He was a great, loving, and caring person, and I will always miss him. Love you Damian.

  4. Chris says:

    Another year is come and gone. I miss you man…


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