I would like to direct you to Page A29 of your Sunday, March 9, 2014 edition. This page is the obituary page. This morning my wife shared with me that there was a nice obituary for a friend’s son, who they just lost to cancer. When she finally finished thrashing though the paper to get all the coupons out, she tossed it on my lap to take a look. When I glanced down, the front page was staring back at me with a sea of pink for our local Susan G. Komen, Race for the Cure.
As I looked eagerly though the News-Press I couldn’t help but notice the amount of press and exposure that the Race for the Cure had in our community. With pictures of participants, the entire front page and multiple pages thereafter that were larger than life. The front section of the paper could have been a supplementary insert from the Susan G. Komen Foundation. I applaud the community in standing together for a united cause and honoring all the survivors that graced the pictures that I speak of. Then I stop while my eyes well up and wonder why? I wonder why our community does not give the same support to other similar causes. I know what happened Saturday morning and the money raised is phenomenal and very much newsworthy material. But, it still brings me back to the fact that this little boy, struggled for 2 years with Leukemia and a very small percentage of your readers know about. I would like to share with you what was hidden on Page A29:
Chase Noah Johnson
September 29, 2005 ~ March 2, 2014
Chase Noah Johnson, 8 years old, earned his angel wings on Sunday, March 2, 2014. Chase battled leukemia for two long years with unbelievable bravery. Through all of his struggles you would be hard pressed to find him without a smile on his face and his dimples glowing. He would look for the good in a hard situation and always reminded us to do the same. He loved unconditionally with his whole heart and didn’t expect anything in return. Chase was kind and considerate and spoke from his heart with the utmost sincerity. He loved to laugh, watch funny movies, play video games, and enjoyed time spent with family and friends.
We have been humbled and blessed by the life lessons that Chase has taught us. He has inspired our family and hundreds of people alike to live for each day. At 8 years old he had the courage, strength, and appreciation for life we can only hope to achieve in our adult lives.
Chase is survived by his father Chris, mother Lisa, sisters Cayli (6) and Chloe (12), grandparents, great grandparents, aunts, and many cousins.
A Celebration of Life service will be held on Sunday March 9, 2014 at First Christian Church, 2061 McGregor Boulevard starting at 2:00 pm.
We ask that in lieu of flowers you make a donation to www.GraceforChase.com and we will donate proceeds to childhood cancer research and the various organizations that have helped us along this journey.
I do acknowledge that there were a number of stories run about Chase and I do not intend to sound ungrateful for that. This is simply an observation of today’s paper. You see? I am a staunch advocate for childhood cancer. And when I say staunch advocate I mean it. I can back it up with multiple trips a year to Washington DC to actively advocate for our kids. Some use this term to define that they support a cause, but in this context I eat, sleep and breathe it. This rarely gets covered and some friends say it’s “newsworthy.” I stand here with Lisa Snyder, Chris Johnson, their 2 daughters, family members and everyone else who had the amazing opportunity to meet a superhero sidekick like Chase. I know how influential Chase’s life is and the legacy that the people around him will fulfill.
If anyone is interested in hearing more about how we can build a legacy for local kids with cancer and build a better future for our families that are yet to be diagnosed I invite you all to reach out. I know first hand of what families like Chase’s have endured and the journey that they are now embarking. Please for Grace for Chase, make a difference and get involved.
Yours in Grief,
Forever ^Caleb’s^ Dad
Four Square Editor’s Note: Rob Whan lost his son Caleb 11 days after his 4th birthday to a rare form of Leukemia and has been a passionate, highly active and visible childhood cancer advocate ever since. He and his wife formed a foundation in honor of Caleb that assists families who have been affected by childhood cancer.