Thursday, November 19, 2009

Kevin Foley, 1971-2009*

If I have a quibble with this blog it’s the pseudonym “Sick Guy,” never the way this brilliant, strong, beautiful man lived. Cancer silenced Kevin’s voice on November 19. Those who have followed his travels through illness have a sense of how eloquent and artful his writing was, of his gifted mind, incredible wit, spirit, and his courageous self-exploration.  He could also cook and curse with great flair, give the most surprising and intuitive gifts, tell you anything about politics or Cal bear football. And he loved me, to my great fortune. His family and closet friends (and new Springer Spaniel puppy, Berkeley) were his life. Missing Kevin will now be a large part of ours.

To the people who have come to this site again and again, the strangers who are now friends, the people who have left comments of such heartfelt encouragement, the silent but loyal readers, your support has meant so much to Kevin and to me.

Thank you for sharing this experience with us. It’s a road no one should have to take. I wish I could write a different ending.


*A memorial service in celebration of Kevin’s life will be held at the Unitarian Universalist Society of Burlington, Vermont, on December 5 at 4 p.m.

Burlington Free Press obituary:

Los Angeles Times obituary:


Anonymous said...

this is the saddest thing i have read in a long time. i have spoken with kevin via email in the past.

i am tearing up as i write this.

i wish you all the best and i wish this had a better outcome. may the universe bless kevin

he was my age


Anonymous said...

Today is indeed a very sad day. Kevin was an amazing human being: Incredibly smart, a gifted writer, a patient father, a loving husband, a thoughtful friend. His huge desire to live was equally matched by his courage and determination. His illness, and now his death, are enormous tragedies on so many levels. He endured more pain and suffering than any person should ever have to. May he rest in peace, and his memory and contributions to our lives live on.

Anonymous said...

Kevin fought his battle valiantly and with every ounce of strength he had, not to mention incredible dignity. That he chose to share his fight in a public forum is testament to his brave spirit--he never wavered from sharing his fears or anxieties with all of us.

While Kevin is now at peace, and his time here was all too short, he leaves behind a beautiful legacy in B. and T., as well as his indomitable love for L.

May God bless him and the entire Cox and Foley families.

Chris Serb said...

Kevin was such a blessing in my life for these last 13-plus years. I will always carry fond memories of Medill and D.C., as well as our infrequent but happy reunions afterwards. So glad I got to spend some time with him recently. Kevin will live on in the hearts of all who loved him.

Anonymous said...

When going through my own battle with cancer last year, I found Kevin's blog a source of comfort and humor. He was a brilliant writer, and his words will never die. Too young, too soon.

CEC said...

As a colleague, a friend, a husband, a father, a friend, Kevin was always genuine, humble, a pleasure to be around, kind, compassionate and so damned funny. I remember when he came into Lee Ann's life. I am devastated that he left this life so tragically and so early. His writing is a gift we can return to to hear his voice. And I hope he and Alan are having a beer together.

Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry Lee Ann. I'm truly at a loss for words. I feel for Kevin deeply. He's been a tremendous inspiration and voice of support for me. I thought of him often since meeting him, almost every day. That's how much he touched me with his keen intellect, smart humor, and genuine compassion. I know he will live on with honor in his offspring and in you. All my love,


Anonymous said...

One of my fondest memories of Kevin is taking a road trip with him from Berkeley to LA. It's a long, boring drive...usually. With Kevin in the car, all I remember is laughing the entire time. By the time I got home to LA, my cheeks hurt so much from laughing. Over the years, I have often thought back to that trip and wished I could recapture those few hours.

I can't imagine the breadth and depth of the loss his family is experiencing. My thoughts are with you.

Bill said...

I had the good fortune to meet this man a few years ago. We had an instant bond which I thought, at the time was unusual.

Turns out, to have met Kevin was to have that bond. All who knew him, loved him.

I will always remember the times we shared.

Erin said...

Lee Ann,
I am so sorry.
I never met Kevin, but I read his writings faithfully after my serendipitous discovery of his blog. His writing encouraged me, even though I had just suffered the loss of my daughter to sarcoma. He made me laugh and cry. He reached out to me in kindness through a couple of emails. It amazes me that those most in need of comfort are able to comfort others. You, too, touched me with a sweet comment on my blog. What I will remember most is the love that he had for you and his children, a love that radiated throughout his writing.

Anonymous said...

I have never actually written to Kevin but his Card Blue blog has definitely helped me during my struggle with Epithelioid Sarcoma. It's amazing how bonded you can become with a complete stranger through a shared illness. His blog was always witty, informative and raw and I sincerely thank you both for sharing your tribulations with the world. Honour his life by remembering the good times. Take care and lots of hugs

Got Hope? I Do! said...

Dear Foley Family,

My deepest condolences to you and your family. I am very sadden to read about Kevin's passing.
Reading the blog today brought tears to my eyes...I have been reading his blog for awhile now, and I will miss his very expressive blogs.
My heart goes out to L and the kids.

Marie in California

Sachin Palewar said...

I have exchanged a few emails with Kevin, while acting as a care-giver for my wife who also had ES. She passed away in Jan this year.

I have always read this blog and found it inspiring. I always wished Kevin's story had a different ending after Pragati passed away.

I am sad to know that it didn't happen the way I wished.

May God bless his soul and give you and kids strength to pass through these difficult times. Please contact me if you ever feel need to share something about him with a friend.

Kathy said...

Leann, my deepest condolences on this absolutely stunning loss. I came here from time to time to check on him and will be honest, have been sneakily reading your twitter posts as I was concerned that he had not updated in such a long time. I've been thinking of you daily and wish you peace during this very difficult time and strength as you forage forward with your two beautiful children.
He was a strong and able voice for those of us who suffer with Sarcoma and everyone who struggled with cancer.
He will be sorely missed. I hope you keep this blog up for others, that he may continue to touch lives. Though you do not know me at all, if you need anything.....

pkg said...

Dear L- What is there to say. Kevin's spirit is huge but never took up others' space. His intellect is towering, but never cast a shadow on others. His humor, grace, honesty and genuineness blessed me, both in person and on this blog. My heart goes out to you, B, T and everyone who he loved so unreservedly.

He's free from all of the pain and I have no doubt is love will stay with you all.

I hold your loss close to my heart.

Anonymous said...

Young, robust and playing with T in the infant room, that's how I will always remember him.

Life in it's simplicity is what held me together when my husband died. My heart breaks for those children and for L...

We send love to you...

Natika said...

The sense of loss must be horrible right now for your family.
Kevin made a lot of people laugh. He will be greatly missed.

Elizabeth said...

Rest easy, Kevin. I will miss your words.

P.S. I like to think you had a hand in our Big Game win tonight.

Unknown said...

My daughter reminds me now and then of how she remembers Kevin. A tall strong man who would come into her classroom and lift her up into his arms and practically to the ceiling.

For the past few years, I have thought of Kevin as a strong intelligent force living in a beautiful quirky old house with a pastoral view. Beauty surrounded him. But the force was constantly struggling with unimaginable pain and urgency while life went on all around.

Kevin won this battle. We lost him. He died. How did he win? Well, we all die, but he was told he had no more time. And yet, he got to see T go to school and B into the 4th grade. He wrestled several more years out of the dimmest of prognoses and made them count not only for himself, but for his wife and children and friends. He left memories and deeds of strength, humanity, courage, dignity, those excellences of which the human spirit is capable.

kate said...

Thinking of you and Kevin. You both will be on my mind and in my heart on Saturday. I may have to eat a big bowl of ice cream in his honor. Thank you for letting me care for him.

(from VRH)