Daniel Kerner always loved the outdoors. He loved to visit the ocean and mountains and feel the warmth of the sun on his face and the wind in his hair. He loved his family and friends. He loved life.
Daniel became an angel on April 12, 2010 – two years ago tomorrow.
I never met Daniel, but my parents and Taylor met him on several occasions, and I’ve shared his story before. Daniel and my sister will always be linked on paper because they formed the bookends of a historic clinical trial in Portland, OR (Daniel came first; Taylor went last). But Daniel’s story means much more than that. And his courage had – and continues to have – an incredible impact on me.
It’s difficult to believe that it’s been two full years since Daniel earned his wings. In a world ruled by Batten disease, it’s easy to lose track of time – and children. So many children are lost (and eventually, all of them; Batten disease is universally fatal). So many children whose hands I’ve held or stories I’ve hugged close to my heart.
It’s amazing how time passes; amazing how the world manages to keep chugging right along after the premature loss of an angel like Daniel – without even missing a beat. But no matter how many anniversaries come and go or how many children we lose, we must never forget. And we must never stop fighting.
I’ll go to infinity and beyond, Daniel – whatever it takes – to beat this monster for angels like you.
I wrote a letter to Daniel on April 13, 2010 – the day after his passing. Read it here.