Thursday, January 8, 2009

Dawn lost the battle to leukemia today at 1:15pm. She passed peacefully, without pain and surrounded by friends and family. Jack Johnson was playing in the room. This morning Dawn was more aware and responding to commands. I read her the comments on the blog from the last few days. Thanks to everyone for all their outpouring of support and encouragement. It's been overwhelming. Those of you still in the fight, keep fighting; Dawn is smiling down upon you.

Update: 6:30pm
I know many of you have only seen Dawn through this site. I want everyone to remember Dawn not only for her battle with leukemia but also who she was before leukemia. When she was up on the transplant floor I had a bunch of pictures printed from memories that she and I shared. We put these pictures up as a collage in her room to help her remember what she was fighting for. You can click on the photo below to see some of these pictures.



Andrea said...

Dawn passed away while I was reading the blog from beginning to end for the first time...I am so sorry for your loss, and I wish words could help ease your pain. I knew Dawn in college, and just found out about her fight with leukemia. I will pray for you and her other family & close friends who went through this with her...

Anonymous said...

I am so truly sorry. She's at rest. I'm so sorry for your loss, and the loss of a wonderful person. I would have loved to meet her.


Ashley said...

so sorry mike and dawn's family

love u


Anonymous said...

I've been checking in constantly with tears rolling down my face. She was a great person and will be missed. I wish you all strength and love in the future.
Tiphanie Worthington
P.S. I'm so glad she got to hear all the great comments.

Kashmir said...

Dear Ones,
Reading this with a heavy heart...All the loved ones left behind feel the deep loss and the pain of separation. Dawn has shed her "pain body" and merged with the Source, the Divine light of God.

Maria G said...

I'm so sorry. I know those words aren't adequate, or even right, but thats all that I know to say. I'm glad that she got to hear the comments before she passed, and I'm sure that she knew how much everyone, even those who've never met her, loved her. We were all sending love and support, and rooting for her until the end, and I know that it was all that love that allowed her to finally feel safe enought to let go.
I love you all.

Merideth said...

Oh guys. I am so sorry for this huge loss. I am grateful she went peacefully and also grateful that she got to hear some of the comments about the impact she had on the world. I hope that these words somehow made it easier for her to be able to rest. Rest now Dawn, you truly truly deserve it. HUGS and love to everyone that surrounds Dawn. A piece of her will always be with you in your heart. And that piece of your heart will be most precious to you. She will always be watching and cheering you all on in whatever you do in life. Love to her family and Mike especially. ♥

Anonymous said...

your family is in my prayers....I knew Dawn in college and she always had a smile on her face..She was lucky to have such a great support all have touched my life reading about her battle..Dawn is a wonderful person...Sarah

nicole said...

Im so sorry for your loss. There are no words to help with the emptiness and sadness. She was beautiful and so young. My friend Dustin earned his wings also after his battle with osteogenic carcinoma. THe heavens are shining! nicole

Tara said...

I am so sorry. I wish I could take the pain away from all of you who loved Dawn. She will always be an inspiration to me and as I guess to many others. I thank God now she is free from pain, free from all those machines and will remain young and beautiful forever. I will never forget you Dawn and I hope I get to meet you in heaven someday.

Thank you Mike for letting us be part of your lives. I hope Dawn knew how much of an impact she had on everyone who read her blog and who she met personally. My God comfort all you in your time of grieving. God Bless.


Anonymous said...

Dawn's spirit will surround you forever. There is no doubt she was an inspiration to everyone who knew her and to many more who did not, including myself. I started follwoing this blog a few months ago when I first found out about it and have been in awe ever since. The courage that Dawn possessed will continue to inspire people for years.

Hopefully the overwhelming show of support will help ease your grief in the days ahead.

- Donna Gatch

One more thing... Dawn's smile is the most infectious thing I have ever seen. What a beauty!

Anonymous said...

There are no adequate words. I am so sorry. Love and comfort to you all.

Jessica from P.C.

Annie - Steven's mom said...

Oh how unutterably sad. I am so very sorry.
Love and light
Steven's mom

Anonymous said...

Dawn, I will always remember you just the way you were as my roommate at Asbury--full of laughter, love, with a sweet, kind spirit. You comforted me in grief and laughed with me throughout the years, and I thank you for the way you touched my life. It was meant to be for us to be roommates and I will never forget all the times we shared. I will see you in heaven. Love,

Anonymous said...

Heaven has received its newest angel. Heartfelt sympathy to Dawn's entire family.

Anonymous said...

Dear Ones ~ Dawn's family, Mike, and friends,

I am so sorry for your loss in Dawn's passing. I wish I could express how inspirational you have all been through this time. I am very motivated by Mike's continual reminders to donate blood, register for the bone marrow registry, and give generously to find a cure for CML. I will continue to champion the cause for my husband and others still in the fight. I am comforted by the comment by Dawn's father yesterday that she is at peace in our heavenly Father's arms today. I pray this gives you all comfort as well. Thank you for this transparency in your lives. You'll never know how many you've touched, and how deeply.

Love and prayers for you all,
Friend from the Southwest on the LLS message board

Anonymous said...

I am so very sorry..Dawn fought the good fight!

She was such a brave and beautiful young woman and this is Not Fair!

My condolences to Dawn's family and friends.



Anonymous said...

I love you dawn...


Anonymous said...

I am so very sorry to hear of Dawn's passing. All of her loved ones are in my prayers. May God comfort you and give you strength during this difficult time.

pua said...

words cannot express how truly sorry i am for your loss. dawn is smiling down upon you with a smile as bright as the sun! i'm sending all the love i have to all of you.

Cam said...

My heart goes out to all of Dawn's loved ones.

Anonymous said...

I will walk the halls of 5 west with a heavy heart...after a while my heart will be less heavy & I will carry Dawn's smile, strength & courage with me daily in my practice.. I am so fortunate to have chosen my career path b/c I am able to meet patients like Dawn & others.. My attempt is to always learn something from my patients..Dawn made that easy..not only did we fall in love with Dawn but we fell in love with her family as well..Mike I will miss you terribly.. Christy I will miss your smile & hugs more than you know...

Thanks to Mike for bringing awareness to the Bone Marrow Registry & to donating blood & platelets..these are such simple things to do & you have no idea what a diffrence it makes to our patients..thanks to all that have donated & registered..

I will miss you all terribly..

Michelle said...

I am so deeply sorry for your loss. Knowing Dawn was a blessing to me and I'm sure to every life she touched. I pray that you will find comfort in the hope that one day we will see her again!


Matt said...

I am so truly sorry. Our deepest condolences to all of Dawn's family. Thank you so much Mike for helping us all be there with her in spirit.

Matt & Wendy

Anonymous said...

Pastor Steve, Christy, Steve, and Will.....
God is holding you in the palm of his hand, I dreamed about Dawn last night and she looks so beautiful as an angel.

Much Love, The Devols

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

I am so sorry Dawn is gone. I only new her through the LLS boards and this blog. I made sure I logged in daily to check her progress. Although I never met Dawn I found myself praying for her daily. I cried often reading through the pages and months of her journey, not only at the unpleasant stuff but at the happy and funny moments too. Mike, thank you for sharing these very personal moments with all of us, I have learned so much about this aweful disease( maybe more than I care to know). But it has help me cope with my husbands fight(with lymphoma)and I know it has helped others. Rest in painless peace Dawn, and godbless you all.

Anna said...

Dawn fought a difficult battle with the utmost poise and class. She was a wonderful person, and a true inspiration. We were friends in college, and I will always remember her as the fun loving and caring person that she was. She will be greatly missed.

adam hellan said...

I am so sorry for your loss.

I've been following this blog from the start. Last night I was reading through it and noticed several comments about Dawn's smile. Dawn really does have a great smile. She kept her smile through through the most difficult and painful times. For me that helps put a lot of life into perspective. I hope when times are tough we can all remember how Dawn smiled through the most difficult time.

Though it's hard to smile right now, I know when I think of Dawn in the future... I'll smile and remember hers.

Thank you Dawn. You are an inspiration to all of us.

Anonymous said...

I am so sorry for your loss. Dawn inspired me to register as a bone marrow donor and for her I will always be grateful as she taught me about strength and life through reading your blog. I will continue to pray for you and her family as you continue this journey.


Anonymous said...

Oh how sad that she left so young.I hope she heard some of the tributes you asked for Mike; what a loving idea that was. My heart goes out to you and all who loved her. She was just too tired and she needed to rest. You both sound like wonderful people. Judy from LLS

Anonymous said...

I am so undescribably sorry for your loss. Dawn's fight was courageous. Heaven has received another angel and I know she is watching over all of us fighting CML. I am so relieved that she got to hear the words people wrote for her. I will carry her spirit with me.

Anonymous said...

I, too, was a college friend of Dawn's who found this blog and battle too late. Esther and Dawn shared a suite with me and my roomie at Asbury and our freshman year of college was one of a lot of laughs and late nights, goofy movies, girl talks and trying to figure out the world we were entering and how to live in it.

Dawn obviously found a wonderful way to live in the world while she was here, surrounded by loved ones, family and friends. To those who are still here without her, my sincerest regrets. Losing someone--being the one who stays--is a hard road, but one that will forever be lined with the memories and laughter of your time spent with her.

All my best, my prayers and condolences,
Anne Sabatino

hockeychic said...

I'm so sorry and so sad.

Thinking of you Mike and both of your families. Sending you peace and strength.

Anonymous said...

To all that cared about Dawn, her goal in life was to help others and make a change in their life's. Her smile would bring a smile on anyone face that saw her. Dawn reached her goal, she has caused a lot of people to donate blood, sign up to be donors, and yes, bring some people closer to God when they asked Him to hear their prayers. We don't always get what we ask for when we pray but every prayer is heard. Dawn is free from this world, free from doubt, pain, and sorrow. We are sure she is in a much better safer home with her heavenly father. I pray for all who knew and loved Dawn, you will suffer with her loss, but take comfort that she is in a far better place. We laughed with some of Dawn's posts, cried many times reading other posts and we would have gladly taken her place if possible. Remember Dawn, keep your commitments as donors and also remember Dawn's warm smile.
Love to all
Grandpa Tony & Nancy

Anonymous said...

God's speed, Dawn

Liz (Morningstar) James said...

I only found out about Dawn's struggle a few days ago and my deepest regret was that it had been more than a year since I spoke with Dawn. I am so sorry that I never got to tell her goodbye and I hope that she always knew how much she meant to me. I met Dawn on my very first day at Asbury College in my very first class. We sat next to each other and a friendship was born that lasted through four years of college....summers doing ABC Sports together and traveling to Salt Lake City together, tv1 projects, late night editing sessions, sharing an aldersgate apartment our senior year and more memories than I can list in this space. I am proud that I could call Dawn Nelson my friend and I feel blessed that I was a part of her life. I will miss her so much. We didn't keep in close contact after college and that is how I didn't find out until it was too late. We kind of drifted in and out of touch but the great thing about Dawn was that no matter how long it had been since we last spoke, our friendship always picked right back up where it left off. I can't believe that she is gone. The tears have come so easily for the past few days every time I allowed thoughts of what Dawn has been going through to creep into my mind. I will never forget her. Mike, Mr. and Mrs. Nelson and all of Dawn's family, you will be in my prayers. I am so sorry.

Anonymous said...

Tears for Dawn and for her family & friends. I wish for peace for you all now that she has found hers.

Anonymous said...

You have my deepest sympathy. Dawn's little body fought a great fight. May God bless you for taking such great care of her...
Praying that God eases all of your pain.

Sue said...

As she leaves this life and moves to the next, I hope that Dawn somehow knows that her life will continue to ripple out into the lives of others - in a positive and loving way. Tho I didn't know Dawn personally, I know others who love her and her battle has left a thumbprint on my heart. I too have lost family to Leukemia and other cancers. Dan and I will pick up her battleflag - and remember that life is short and precious. Love,peace and comfort to you all.

Anonymous said...

Mike, I am so saddened to learn of Dawn's passing. My heart aches for you, for her family and for all of your friends.

From all of your friends at the BCS Championship game, our thoughts are with you.

John Howard

Anonymous said...

You will not be forgotten and your fight will continue. My prayers to Mike and the family.

Anonymous said...

Words can't describe how sad I feel. The bright light of Dawn will forever shine in my heart. I know she's in beautiful place now feeling no pain. God Bless.


Lynne McDonald said...

Dear Pastor Steve, Christy, Mike, Steve and Will,

You are our my thoughts and prayers with the passing of Dawn.

David & Lynne McDonald

Matt said...

My greatest condolences are with all of you. Both my fiance and myself lost a part of us when we read the news. You all are in our prayers.

Mike, you are truely a special person. I admire you for your commitment to Dawn.

Larry said...

Dawn, I was diagnosed in 05 and you have affected my life. In your photos, you are smiling and that shows me great courage. I know you are happy and with the savior now, we will meet someday and that makes me smile.

Philippians 4:6,7

listenwelltome said...

I never got to meet Dawn but I always kept myself updated on her situation because of my connection with her brother William. It is very depressing that Dawn was unable to pull through this but I know that she is in heaven now. I'm just relieved that she passed away in peace.

RIP Dawn.

You will be missed by many.

Sara said...

I'm so sorry. My prayers are with you all during this time.

Anonymous said...

I am so sorry Mike and Dawn's family. I just read all the blog posts today, and I prayed numerous times for Dawn and for you all. She is no longer in pain, but I know that does little to ease the pain. I will continue to pray for you. Mike, I was happy that you had found someone special to share your life with. I am sorry that your time with Dawn was so short.

Tiffiney Rigatti Krucek

benjaminsmom said...

I am so sorry to hear of Dawn's passing. I learned of Dawn and her battle with PH+ CML last night from a carepage friend(and I had read her entire blog).

I pray that your memories comfort you at this time and knowing that she is CANCER FREE and no longer needs machines and tubes/wires to sustain her life.

We have also been struggling through the challenges of Philadelphia Positive Acute Leukemia with my 5 year old son. Please know that your family will always be in my prayers. Maybe "someday" a cure will be found. Until then we continue on...fighting the fight!

Jennifer & Benjamin "helpbenjamin"

Anonymous said...

Mike, Steve, Christy, Will, & Steve,
Tears are falling on my fingers resting on the keys. While I know God has taken Dawn home; I know Jesus met her with open arms, warmth and grace. Yet I am so deeply sorry for your loss. You each have been so wonderful to share Dawn with us. You have inspired us and shown us how to love those we hold dear.

May you feel the indescribable sensation of being loved by those you have never met, by those whom you have allowed into your life, by those who have been touched by your sincerity and strength...may you feel their love and may it be comforting at this time.

Melinda and Dave

Anonymous said...

Mike and the Family are in my heart and prayers. Dawn has truley touched lives across the nation. Mike want an amazing Man you are to have cared for such a special person your life will be Blessed.

Dawn from Seattle

Ashley said...

My friend Christine sent me this email earlier:

Ashley & Tristan-
I will be donating to Tristan's campaign in honor of Dawn. Ashley - my thoughts and prayers are with you, your brother, and your family. Tristan - thank you for doing this training and fundraising for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

Love you both,

On Thu, Jan 8, 2009 at 4:31 PM, > wrote:
I am raising funds for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) as a participant in their Team In Training program and I'm asking you to help by making a donation to my fundraising campaign.

I am participating in the Shamrock 8K with a group of teachers at my school this year to raise money for LLS and to get a kick start on my goal of running a marathon in the year 2009!! woo hoo! Every donation counts! Please take the time to contribute to a wonderful cause this year. I have post card receipt things if you would like me to send you one for tax purposes as well!

Please use the link in this email to donate online quickly and securely plus learn more about my progress. You will receive a confirmation of your donation by email and I will be notified as soon as you make your donation.

Each donation helps accelerate finding a cure for leukemia, lymphoma and myeloma. More than 823,000 Americans are battling these blood cancers. I am hoping that my participation in Team In Training will help bring them hope and support.

On behalf of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, thank you very much for your support. I greatly appreciate your generosity!! :)

Hope everyone is doing wonderful and has the best year ever in 2009!

Tristan Bradshaw

P.S. I would appreciate it if you would forward this email to as many people as you can to encourage them to donate as well. My goal is $500.Thanks again.

Cindy said...

Mike and Dawn's Family,
I'm so sorry for your loss. I didn't realize she was so sick. I worked with Dawn on the ABC Crew!
Great girl! I often took her under my wing like a daughter.

atwill13 said...

Our hearts go out to you. We're so sorry. We're still right around the corner, if we can help. joe & Lona Ann

Dusty said...

We're gonna miss you kiddo.

Mountain Mama said...

I'm at loss. I, too, am battling CML and have been following Dawn's blog for some times. She was a fighter and she inspired me a lot.

Mike - thank you for sharing her with the rest of us. You are an angel for her and an example for every care taker out there for us.

Lots of love,

Anonymous said...

Although I didn't know her, I went to Asbury with Dawn. I will be praying that God continues to use her life to change others'; I've never given blood, but if I'm a viable donor I plan on doing so soon. Thank-you for sharing this journey publically.

Marcos Perreau Guimaraes said...

Please accept my deepest condolences for this tragic loss. I hope knowing how much Dawn's epic fight touched fellow patients, and all the people who read her blog, will bring some consolation to her loved ones.

Anonymous said...


I am so sorry to hear of Dawn's passing. I am thankful that it was peaceful. She is in a wonderful place now where there is no pain and suffering. Just peace.

My sympathy to you, family and close friends. She will be remembered.

Sunny said...

There are no words that are adequate at a time like this. It seems strange that I'm shedding tears for someone I've never met, yet I am. I'm so sorry for your loss. I'm also happy to hear that Dawn did get to hear how much she really did accomplish here, with her blog and sharing her struggles.

Wishing your family peace,

Simon said...

Mike and Dawns family

I am so sad for all our loss today . Dawn touched many lives and will always be remembered for her smile , sense of humor , and kindness . Thank you Mike for everything you did . Dawn is surely smiling down on you and grateful for your love and devotion .


Anonymous said...

im truley sorry about the loss...
i wish that this never happened to dawn. i personally didnt know her but from what i have read and heard from william she was an amazing strong beautiful young and brave person.
i hate the fact that this happend to this family...
from what i know this is one of the greatest families that i know...
-sorry for the loss
_brenda marie jade kaminski

Anonymous said...

i'm so sorry to hear this.


Anonymous said...

That was One heck of a fight! Man, I feel terrible inside for you, her entire family, ALL of us folks lives that she has touched, (Thousands) and the wonderful medical staff at MUSC....
Dawn was such a kind, warm, sweet lady, i'm gonna miss her. I'm really sorry for you and her wonderful family.... Best Wishes to you all, I love ya Man! Hang in there.....
Jeremy Shultz

Anonymous said...

I greatest sympathy for your loss. Thank you for your commitment to this blog and for the fight against CML.

Anonymous said...

I am so very sorry.

Please post funeral information when you have it. I'd like to go.

Ricky Teachey.

Don said...

I didn't know her as a person but, hearing what happened, it made me feel as though I should have. Jex had told me about the situation and I just wish it could have been different. I can't express how sad I am having heard the news. I pray for the families and I hope they can get through this.

Anonymous said...

I am so sorry for your loss. I lost my husband to AML will be 2 years Jan 12.She is an angel now watching down on all.God Bless You ALl. My thoughts and prayers are with you.


Y Bar Ranch said...

Sorry she's gone, glad it was peaceful, wished that her cancer had never happened, and hoping for the grace of God to visit her family.


Anonymous said...

thanks mike for sharing those precious photos with us. you'll surely will miss her a lot.

do update this blog, even dawn is gone because this blog has lots of impact to other people. i'm sure dawn would want you to do that as well.

thanks a lot


Shanae said...

I had the opportunity to care for Dawn in the hosptial and developed a sincere caring for her and her family. I have been so encouraged by how positive you all have remained. May the peace of God be upon you during your time of loss.

Maria G said...

Those pictures made me smile. I didn't realize how many awesome adventures you guys had!
Steve, Hali pointed out that you and Dawn have the same eyes, I agree. And I recognize that same HUGE, happy smile.
Mike, these pictures really made me realize how special Dawn was. Thank you for sharing them with us. I wish I had been given the privilege of meeting her in person. You can really see her spunk in her eyes.
You're all still in my thoughts & prayers.

Tara said...

Thanks Mike for sharing your pics of Dawn. She truly was a beautiful woman. Please e-mail me an address I can send a condolences card to. I already am lined up to make a donation to The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and to National Marrow Donor Program in her honor, I just want to make sure I have her name correct. Once again, I am so sorry for your loss. The love you showed for Dawn is something all men should strive for.


Merideth said...

Thank you for sharing the fabulous pictures and part of your life. It was an incredibly moving tribute to Dawn as those who loved her knew her best. HUGS ♥

maitai said...

Mike & Nelson Family --

I can't stop thinking about all of you; Dawn has been on my mind all day. I hope you continue to receive as much support as you need to help you through this.

Mike: I loved the pictures, it was so nice to see her happy and healthy!

The school that I teach at always has blood drives. I just asked to speak in the junior and senior chapels before the next one, to urge the students not only to donate blood but join the bone marrow registry. If it's alright, I'd love to share Dawn's story and some of her pictures with them so they can see the kind of difference they can make.

At your convenience, let me know if this is ok. :0) (

I'm still so sorry, and hope that many others can be saved because of her. Let us know if there's anything at all we can do.


Anonymous said...

I want to extend my deepest and most heartfelt condolences to Mike and Dawn's family. Dawn was a beautiful woman and a brave CML Warrior. Her struggle has inspired me to fight this CML monster even harder. Thank you so much for sharing how wonderful and selfless she was with all of us through this blog. A cure is past due but, until then, more people need to donate blood and become donors.

God Bless you,
Maria M. Lopez-Castro

Anonymous said...


Thank you so much for sharing those pictures with us. Thank you for sharing Dawn

Anonymous said...

I truly agree with the comments already posted, Heaven has received its newest angel. Dawn, we love you, dear one. You are with the Lord now. Mike, Mrs. and Mr. Nelson, Steve, and Will, we are praying for you. May God's angels surround you and comfort you amidst your grief. We are deeply sorry for this huge loss. I recounted to my parents this evening how grateful I am to Dawn and will always be for her friendship to me when we were in college, and how she impacted my life so positively when I needed a friend. I will not forget her kindness, and thank God for having known her. She will be remembered as the joyful, beautiful young woman that she was, even during her battle with leukemia. Thank you Mike, for sharing this with us. We will continue to pray for you and your strength and endurance in the days to come. God Bless you, and God Bless all the people who are also in this fight. We send our love and condolences, Elizabeth and Zack, Ira and Margaret, Cory and Mary~

Anonymous said...

I was saddened to learn the news of Dawn's passing earlier today. My condolences to Dawn's family and to you, Mike.

Brian Fahey

Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry you all have had to go through this. I first read Dawn's blog a few months ago when Will posted a link from his Myspace status message and since then I've tried to check daily for updates. I can never tell you how much your story has inspired me and made me take a good look at all I take for granted. From the comments here, its obvious Dawn left a legacy to be proud of.
I will pray for you all as you try to face a life without her spirit lifting you up. And I'll thank God that she is finally done with the pain.

Anonymous said...

Heaven was rejoicing today when they welcomed Dawn home. We'll miss her here, but it will be great to see her smile again someday. I feel so blessed to have known her (I was an Asburian at one time). My prayers are with the Nelson family as well as Mike. I have never met you all, but am so impressed by what I have seen on this blog. Dawn was obviously surrounded by wonderful, amazing people. God bless you.

Anonymous said...


I am so sorry for your loss! Thank you for posting the beautiful collage. You two certainly had a lot of high flying adventures! I hope those memories will comfort you and stay with you forever! My favorite picture is the one of the two of you on the boat. You both have these brilliant smiles on your faces and it looks like a bit of a sunburn. I can just imagine that must have been a great day on your boat. There is also a sunset in the background. I guess you know how rare that photo is--to have the Dawn and sunset together at the same time! Cherish the memories.

Blessings to you,
Friend from the Southwest

Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry...
My heart is touched by her story, and even though she and I never met, I can safely say she had an impact on my life.

She will be remembered.


Felicia Murray said...

Our thoughts and prayers are with you all. Felicia and Emmanuel

Teri said...

How fragile life is. How strong Dawn was. And may her fragileness and her strength help Mike and her family transition to peace from this difficult time.

I just found Dawn's Blog last night, because a good friend, Nurse Kristynn, sent an email to me with a link and for prayers for Dawn.

It was late, I was tired, but I kept reading on, and I posted a poem I recently found. I learned what an animal lover she was and how she loved her puppy dog and this poem was from a book on pet loss and grieving and somehow it just seemed to fit.

I did not know that today would be the day of her passing, or that today she would rally just enough to be able to listen to some of the comments so many people have left.

Kristynn emailed me to let me know she was gone, but that the poem I sent was read to her and my heart just swelled with love and the hope that those words eased her passing and put her heart at rest.

The staff at the veterinary hospital where I work asked why I was crying and I told them a little of Dawn's battle and they understood my sadness but also that I could smile knowing I had some tiny part such a special persons life.

My most healing thoughts are sent your way.

Teri and the cats of Furrydance

Steve Vandergriff said...

Mike, what can me and my family do for you? What do you need? Let me know! You are in our thoughts and prayers.

-Steve Vandergriff

icemama said...

I am deeply sorry. I wish I had the right words to console her family and Mike.

I promise to tell as many people as I can about the importance of donating blood and marrow. Dawn's plight will not go in vain.

Anonymous said...

Often I ask myself why I do the job I do,~ So much sadness and sorrow!! Then, a patient is admitted that I really feel priveleged to know and to help take care of. Dawn was one of those patients. Dawn lived life to its fullest and loved with her whole heart. To live as she did and to be loved by so many is how she will always be remembered. My heart goes out to her loved ones and my prayer is that the happiest memories of Dawn will live on forever!!!

Paula(5 west RN)

Karissa said...

I just found the link to Dawn's blog this afternoon on the Leukemia & Lymphoma website. I read the discussion boards there for support b/c my 39 year old husband was diagnosed with CML Sept 08. I read Dawn's blog from beginning to end & have been deeply moved by her spirit & strength. I have already become a donor but I have forwarded Dawn's blog to everyone I know with the hope that her wish for people to donate their marrow will come true. My thoughts & prayers are with Dawn's family & friends.
Karissa Vancouver, Canada

Jason Radimer said...

What a legacy - to be remembered for your strength, endurance, friendship, and warm smile! May we all strive to follow in Dawn’s footsteps! Praying for God’s peace, comfort, strength and joy in the days ahead as you celebrate her life and the lives that she changed – which were many! Dawn, Thank you for your example as you lived a Christ-like life – full of love, compassion, and boldness. We’ll see you on the other side! “To live is Christ, to die is gain!” Phil 1:21

Anonymous said...

I only got to know Dawn through her illness, through caring for her and helping to care for her here in the hospital, through this blog, and through her family. But I know that she was an amazing individual and one of the bravest people I have ever known, and I know that she was truly blessed to have such a loving and supportive network of family and friends by her side. She was an inspiration to me, to my children with whom I shared her blog, and to everyone whose life she touched. She will be truly missed, I and I will hold you all in my thoughts, and in my heart.


Anonymous said...

Double D,
I'm going to miss you. You were helped make us, us. Thank you for holding on and letting us say goodbye.


T time said...

You were simply the best and you will not be forgotten.

Anonymous said...

Based on the pictures Dawn left this earth with amazing memories stored up. What wonderful memories you all must have of her. A smile, a laugh, a joke.

I am sad for you.

Keeping loving each other!

stan said...

Jenny & I are so sorry to hear about Dawn's passing. We are praying for you guys, that you will continue to have peace in this difficult time. It has been such a long, long time since we have spoken, but your family has never left my thoughts.

Stan & Jenny Gomez

Anonymous said...

Although I never met her and I only recently started reading her blog (I read the whole thing), I really grew to love Dawn's spirit and determination in this fight.

When I first started reading, I thought, "wow her style of writing and sense of humor are so similar to my own, and she is just about my age". The fact that such a spirited and lively person can be taken from this earth all too soon is a sobering thought, and it reminds me how important it is to live life to the fullest every day. I believe that Dawn was able to do that in her short life, and it seems that she gave countless others hope and a voice.

I will be registering with the Bone Marrow Registry this month in her honor, and it sounds like many other people will be doing the same. In this way, Dawn's legacy will save many other lives that are just as precious as her's was.

Thank you to Mike and her family for sharing Dawn's life and story with the world. She will be missed, but her memory will live on.

Shawn Moffatt said...

It's truly a sad time at Go To Team knowing the reality that Dawn won't be coming back to the office. Dawn was with us as our Crew Coordinator for just over a year, but really connected with Patrick and me in the office, our crews in the field, clients, and vendors. She was sharp, witty, and challenged us to look at things with a little more care. She was more than an employee, she was "one of us". Her loss is felt, but we seek solice in knowing she's no longer suffering. Our hearts go out to you, Dawn's family and all of her friends.

Thank you Dawn for being a part of Go To Team and letting us into your life. We'll never forget your sunny disposition and infectious smile.

Anonymous said...

Im so sorry, i guess i never really knew dawn that well.
i feel like i missed out on knowing a really great person. Im going miss her and i want you to know that you guys are in my prayers. i feel like dawn is in a better place right now.
i love you all.

Dorothy Ferlan said...

I just received the notice of Dawn's
passing. I am so sorry. I was under
the impression that she was improving.
I am in tears now. She was my
roommate many times with ABC golf
At present, I am going to Church
and will pray for all of the family,
Mike and relatives and friends who
shared her difficult experience.
She is at rest now.

Anonymous said...

Mike, will you please let us know when funeral arrangements are made? thanks so much,
Dawn's college roommate Esther

Karen Collins said...

Steve, Christy, Steven, Will & Mike,
Mike, you have never met us but Steve was our chaplain for two years at Ft. Sheridan, IL. We grew to dearly love the Nelson family. Steve baptized our two children and he and Christy became dear friends of ours. Most of us lived in row housing along Lake Michigan. We laughed and called it the pink ghetto (the units were only about 750 sq. ft.) but we made them homey and the friendships we made there were so real and we became friends for life. We started a neighborhood biblestudy together that met in the Ingram's home and Dawn played with all the children during the studies. God then moved the Nelsons, us and the Nedleys to Germany for three years and we continued our friendship. We went sightseeing in Berlin together, they visited us in Nuernberg and we took a 10 day vacation and camped along the Mediterrarean Sea in Italy. In Italy, we travelled to Rome, Florence and even got a 50% discount on a gondolla ride down the streets of Venice. My children remember catching the lizards at our campsite.:) She taught my daughter Brittni to ride her scooter. It was an awesome trip! Dawn was always so happy with that beautiful smile. We had not seen Dawn since 1994 and am so thankful, Mike, for the pictures and daily blog you have done. I read stories from her friends and see that same giving heart, so positive and full of life with that beautiful smile. Dawn was raised in a family that loves the Lord with all their heart and loves people unconditionally. I see that same love shining through Dawn to others. My heart prays for comfort for all of you during this time. Saying goodbye in this life is so hard. I said goodbye to a 26 yr. old nephew last April. We don't understand "why" but I know God sees the big picture and one day we will see it as He does and understand. Our hope and peace is that Dawn is in Heaven rejoicing, pain free and Heaven is where we never have to say goodbye again. And that is for eternity. The hardest part is for us that are still here and miss those we love so much. Climb up into God's lap and He will carry you each step of the way. My prayers and love go out to all of you every day. I have been there saying goodbye to my parents and nephew. We love love you all so much. Please let us know on the blog if you having a memorial service in Charleston and where and when the funeral is. Karen & Boyd

Toni Baker said...

This is Mike's Mom,
We are currently gathering from across the miles to the side of our son, grandson and brother to be together as a family to provide support and comfort to him at this extreemly difficult time. We were so thankful for having Dawn as a part of our family for an unfair brief time. As many of you have paid tribute to Dawn and shared your sweet memories of your time with her in this blog, we also have sweet memories of Dawn. I will never forget the first time I saw Dawn pull up in front of the hotel in New York with all her belongings having just moved from Hawaii to be with Mike. She was such a tiny thing and from the first moment on that was probably the only thing we can recall about Dawn that was small. Her heart was tremendous and her giving, selfless, spirit was larger than life. And she lived life the same way as large as possible to it's fullest. Her blog started with her desire to share and to educate those who may be going through the same thing. She was alaways thinking about others and we are very blessed that she shared her innermost fears from the onset of this terrible disease and her life through her writings and the writings of Mike. She had an incredible will to live, strength to fight and inspired all who came in contact with her.

I must admit that when I first heard that Dawn had been diagnosed with CML, I was under the impression that she would go into remission and be around with us for a very long time. How wrong I was that this terrible disease took her 10 months later. Her blog also educated me and I join Mike, Dawn's family and most importantly Dawn when I plea for all who read this to use your influence, your network and your contacts to share Dawn's experience and this blog in hope that we may raise the consiouness and scream out for a cure, for donors and for life. Dawn's spirit lives on in all of us who were so very blessed to have even just a moment with such a beautiful creature. Our family will cherish and tell of our special times with Dawn, please tell others of how you have also been touched.

Mike's Family

Anonymous said...

My heart goes out to you...I knew Dawn as a little girl at Ft. Sheridan, Ill. You have all been in my prayers since Karen Collins told me. All my prayers and condolenses. Kim Nedley

Devin said...

I am so very sorry for your loss of such a great person. Yesterday when I read the news, I lost it. That just goes to show how wonderful Dawn's spirit is. It has people upset that never even got to meet her. I could tell she was an amazing person. I'm glad to know that she passed in peace and she's in a better place now. A place with no suffering and no pain. My fiance and I continued to keep her in our prayers, even when the odds were stacked against her, and now we continue to keep Dawn's family and friends in our prayers through this tough time. I pray that God wraps his loving arms around each and every one of you.

daisysmum said...

I am so sorry for your incredible loss, with prayers for you at this time and many whispers from Dawn to give you strength.

Anonymous said...

God bless you and Dawn. She was an amazing person and so are you for continuing to keep us all informed. I am on Team in Training and will remember her as I run the Disney marathon for LLS this weekend. Dawn will be a source of strength and inspiration for me!
Take care - be strong.
Jenn Parker - Ocean Isle, NC

Kathleen said...

Yall are in my thoughts and prayers. Im going to give blood right now Mike! Thanks for letting me be a part of your struggle, I am lifted up by Dawn's strength and then in the same instant just Struck down by the ineffable tragedy of her death by leukemia. Laughing while crying, still sending yall all the best hope and love for your lives now that she is safe- Kathleen

Anonymous said...

I am so sorry for the loss of Dawn. I will continue to raise awareness on bone marrow donors and blood and platelets donors, in Dawn's honor. She has inspiried me to be more involved and to help in the fight against a cure. Thank you all for sharing Dawn with us.\

Shaunna Mejia

Malena Valdeabella said...

I am so very saddened to hear that Dawn has passed. My brother was on Dawn's floor. He passed away on December 9th- one month ago today. He actually had the same strain of Leukemia as Dawn. I know he is at peace and in a better place now. I take comfort in all the wonderful memories we've shared- even though, it's still hard because we miss him so much. I pray for you and your families as you begin to grieve the loss of Dawn. She was a true fighter with a strong spirit. She has motivated many to become donors and go in seek of a cure. She will be missed. May God bless you all!!

Anonymous said...

I'm deeply sorry for the loss of Dawn. I knew her in college and she was just a wonderful person with a wonderful personality and a wonderful smile. Blessings on her loves ones in this time of sorrow.

Anonymous said...

This brave blog by a woman and her family, none of whom I know, has been touching and insightful. My daily woes seem trivial and today I give thanks for what I and so many others have. I did not complain when I had to go get my allergy shots today and brushed the extra work I was given to complete before close of business off as a small peril that I should be glad I have the strength and health to complete. My deepest condolences. Make sure to spend time with Buddy, somehow they sense it all and make greiving a tab bit easier, for what that is worth. God Bless.

dawn said...

My name is Dawn too and I am saddened to hear of her passing. I just started reading her blog about 2 weeks ago. I found it thru the Lymphoma and leukemia website discussion boards. She seemed like such a fighter and I am so sorry for your loss. I just went thru a auto stem cell and am having some issues and may be going thru an allo so her blog was of great interest to me. I know no words can help at this time but I believe she has and will continue to help people thru her fight. Dawn

Misty said...

I found Dawn's blog through a friends Facebook page. I just finished reading her blog and I am so sorry for your loss. Please know that Dawn's life has touched mine in the hour it took to read her blog. I am going to register to become a bone marrow donor. I think it is sad in this day and age that we don't have a cure for all types of cancer. Thank you to Dawn and your entire family for educating me on the seriousness of bone marrow donors. I hope you can find peace in this painful time.

Dawny said...

Dear Mike and family
My heartfelt condolences to you all at this very difficult time.

I was only made aware of the blog this evening via a friend I have met in Cyber space (Caitlin: aka Hockeychic) whom I met through Baldy's Blog.

Just to reiterate that there are many of us across the pond who are fighting as hard as we can to raise awareness of the Bone marrow register and are currently waiting to find out if Adrian Sudbury's legacy will come to fruition. That is to be trained to give 40min lectures to 17/18yr olds in schools and colleges in Britain, to raise awareness of the ANT and bone marrow donation.

RIP Dawn you are finally at peace now.

I hope that knowing people do really care, gives you all strength over the coming days and months.

Thinking of you all and sending reiki hugs.


Marcos Perreau Guimaraes said...

Thank you so much Mike for posting the pictures, they are beautiful. I get now to see Dawn as a fellow diver and not only a fellow patient. I am too far to pay my respects in North Carolina but be assured she will be in my thoughts for a very long time.

Nicole said...

My friend showed me your blog just today, and I"m so deeply sorry for you and her family and of course Dawn. What a fighter she was! Wow! I can't imagine going through what she went through.

And, you! What a wonderful person to continue her legacy by posting on her blog-you definitely made a difference in her life and others as well.
God Bless,

Anonymous said...

I can't even imagine. So sorry to you all, and mike, you have done a phenomenal job, documenting her journey and being by her side. You both have touched the lives of many. May you find peace and comfort in the upcoming days.

Diane (LALS transplant forum)

Stella said...

I did not know Dawn but I followed Angie's link to her blog. My heart goes out to Dawn's family. Unfortunately, I am all too familiar with the pain of having a child go through cancer and chemo. Looking at her pictures and reading the blog, it is easy to see Dawn had a beautiful spirit and touched many lives, including mine. God bless.

Anonymous said...

Pastor Steve, Christie, Steve, Will, and Mike,
I want you all to know that I have never in my life been inspired by anyone as much as I have been by Dawn. Until the 8th, I couldn't even remember the last time I cried and yet every time I read anything or think about it or see a picture I start crying. I don't even know what to say to offer comfort because I know that if Amelia died, there would be no words that could comfort me.
I love you all and I pray for you daily. Dawn just exuded that warmth and kindness and want to live so fully that everyone loved her. And now she is in heaven. She gets to be with Jesus and for the suffering that she dealt with so patiently and sweetly, there can be no greater comfort and reward. My heart goes out to you and I can only hope to offer you all the strenght and love you've always offered to me.


Anonymous said...

Dawn's loss in our unit sucked the breath out of the ICU and many tears are still shed over this patient. She has become an angel on all of our shoulders and I believe she guides my hands during each task as I continue to take care of other patients. It was easy to see that Dawn's #1 medicine was the love of others and it carried her spirit on her newest journey to heaven.

Anonymous said...

Many people have wondered how our family has made it through such an overwhelming ordeal. The answer is both simple and also complex:grace. How can one word be both simple and complex? The answer is that the sovereign God of all the universe has been holding us up and supporting us. One word grace but experienced moment by moment and day by day. It is hard to explain what it feels like to know that thousands of people are praying for you. Those PRAYERS combine with the PRESENCE of the Living God as a real and near thing. THen add to this recipe the PROMISES of GOdthat are all yes in whoJEsus CHrist is and in what He has done. The final ingredient in this great recipe is PURPOSE. Trusting God's purpose for me, my family, including Dawn. So PRAYERS, PRESENCE, PROMISES, AND PURPOSE create the perfect recipe for GRACE. I feel God's love through the PEOPLE of God in churches, on this blof, and all the other places that I meet them. This love is real and palpable and creates connection and community that I experience all around me. I know that this is true for each member of my family as well and that gives me comfort knowing that they ar enot trying tomake it through this in their own strength. Grace and Peace. Dad. Pastor Steve

Anonymous said...

But what makes this gracea living possibility: a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. If we did not have a erpsonal relationship with Jesus Christ we would not have access to any of this amazing grace. This personal relationwship goes way beyond knowing about or believing that Jesus christ was historical and really existed. A saving relationship moves beyond a head knowledge or simply believing in God, acknowledging His existence. I must take God at His word that I am inherently a sinful person in need of forgiveness. Most people describe themselves as "good people." THe reality is that no one is good enough to please God in our righteousness or goodness. The Bible says that all of us fail God and sin in thought, word or in deeds. So we all need forgiveness. And none of us can pay the debt for thta sin. Only Jesus Christ could pay that debt. All who become convinced of these spiritual facts and who turn to God, seeking Him and confessing our need for Him, who trust in Him for changing our life and helping us to overcome the struggles of this sometimes hard existence, are promised that God will answer and be faithful to forgive us and to transform our lives, our bodies, our minds and our spirits. I eperienced this 38 years ago. Dawn experienced this and I had the privelege and joy of baptizing her a number of years ago.
Our family hopes and prays that as people read and experience this awesome blog that Mike and Dawn have pur together that you can come to experience this awesome reccipe for grace that we have described. God loves you and has a purpose for your life. God cares about what you, Dawn and all of us goes through. The Bible says that God cares about and is moved by the death of His children. And the Bible also says He can and does heal through what JEsus did for us on the cross almost 2000 years ago.
If you are reading this and have questions about your relationship with God, and you want and or need prayer feel free to contact me at my church at 419-865-3943. OR you can ask a question or leave a comment through the blog. Dawn would want you to make peace with God just like she did.
P.S. Ultimately Dawn is in heaven not because she was pretty, had a great smile, bright, fun and funny, loved life was good to people and dogs, but because she believed in, loved and trusted God through what Jesus did on the cross. She confessed her sin and was ready to go.

Grace and Peace. Her Dad, Pastor Steve

Tara said...

Pastor Steve, I think I need to talk to you, but I don't want to bother you at this time, please feel free to contact me when you get time at:


Anonymous said...

It will take me about two weeks before I get back to the church so I won't be able to get back to respond until then. But I will get back with you and as I become aware of a desire to talk I will be praying for you daily. Grace and Peace. Dad, Pastor Steve

Tara said...

Thank you.


hooslisa said...

Through the beauty of the internet, I just learned of Dawn's fight. I just today read the blog from beginning to end. I got married on October 3rd. On our honeymoon, we met Melyssa Jaskiewicz and her husband. I believe that was the wedding that Dawn referenced going to on October 4th. I heard the terrible news through Melyssa's facebook page. Through a series of clicks, I found Dawn's blog. I feel like I know her. How full of life and passion she was! Dawn's (and finally Mike's)words inspired me. My heart is breaking for Her parents, Mike, and the rest of her friends and family. She definitely met her goal of making a difference though. I sent away for my donor kit just a few minutes ago. My only regret is that I did not find Dawn and her story until now. I will keep you all in my thoughts,

Sincerely, Lisa Albrecht

Anonymous said...

Pastor Steve,

I hope you don't mind that I have shared your 2 messages toward the end of this list with friends from my church. They pray for my husband who has CML and we are all praying for you and your family. Thank you for your sweet testimony that God is sufficient even in the worst of times. I donated blood today for the first time in several years. Thank you for your encouragement and motivation.
Blessings to you and yours,
Friend from the Southwest

Charlotte said...

Dear Mike - and Dawn's family

I visited the site for the first time today. I'm a 'cyber' friend of 'Hockeychic" too - like Dawny above I'm from the UK.

I want to send you all my love and prayers at this sad time. I feel for you so much. I'm also involved in Adrian Sudbury's ( campaign for bone marrow, blood and organ donation awareness. Adrian passed away in August and the blog readership vowed to continue his campaign. Please be assured we are doing all we can to improve donation awareness worldwide - and fight this horrible disease. I'm so sorry for you loss.

Love and hugs, Charlotte xxxx

Anonymous said...

Mike, I hope you print all of these wonderful prayers and comments and put them in a memorial book. I am sure they will bring comfort. I for one appreciate all you have done for Dawn and I know grieving is a part of the process. As Pastor Steve, Dawn's dad said, a personal relationship with the one who loved us so much that He gave His life willingly that Dawn and all those who receive Him could live eternally with Him where there is no death, crying, sorrow, sickness only joy, peace, love. She can not come to us but we can go to her when it is our time. I intend to do that. It will be a great day. The wonderful part is that we can walk in a wonderful hope now and His peace is available to us right now. I have been so touched with the stories of all who have written and my prayers are for them. I believe Dawn's final journey was shared with all these for a purpose and if one who is living without Jesus in their lives would talk to her Mom or Dad soon it would bless them soooo much. GW

Sheri said...

I know of Dawn and your family through the LLS website bulletin board. She was obviously so full of life and courage and I know I will never forget that amazing smile.

I lost my son Joseph to AML two years ago yesterday (Jan 10th) at the age of 13. He too was a dog lover. I suspect if poor Dawn gets overrun with puppies in the afterlife it will be because Joseph came to greet a kindred spirit.

There are no words I can say that will even remotely touch your sorrow. I wish only to tell you...I see you. I hear.

May you find moments of peace where Dawn's amazing spirit can talk to your heart. She is still and will always be with you.

Anonymous said...

My dearest, precious Dawn,
There are no words to express the pain of losing you. I had so hoped and prayed for your healing. God has heard alot of "whys" in the last few hours (and you now know that He handles whys well). But this one thing I know, I will not go to hell over a mystery. Remember our promise to each other at the very beginning of this ordeal? "We will take one moment at a time." To think about a wole day was too much. I will continue our promise. I've told you before but let me tell you one more time; you are my hero. I cherish our long talks into the wee hours of the morning, all the games we played on your iphone, walking the halls of the hospital ejoying all of the art (until one of the meds ran low and the machines started beeping and we had to hurry back), playing Scrabble, watching House, CSI, Bones, Without a Trace, and your favorite, the Gilmore Girls. I even enjoyed a pillow in my face when you couldn't wake me up hollering to help you to the bathroom. How did you throw that thing half way across the room anyway?! I especially enjoyed your last good day- Thanksgiving. You spent 2 hours doing my hair, eating, showing us pictures of your dream house and enjoying the beautiful view off 5-West. I know you are now enjoying the beautiful view of heaven with no pain, no needles, no beeping machines, and oh huge pills to take. Pick out a good spot for us to spend time together when I get there. Give Grandma and your sister Sara a big hug for me. I love you so very much. See you soon. Love Mom

P.S. If you would like to join Dawn in heaven, there is only one way and that is through Jesus. He loves you so much that He gave His life for you. Ask Him to forgive you of your sins and ask Him to come into your heart and let Him be your Lord and Savior. You might say, "Any religion will do as long as I am sincere and good." Will any religion do? Consider all the religions you know. Every one is about all YOU must do to make it to heaven, have your own world, discovering yourself to be god or other similar things. But in Christianity, God has done all He can to get to you through Jesus. Big difference. Truth. Accept Him and Dawn and I will see you in heaven. She is waiting with expectanccy and a big Dawn smile.

Anonymous said...

slDear wonderful Dawn. it has been a pleasure to have been your grandma, and i treasure every minute that i spent with you.You have always been so special with your big smile and sweet face. There is not a minute that i do not think of all the good times we shared. You have been so blessed to have the parents that you have and kind of caring that is so rare in todays families.How could you not be special. All the hug sandwiches were great.I loved them all, how many families have that?I did not get to spend as much time with you when you grew up as i would have liked, but you were busy living life to the fullest, so that is what was meant to be.Your beautiful spirit has touched so many. We will sorely miss you,but Heaven needed you so who are we to complain,but we will have lots of time in Heaven to catch up and i will not need my oxygen machine and you sure do not need yours. You have been an awesome granddaughter and i would not ask for better. I can not be at your funeral, but only your body is there, your spirit is in my heart where it will always be. Oh, i love you so much and miss your sweet face and big smile and hug sandwiches we always had.See you in Heaven before too long and we will have another one. I LOVE YOU... Grandma Green

Alice Momenee said...

Mike, Christy & family - I want you to know how truly sorry I am for your loss. I have been praying for Dawn through the COTC prayer chain for months, and felt a closeness to her, even though we had never actually met. Please know that my thoughts and continued prayers are with you. She is in heaven praising Jesus right now.

Alice Momenee

Anonymous said...

Retuned home after visiting my Grandson (Mike) and wasn't going to post any more on this site because we said our goodbye's to Dawn at the viewing. It was sad to see Dawn lying there lifeless, but then I looked at all the pictures my Grandson put up showing Dawn as a very active live person fully enjoying life. I remembered what she wanted to do, help others, she did that in life and is continuing doing that because she has caused many to sign up to be blood donors or transplant possibilities. Still that isn't the reason I wrote, it was as I was reading all my emails, this came up and I thought of Dawn right away:
"The best sermons are lived, not preached"
Dawn lived to help others, we wish we can do as good as she did in the remaining days of our lives. God Bless you Dawn.
Grandpa Tony & Nancy

Anonymous said...

Mike, Can you tell us what the memorial service was like for those of us who were unable to make it? There are so many people who loved and supported Dawn but who lived too far away to be a part of her service. Can you share with us?

Anonymous said...

I am so sorry Dawn's body gave out. I do not say that she lost her battle with cancer, because she sounds like a very strong young woman who continued to fight and didn't let cancer get the best of her. I lost my son, Silas River Bennett, in May 2008 at the age of 29. He was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer that had spread to his bones, just 8 months earlier. He was also a warrior, armed with love, humor, and hope. It brings disbelief that in this day and age there is not more to fight cancer with, that young people still die. I am grateful to have found this site, and to see what a wonderful person Dawn was. I am certain that she took love with her, and that she will send it back for you to feel. You are in my thoughts. Thank you for the beautiful photos of Dawn when she was healthy.

Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry Mike. Dawn was such an bright spirit .... Her brilliant smile & perky spirit will forever live with everyone who knew her... Heaven must have been impatient to get back one if its most beautiful angels... She was taken way too soon. I'm so sorry...

Stella McCombs said...

I did not know Dawn but followed a link from a friend on Facebook. As I sit in MUSC at the bedside of my little one also fighting cancer, I spent the last two days reading Dawn's blog from beginning to end. What a beautiful spirit she was and Mike, she was so blessed to have you by her side every step of the way. I am heartbroken for you and her family and at the same time, so deeply moved at the lives she's touched. Though I never met her, I will never forget her.

Anonymous said...

Pastor Steve, Christy, Will, Steve, Mike,

My heart aches for all of you during this sad time. Just remember that this life is temporary, like the blink of an eye, and that you will be reunited one day with your precious Dawn and it will be for eternity. Your friends and church family love you and we will continue to pray and be here for you. Love, Rita

Rochelle said...

To Dawn's Family and loving friends:
This is my first time to Dawn's blog and I find myself crying and crying at my desk, feeling so sad for those who loved her beyond what words can express and so sorry that I "didn't make the time" to reach out to her with a loving message or something last week to let her know I've been praying for her.
I never got the pleasure of meeting Dawn. I only know of her from a friend, yet I am moved by how much she must have touched so many lives with kindness and friendship. You can't know the true essense of someone from seeing happy vacation photos or hospital photos from a very trying time, but I feel sure she must have been someone very, very special to so many people. The outpouring of love from others is truly a reflection of the love she must have given to the world. I will continue my prayers, this time for those who were so close to her. I pray that the sadness of your loss will someday turn to gratefulness for having been given the brief chance to share in a loving relationship with someone so beautiful in mind, body and in spirit.

Somehow, hold on to your faith and hold on to the love she gave you. She was taken too soon, but it seems she gave it all she had. May her beautiful spirit continue to guide you on the paths you now face.

It is not much consulation now, I know, but please know that you may save others in the future by your empowered messages to donate blood and to help find a cure.

For Dawn,
I did not know you, but I want you to know you touched my life and the lives of many others you never even got to know. Every day is a gift to be cherished. That is God's Grace and we can never forget that. I will continue to pray for your love ones. I can tell you loved life by all the smiles in your photos. You left too soon, not by your intention, but you left the ultimate gift to those you touched and that is a legacy of love.

with peace,

Rochelle C.

Tara said...

I just had a minute to myself tonight and realized it has almost been a week since you left us. I am so sorry. I hope Mike and your family are doing as well as expected.
I'm working for you down here. I donated platelets on Monday and set a request out for Bone Marrow Donors.

Matt said...

Mike and the Nelson family,

You all are still in our prayers. We pray that God comforts you in this time of need.

Maria G said...

thinking about you guys today, and the rest of the weekend & we are all still keeping you in our prayers. hope you're staying as warm as possible over there :-)
all my love,

CML Wife said...

We are deeply sorry for your loss.

Anonymous said...

I will be praying and thinking of all of you this weekend. Sending you lots of cyber hugs.


Anonymous said...

I had the honor of taking care of Dawn one night in December. Now I think about things differently. I hate looking at this site, although I share it with anyone who will listen. This girl fought so hard and I believe she feared behind that beautiful smile what we all feared for Dawn. I promised that if Dawn made it I would think differently, more optimistic about each patient facing something so terrifying. Well she didn't make it and I still think differently. Damn. This girl changed my practice and my life. I saw more beauty in her death than I see in life most days. The tiny little tingle of hurt I own for her passing, I know is just a symptom of the battle that Mike and Dawn's family will fight in the days to come. You all have shared the beauty of her life and death and I believe the world is a better place because of it. , RN

Amanda said...

Dawn lived on my hall freshman year. Her beautiful and kind spirit will be remembered by so many--this page alone is a testament to that! I know she is in heaven and away from pain and suffering. I pray her family and loved ones would feel comfort and blessing in their grief.


Tara said...

RN, I know how you feel. No doubt that she was probably scared, wouldn't anyone of us be? I do find it hard to come to this site, because it was such a source of inspiration for me, and now all it reminds me of is loss. I know her family would want us to be happy she is no longer suffering and this was all God's plan, but it does hit hard what you saw and what we read. All I can do now is dedicate small things in her memory and thank God he has given me one more day on this earth before I get to meet Him and Dawn.

Toni Baker said...

We are leaving to go to the funeral home today and it is a sad day for all of us. I was reading the recent posts and like some of the posters on here, I too, think differently because of Dawn. When I get an ache or a pain, I remember what Dawn so bravely and with a smile on her face endured everyday during her fight. When I feel sorry for myself or down in the dumps I think of Dawn's smile and vibrant spirit. When I am frustrated, inpatient, or angry, I think of how much compassion Dawn had for others. Dawn was and still continues to be an inspiration, not only through her blog, or through those of us so lucky to have known her personally, but for everyone who walks with a little bit of Dawn in their hearts.

Dawn, I miss you darlin. We will carry on the fight.

Mike's Mom

Anonymous said...

my thoughts and prayers are with all of you.

Anonymous said...

my thoughts and prayers are with all of you.

Carol Tiffee said...

Michael, I saw your grandmother in town yesterday, and she told me of Dawn’s death and the gossdawnit website. After reading, oh how I remember the news of diagnosis, A.B. had AML, the trial with Gleevac, all the chemo, the radiation treatments, and the stem cell transplant. A.B. went to be with the Lord, January 22, 2007. I will pray for you and your friends and families. Loss is hard. Love, Carol

Anonymous said...

Just got back to Toledo area Friday night and had a great worship service on Sunday. As I preached at my daughter Dawn's funeral two Saturdays ago I know that many were praying for us for grace and peace. I want to tell you that God does indeed answwer prayers. I saw God that day and I continue to see Him in faithful friends. God is so good. We have many things to take care of in closing out Dawn's estate which consisted in bills, bills and more bills. Dawn's friend Lauren will run in a 13 + mile race for the cure soon and has exceeded what she had thought to raise. Lauren is so awesome! Many have given blood or blood products in honor of Dawn. Four college classmates travelled to Iowa in very bad weather. Two sports co-workers travelled for the funeral. Classmates from Iowa from her middle school days. Friends from high school in Arizona traelled for the funeral and folks from my church here in Ohio travelled. We had 60 plus people holding a prayer meeting here at Living Faith UMC with faithful friends from several churches at the same time we held the funeral. We were blessed and continue to see the goodness of God in the midst of the harshness of life. If you are grieving, seek God and know that we do not always understand the whats or whys or hows with our Sovereign God but we do trust Him and hope that you will as well. We were loved on by frieends, family and church members this last Sunday at church. I will preach at my church this Sunday and I know that I will hear from God. I hope to clearly speak the good news of a God who loves us, cares for us and does answer prayer as I step back into fultime ministry. God is not finished with me or mine yet and I will be praying that many will continue to visit this site and hear about my brave little Dawn, a very bright light in my life still. Grace and Peace. Dad, Pastor Steve Nelson

K A R I™ said...

I just went to facebook Dawn and tell her that classmates from her high school in Savannah wanted her to come to the high school reunion this year. Even though Dawn didn't graduate from WFHS they all still thought of her as a classmate when I saw all the messages about Dawn's passing. I thought for sure it was another Dawn or I read things wrong. Then I saw the link for this site and clicked over... I didn't even know Dawn was sick and I hate that I didn't keep in better touch with her.

If I had known about her memorial service in Charleston I would have made a trip up. I knew Dawn from Church (her Dad was one of the Chaplins) and High School and even got to visit her and her Dad in Arizona in 2000.

Anonymous said...

Sunday was the one month anniversary of Dawn's death. It has been a tough month but God's grace is so good. Christy, Steve, will, Becky and Matthew are all hanging in there with some very difficult moments. It still feels like a bad dream that we hope to wake up from...but it is not. I had to do a funeral for one of my church members who died from cancer late last week and that was very hard going back to a funeral home. But...there God was helping me through. I know that God's faithfulness will help us through and strengthen us. I pray that any who read the posts and comments from this site will come to know God more fully. He loves you and cares about your life. Dawn had leukemia but it did not really have her. Grace and Peace. Dad, Pastor Steve Nelson

Anonymous said...

Dear Pastor Steve,
I just had to let you know you, your family, and Dawn are not forgotten! I continue to visit this site every so often and am praying for you and your family. I don't know how long you will leave this blog up, but I have told many people about it in hopes they would visit it. Your honest words of your struggles with grief, yet God's enduring faithfulness are very encouraging to those of us who believe in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Hopefully they will be encouraging to those who are seekers as well. Thank you for caring about others as Jesus did, even in your grief.
May God continue to bless you all,
Friend from the Southwest

kdurec said...

I am so sorry for your loss. I didn't know Dawn personally but do remember her from Asbury. How can you not remember her smile?
I will be praying for you Mike and all of Dawn's family and friends.

-Katy Bailey Durec

Erica Furman said...

I feel truly blessed to have had the chance to meet Dawn. She was an awsome, strong, funny.....the list just goes on and on! I remember when she came in with her first wig and said "You have to do something with this!" LOL. She always had a smile on her face and a beautiful one she had! I will keep her and everyone else in my prayers.


hi im kristy rivera i am dawns long lost cuzzo i loved her truley i never got to meet her i had n experience at skool i was waling bak to class n my best frend said sumthing horrible she was mad at me we got to calass n the more i thought about it made me wanna cry n i felt my cheek n my cheeks were covered n tears rite then n there i felt her love moving through my vains i really wanted to hug dawn before she went to god n became n angle i feel her looking down on me i talk to her at night n tell her how my day was but i still feel like i missed out on just feeling her skin i used to be ungratefull untill i figered out that u should never be mean or ungratefull because u never no wat u got untiill u lose it i love you cuzzoo mwauhhh

R.I.P. cuzzo
love christina nelson's daughter kristy rivera im 12 years old,<3

auntmargieann said...

Steve and Christy,You both know I love you so very much,I pray for you every day that God will ease the pain, Dawn did so much for others by getting the message out there about donations of blood and bone marrow,what an absolute angel she was here with us and even more so now.. That alone gives me comfort. I can't donate, but I am busy telling people in my support groups amd meetings about the importance of donating and hope that they will go and give the gift of life.God be with all of you. I love you. Margie

Gazz said...

I just found this blog whilst doing a piece of uni work on TBI - Im an about-to-qualify radiotherapist.
Initially found a cached version of it via the image search.
I was very deeply saddened when I refreshed it to the present day to see the outcome of Dawns battle, my thoughts go out to all.
Student Radiotherapist, Brighton, England

Anonymous said...

Well, Sunday was the 10 month anniversary of Dawn's death. October 25th was her 29th birthday. We still miss her incredibly and continue to struggle as a family. But we also know the blessing of knowing that many still pray for us. We are blessed. We were blessed to have had Dawn in our lives. God has worked some incredible things since her death. Manh hav econtacted us to let us know that they have become a paret of the donor regsitry. Some of our friends have done runs, walks, horse rides, and even yeard sales to raise awareness and money for cancer treatments. We walk by faith. Her mom Christy struggles the worst of us though because she spent so much time at teh hospital. I find myself as executor going through things and having to go through pictures and other tasks and just weeping. It doesn't matter who I am with friends, relatives or strangers I have a problem with leaky eyes on many occasions. I wish I could have more control over that but there it is still hard at the 10 month mark. I am in the process of putting things together from this blog, convert things to a book of memories and perhaps publish something with spiritual insights gained over these last hard months. I will need more grace and a bit more time though. I return to this site periodically to look at my lovely little girl and remember the journey we had together, from the time she was a little, small girl with big eyes, smile and heart. She never lost those. They said that Kareem Abdul Jabar was diagnosed with CML today. I wish him well and will be praying for his journey with the "easy form of leukemia". There is no easy form only a harsh reality that seeks to steal all that we have and are. I continue to pray for and think of those of you that we met on the journey. Grace and Peace. Dawn's dad, pastor steve of Holland, Ohio.

Anonymous said...

I came across your blog after an internet search relating to liver transplants (I was diagnosed with acute liver failure and was blessed to receive my gift of life from a deceased donor on Oct 19, 2009). I am so very sorry for your loss. Your blog has me crying at my office computer. God Bless you and your family and thank you for sharing your story, the importance of enjoying each day, and for promoting marrow & blood donation.