Dave was diagnosed with esophageal adenocarcinoma in April of 2017 at the age of 54. He underwent 6 weeks of chemo and radiation followed by a grueling 15+ hour surgery to remove most of his esophagus and pull his stomach up into his chest. We were told his recovery from the surgery would take a year but the doctors were confident the cancer was gone. Dave was back on his feet and working around his property within only a few months. Unfortunately, this cancer free time period was short lived and at his 8 month follow up scan the cancer had returned. Dave didn’t let the re-diagnosis get him down, he was still determined to fight and beat this disease. He underwent many months of chemo, weeks upon weeks in the hospital, and many procedures including a feeding tube because he was willing to do anything to put this behind us so we could move on with life with this as nothing more than a bad memory. Unfortunately the cancer and treatments took their toll on his body, he acquired pneumonia, became quite weak, and the cancer got the upper hand. Dave passed away peacefully and without pain on January 8th 2019 surrounded by his wife and three daughters.
Although the last 22 months of his life were dedicated to fighting this disease, it does not define him. Dave was successful in every aspect of his life. He married his beautiful wife Christy in June of 1986 and together they have 3 daughters and 2 sons-in-law. Dave owned and operated a very successful paving business that provides jobs for dozens of employees, who he treated like family. In 2016 Dave and his wife bought their dream home which they spent months redesigning and turning into their forever home. He coached his girls softball teams, donated to many charities, and had a standing weekly dinner date with his mom on Thursdays. He was a diehard Kobe fan and watched every Laker game he could. He enjoyed Sienfeld, eating fruit loops, chewing bubble gum, and had an ecclctic taste in music ranging from the Red Hot Chilli Peppers to Lady Gaga, Simon and Garfunkel and NWA. Perhaps the best testament to how amazing he was is the fact that he has friends from all stages of his life, including elementary school, high school, college and work, that he remainded in close contact with until the very end, several of whom were at his bedside during his final days.
Dave was taken too soon. Esophageal cancer is the fastest growing cause of cancer in the United states, with over a 700% increase in the last 4 decades. Despite this, government funding has been cut in recent years. Dave fit the exact demographic of a typical victim, males in their 50s with a history of acid reflux disease. This disease will continue to take dads from their daughters and wives too soon if we don’t make a change. We know that Dave touched so many lives in his short time here and we would love to see that translate into thousands of dollars toward research and early detection of this terrible disease.
If you suffer from acid reflux or GERD we urge you to talk to your doctor about keeping an eye on things. Do not wait for your doctor to offer an endoscopy, be your own advocate and ask. Once the symptoms start it’s already too late.
However you know Dave, we want to thank you for being a part of his life. He was a very happy man, and part of that is because of you.