This morning Sheena, well-known in the HPS community as a great friend, source of support and an all around inspiration, lost her dear brother Kirk. Kirk was 37 years old.
Sheena and Kirk are examples of just how much work is still to be done by science. They tested negative for HPS, however, they had so many similar issues that they fit into the HPS fold very well. When it comes down to it, when you’re sharing life experiences, especially experiences coping with health issues, who really cares which gene caused the issue. It’s important for science, but not so important for moral support.
Sheena has been very active on the HPS Yahoo group and we all love her like a sister. But none of us could ever be Kirk. There’s a special bond that siblings can share. Sheena and Kirk have battled a lifetime of immune system problems, GI problems, bleeding problems etc together. Both have spent large parts of their lives in hospitals. Both are survivors of the highest order.
Kirk was an inspiring big brother. He was determined to never let his health issues get in his way or keep him from his dreams. He ran his own business and was a loved friend, brother, husband and son. All you have to do is read the comments left by the more than 200 people who have followed his story on Facebook to know what a loved man he was.
My heart breaks for Sheena. My brother and I are close, and I can’t imagine one of us ever losing the other one. It’s one of the things that motivates my work in HPSland. My brother is still largely unaffected by HPS and I’d do anything for him. I’d do anything to keep it that way.
Sometimes words just can never do justice.