Sunday, August 09, 2009

Dan Waeger's Golf Tournament This October

In 2006, I profiled Dan Waeger for USA Today.

Dan was a twentysomething fighting Stage IV lung cancer. He started the National Collegiate Cancer Foundation to help people like him -- too old for the children's leukemia ward but too young for the elderly cancer wings -- cope with their diagnosis.

During our talks, he was incredibly candid, offering honest insight on dating, hair loss and juggling final exams with radiation treatments. Interviewing his friends, family members and coworkers, it became clear -- this guy was a powerhouse. (Not to mention a keeper of an uncanny sense of humor.)

After the story ran, I'd receive the occasional update from Dan via email or text message. We kept each other on career changes, people in our lives. He met Lance Armstrong, kept up his passion for golf, got engaged.

Dan passed away March of this year. He was 26 years old.

I'm pleased to report that his fiancee, Meghan, will be holding the 5th Annual Waeger Cup in Lebanon, Penn., on Sunday, Oct. 4th. She also continues posting to the blog the two started. You can find registration for the golf tournament, as well as information on how to donate to Dan's foundation, here.

Stories like Dan's hit me like a sucker punch to the gut. He made a serious dent on the world in his 26 years, but there's still much work to be done. The adage "gone, but not forgotten" couldn't feel more true.