Aug. 19th, 2013 - by Charlie Matthews, Herald Times Reporter
MANITOWOC — Over nearly a decade, Eric McLean went through multiple remissions and relapses before dying of cancer a year ago Friday at age 28, passing away at his parents home in Two Rivers.
Every day, something reminds Cari McLean, now 28, of her late husband whose “Confession Final” video blog has been seen on YouTube by more than 1 million viewers.
“We have a thing with owls ... every time I see a rainbow ... hearing a Harley,” says the young widow of just a few of the sights and sounds triggering memories of the man who relapsed a fifth time days after returning from their honeymoon in the summer of 2011.“We were getting to be normal, then all falling apart at the same time ... rollercoaster after rollercoaster,” said McLean, who had days last winter when she couldn’t get out of bed. “It is OK to feel no one is out there, OK to feel alone, to grieve and cry.
“I shut a lot of people out, not that I was mad at them but didn’t want to face what was really happening ... Eric’s not coming back,” McLean said in the living room of her parents, Mick and Karin Jaeger.
(pictured above - Michael and his cousin Alexa)
August 12, 2013 - Below is an email received from 28 year old Michael Wynn Nehr of St. Peters, Missouri who is currently battling Gastrointestinal Stromal Sarcoma of the Stomach. The amazing social workers at Siteman Cancer Center in St. Louis sent him in our direction - below is his story.
"Hello! My name is Michael Wynn Nehr, and I am 28, from St. Peters, Missouri. I am so lucky, and don't quite understand all of this yet. I want to give a huge thanks to the McLean Family, and all the people who have donated to the L.I.F.E. charity. The help I received was more than I could ask for, and was an encouraging surprise. I received a call from Mary McLean, on a Sunday night and we chatted for a while about my situation, and I was so happy to have spoken to her. It has helped me a great deal and I couldn't be more appreciative. So, here is why I got that call.
Hello my Name is Tracey Ann Bailey. On May 30th, 2013 My Life was forever changed. I was diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma, which is just one of the many struggles I have had to deal with at 28 years old. After losing my mother only a couple of months before, I felt as though I could not take this head on, and I became deeply depressed. I thought I could not mentally or physically put up a good fight, but then I had to think I'm only 28, and I have my whole life a head of me. I have no kids, but I do have a younger brother whom I've taken sole responsibility of after my mom died. I must fight for him, not just for me. So with that I came up with a slogan "Fight Violet Not Violence " and I plan to make t-shirts hats etc #TeamViolet Making the best of what I thought was the worst. .....#MyStory