Death of a Superhero

A Family's Story about Courage, Bravery and the Defining Moments of LOVE

Our sweet, lil' baby love lost his battle to AML Leukemia on March 8, 2010. We fought long, hard and very aggressively for 2.5 years, only to have his cancer come back for the fourth time to finally take his life. He was only 3 years old.

This entire blog is about Hunter's amazing journey. It's about his life and his love......his determination and his courage.......his absolutely, brilliant personality, and the affect he's had on people all over the world.

He's left an unimaginable footprint on this earth and has changed the lives of thousands of individuals. People who didn't realize how precious life was, now live it with extreme gratefulness. People who took every minute they get to spend with their children for granted, now savor every last second. And people who weren't quite sure what love is all about, now love deeper, love stronger and love with every ounce of their soul.

People all around the world have shared their love, their well wishes, their prayers and their inspiration, and we could have NEVER achieved as much as we did without them. We are humbled by their generosity & their true friendships & are forever grateful for every last person that has come into our lives through our experience with Hunter. He was our precious baby love who we loved and cherished with all our hearts and we are forever crushed and terribly, broken-hearted.

Dance in the clouds baby cakes. Mom & dad are watching proudly & you will remain so very close to our hearts for all of eternity.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Our lil' Birthday Boy

HAPPY BIRTHDAY my sweet lil' prince pie - our love for you runs so incredibly deep. Your dad and I are holding on to as many memories as possible and there will always, ALWAYS be a special place in our life for you. I won't let you go. I won't ever, ever, ever let you go. As painful as it is to accept the fact that you are not here for us to smooch from head to toe......we thank our lucky stars that you graced us with your amazing presence and taught us how to live; even when we thought every last bit of our being had given in. You kept us laughing; even when our smiles seemed lost and forgotten. And you've fully shown us how to love.....even though we've been left with a broken heart.

You were so easy to love........sweet dreams baby.


Hi my sweet lil' love..........i miss you.....i miss you......I miss you.........I miss incredibly much. I am going to do my best to be strong and keep it together as I write you - but already, my face has an ocean of tears just streaming down it, collecting big, big puddles in my lap. The thought of actually seeing you and talking to you and holding you, oh goodness, it would be an absolute dream come true for me.

oh love.....I am still so incredibly devastated. I can't even think right now. My hands are shaking, my tears won't stop, my breath is gone. You not being here has shattered us. You were magical. Truly, truly magical and that just stops your dad and I dead in our tracks some days.

You have brought out such beauty in so many people - myself, your father and your lil' brother, Ryder, included. That magnificent sparkle that was so extremely bright while you where here - is still shining ever so lovely. I feel it within myself, and it's expressed in the love your dad and I have for each other, and the love that we have for Ryder. Ryder is the magnificent recipient of so much love and affection......and he just BEAMS every single day because of what your dad and I discovered in ourselves through you. You've created this love pocket in us that is just absolutely explosive. You still continue to bring out the best in us........that just warms my heart.

You would have been the most perfect older brother. Oh man - I could only IMAGINE how completely wonderful it would be if you were here. Ryder would have LOVED you. Absolutely, most definitely LOVED you. You would have been the coolest thing since sliced bread. You would have been so, so fun for him to follow around and tug on and watch and learn courageous and loving. I honestly can't wait for the day when Ryder fully understands who you are and how important you are to the family. He's only 13 months right he's got a few months. He gets some things right now like "going outside" and "snack".....but not quite everything just yet. But soon. Soon, he'll get the full story of our lil' hero - Iron Hunter and how truly magnificent your lil' being really was....and still is. :)

Here's Ryder trying on your Lightning McQueen hat and shoes. He clopped around the house in those for quite awhile....he's a big fan.

Here he is wearing your Iron Hunter t-shirt. We all sport those QUITE often. They are super, super cozy and I'm just so proud of what is were a real "Super Hero"......I love that.

You two look a lot alike - you can definitely tell you're brothers. Here is a collage that I put together of the two of you at 8 1/2 months.

Ryder loves, loves.....LOVES music. He's got a pretty fancy wiggle and also threw down some hip lil' side steps recently. Very surprised he pulled some of those moves out. You must have done a lil' work on him somehow. He's pretty cool. Plus he's a sweetie two together would have just taken turns melting my heart.

You both also have a very strong, cool confidence about you. So fun to watch and hang out with you guys. Always seem to have something going on.

Watching Ryder grow is reminding us of so many incredible moments we had with you. It's fun to compare and see the similarities as well as the differences. And thank goodness we have as many videos of you as we do! We feel so completely fortunate to have that many. Your personality just JUMPS right off the screen in every one and I just love, love, love watching you. They allow me to fully remember your giggle and your sweet, sweet ways of expressing yourself and all the fun we really did have.......despite all of our challenges. I don't think there was a day that went by that we didn't find something to giggle about........

People from all over the world still continue to find your story and send us messages. They all begin with such wonderful comments about you and your beautiful energy and strength and courage. They talk about how many times throughout their day that they think of you, and how much you've inspired them. Of course they talk about what a great lil' dancer you were.....such FANTASTIC moves. I could beat music on pots and pans for you all day long. Oh you just stole my heart. I miss your hugs. Oh how I miss your hugs baby love.

A year and a half now that you've been gone and I still sleep with "Henwy" under my pillow....I still have a candle constantly lit for you......makes me feel like there is a happy, lil' spot of love-light continuing to just brighten up the room. I am never without my Hunter still gets smooched every night when I take it off and every morning when I put it on. There are beautiful images up of you pretty much everywhere - living room, family room, kitchen, dining room, our room, Ryder's room, my office, my closet.......and there isn't a second that passes that I don't consider ourselves lucky to have had such an amazing lil' boy in our lives.

Your Angel Anniversary was a very special day for us. Your dad and I took Ryder and we went back to our special lil' spot right next to the room we stayed in with you at Cannon Beach. We've been back there a few times's a pretty amazing spot for us. As soon as my feet hit the sand I feel you......I will never, ever, ever forget that day on the beach. A day filled with such hope and love and happiness.........I enjoy remembering days and moments like the ones we had on that special day. That whole trip was amazing.

Here you are walking in the sand........oh we had so much fun that day. You were walking around everywhere and I was getting such a kick out of finally having to chase you around! You gave me a run for my money that day. :)

Here we are below on your Angel Anniversary, a little over a year later.....walking in the sand......just like you. Even Ryder was doing it in Dad's Kangaroo pouch.

And of course "Henwy" had to get in the sand. Even when we travel he comes and sleeps under my pillow. He likes it there. I'm still waiting for you to come get him in my dreams. :)

OH and I can't forget to tell you that we also saw this BEAUTIFUL rainbow right as we hit the clearing to the water. was so, so cool love.

Geeeez.......and one more thing - we did our first Healing Hunter Foundation Toy Drive on your Angel Anniversary and brought up over $5,000 worth of toys to the kids at Doernbechers, including an iPod Touch, a super fast big wheel, two laptop computers and OF COURSE - a kick-BUTT Lightning McQueen Tricycle that's got your name on it so everyone knows to speed around the hallways with lots of Lightning love.

So your foundation that we started on your behalf has been just absolutely wonderful. Aside from the toy drive we did on your Angel Anniversary we also stopped by on Easter and delivered tons of delicious goodies and yummy cupcakes - which is what initiated the whole start of "Lightning Cupcakes"......also in your honor of course. With all the love and support out there for just TOOK OFF! And a lil' bit of Hunter love goes into every cupcake. So now you are in my heart, my thoughts, my smiles and my tummy often. I see your beautiful face constantly throughout my days and most times it makes me think super sweet thoughts. I try my hardest to think of you at your very best, having just the coolest time of your life.....I'm glad you had so many. It gives me lots of things to pull from. Man you were cool.

Below is the Easter Delivery to Doernbechers on behalf of the Healing Hunter Foundation!

Oh and I almost forgot to tell you the COOLEST thing! You'll really like this.......we are delivering iPods to all the lil' warriors battling cancer up at Doernbechers on your birthday for the Healing Hunter iPod Birthday Bash that we created. We thought you'd get a kick out of giving such thoughtful, useful and amazing gifts that the kiddos can use while they are going through all their treatments. Several extremely generous and very loving individuals donated one to each kid fighting cancer in your honor. Pretty neat I'll have to say. You bring sweetness to the surface in lots and lots of people. Still continuing to make me proud. Aaaaahhhhh.......

Below are the iPods that were donated and then the AWESOME packaging we created for them!!


Life seems to be one brilliant, sequence of events after another my lil’ love. And the time we had with you was nothing short of spectacular. 

This magical, whirlwind of love that seems to corral around you and your legacy is just simply amazing. I’m sitting here in a sweet, puddle of tears as I realize the size of the impact you’ve had on our life and so many others.

Your dazzling light, your love, your spirit…your joy, your giggle and your dynamite wiggle
continue to get delightfully, packaged up and delivered to the warriors that are still here fighting.

Our special lil’ packages that we deliver are always bursting with hope and smiles and lets these brave kiddos know that we are all standing behind them…supporting them, encouraging them and constantly cheering them on.

Thank you for continuing to be such a powerful force of love.

You are my Superhero.

Keep us strong, sugar pie.

LOVE you Bean!!!! XXOO

Thursday, March 31, 2011

The Nuts & Bolts.......and Truths

Hunter's Ashes

When I think about my life and the path that it has taken so far....I'm quite surprised. I never thought I'd be the tortured poet....writing and divulging and painfully expressing all of my agony and sadness.......trapped..... and now somewhat bi-polar.......and yet, here I am.


This last year has been the most difficult year of my life. I've never been one to throw in the towel and call it quits or walk away with my tail between my legs - but the last 12 months have been excruciatingly painful and overwhelmingly sad for me. I've crumbled to the floor and sat in a pool of tears time and time and time again. Everything about my being has been slightly altered and it seems as if my body remains a jumbled up puzzle that is forever missing a piece.

For full blog posting - visit Hunter's Mom and Dad's Blog:

Sunday, March 6, 2011

One Year...and still stumbling....

Wow baby love. I can't believe it's been a year. I can't believe I have been without my sweet baby love for a whole year...........365 days. Three Hundred and sixty-five days too long. To think that I have the rest of my life to go, frightens me. I truly and honestly don't know how I am going to do it. Missing your love and your smiles makes me feel so incomplete. So incredibly "out of sorts". There is such a huge part of my being that has just transformed into something unrecognizable. I'm still so sad.....still so heartbroken......still so absolutely crushed that are you not here with us.

Your dad and I have been thinking about you like crazy. We watched video after video after video of you last night, and you continued to put on one stellar performance after another. You are SUCH an amazing lil' boy. I feel like I say it in every post, but I just can't say enough how very proud of you we are......your kindness, your laughter, your gregarious lil' personality - oh my......just so wonderful to watch. Such a sweetie.......really.

I just popped in a disc that was labeled "Hunter"......within seconds, images of you started loading up one by one. I'm bombarded with so many thoughts and feelings and emotions all at once.....everything just seems so unbelievable.

My first thought was "my were just a baby". Just a baby when all this started. So tiny and so cool. Handling everything with such calmness. Took the punches as they came with such ease, while your dad and I felt each blow with an intensity that would leave us breathless for days.

Here you are waving about to go in for your very first Cat Scan.

This was after your knee biopsy. You handled that like a champ. However, you weren't so fond of the cast after awhile. Dad finally cut it off when no one was looking and you were sure happy about that!

Seeing these photos and looking back at our journey, having you in our life was so incredibly joyful. What you brought to our family was an energy that was so powerful. So pure and so full of full of confidence.

This picture below made me are only about 15 months serious. tee hee. Man did you ever love your DVD player. I think we ended up going through about 10 of those over 2 years. A few went overboard off the hospital bed, a few malfunctioned and a few just plain got burnt out. We must have watched "Cars" a million times......seriously. Lightning McQueen rules.

I am thinking about now how very grateful I am that we got to hang out every single day. We spent so much time together and it was always such a treat - good times and bad. You were such a magnificent play partner. I could always tell when you were starting to feel better and were ready to start having a good were pretty easy to read at that point and ALWAYS came up with creative outlets.

And always such a good snuggler.

I'm also coming across pics of your first mohawk. What a cutie. You sure knew how to rock that hairstyle. You were the cutest kid on the floor.

And loved when pics of you on the slides came up. Those were your favorite. Hated swings.....loooooooooved slides!

This was you in Australia. You played for hours. Such a beautiful sight.

Then I came across this pic. Made me chuckle. We always took advantage of laughter. You were always such a willing participant. Love you so much for that. Joy was brought to every occasion possible.

You just thought you were so funny calling the nurse here.......

And of course a great giggle video. Here you are cracking up about to get a Spinal Tap........just so FULL of giggles.....non-stop.

This video just makes me smile and smile and smile. You can see so much of your personality here.....

Also found this video.......swept your dad and I away with laughter and tears. Wow did you know how to grove. Soooooo much fun to watch! Any kind of beat just took you away to another place. You felt music down to your wee lil'l bones. So soulful.

Hunter Zen....unlike any other.

Life is cruel,
life is kind,
It's stolen my happiness,
and left me behind.

Constant effort to look up,
away from the floor,
in search of my smile,
to find it once more.

It's buried within,
amongst wreckage and tears,
Not knowing if it will come out,
after facing my fears.

It's definitely not the same,
nor will it ever be,
for he's left a tremendous footprint,
on my soul, that remains in me.

Eventually.......he'll ignite a flame,
that will shine oh so bright,
and I'll treasure his life and love,
through me, I will shine his light.
(Hunter's Mom)

Your are brighter than ever baby love. Thank you for being the phenomenal child that you are. Love you so much.......
XoXo Mom and Dad