Starry Wisdom

Entropic Words from Neilathotep

Sunday, August 17, 2008

A tribute To My Cousin

My cousin Allan Goldberg passed away in June at age 40, from cancer. He survived cancer as a teen, against almost all the odds, and pretty much dedicated his life to living it to the fullest since then. Soon after graduating college and moving out to San Francisco he joined the non-profit world, and started to work for Camp Okizu, a summer camp for children with cancer and their siblings. It is designed to help them enjoy a more normal life. As their director of financial development he raised money for them at crucial times. Al had the ability to make things work, despite the long odds.

Eventually he decided that he wanted to go back to school, and got a Masters from Harvard. He then went on to work for the Lance Armstrong Foundation, and from there to become a director at First Descents, an organization for people in their 20s and 30s with cancer to experience outdoor adventures.

Through his work at these various foundations Al touched many lives in ways that I can’t even being to imagine. Yesterday there was a memorial for him at Crissy Field, attended by well over 100 people. My aunt and uncle and his one of his sisters and her husband came to town from the East Coast to attend, and I went to the memorial with them. Listening to a wide variety of people speak about him was very sad, and also very uplifting, because he made so many lives better.

The saddest part, for me, was that even though i had known him my entire life, and was a blood relative, people who had only known him for a couple of years knew him better than me. Obviously I can’t take all the blame for this, but I do feel sad about it. His death was tragic, but it was great to see the immense amount of good that came out of his life. I had last seen my aunt and uncle exactly one year ago for a memorial for my Grandmother, and my cousin, well, I don’t think I had seen her over 15 years, and I had never met her husband. It’s sad that it takes a tragedy for me to see my family.

Some articles about Al below, and a web search will reveal a lot more, including many blog tributes to him:

New story on his stretchathon
Chronicle tory about the memorial
Washington Post obituary

posted by neil at 8:17 pm
under emo,rambling,Uncategorized  

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