This morning I received the saddest news I've heard in a very, very long time. And I'm not ashamed to say that it hit me hard, right here at my desk, this morning.
Pablo Castelaz, the 6-year-old son of Milwaukee's Jeff Castelaz and Jo Ann Thrailkill, passed away on Saturday after battling cancer for more than a year.
Please keep Jeff, Jo Ann, brother Grady and Pablo in your hearts and consider making a donation to the foundation that the family set up shortly after Pablo was diagnosed.
Because I can't say it better, here is the e-mail I received:
"Pablo Thrailkill Castelaz, the son of Jeff Castelaz (many in town remember him as the manager of Citizen King) and Jo Ann Thrailkill, brother of Grady Gallagher, passed away at home on Saturday, June 27 after a 13-month struggle against cancer. Services will be held Wednesday, July 1.
"The magnificent six years and six days that were Pablo's life touched many. His brave journey began when he was diagnosed in May 2008 with Wilms' Tumor, a rare form of cancer. From the start, the family honestly and courageously documented Pablo's fight on the PABLOg, a daily diary that, over the course of the year, has evolved into a destination for countless families facing similar difficult questions and challenges. Pablo's life remains a beacon for hope, and has inspired an outpouring of goodwill and solace from an ever-growing community that spans the globe.
"The Pablove Foundation was established shortly after Pablo was diagnosed and will continue to serve in his loving memory. The Foundation makes annual contributions to fund cancer research and treatment at Childrens Hospital Los Angeles' Saban Research Institute, one of the top cancer research facilities in the United States. Pablove supports music and arts programs, and sponsors play rooms and activities in the soft tumor units at CHLA.
"Jeff, Jo Ann and brother Grady would like to express their gratitude for the immeasurable love and support from their family and extended community. In lieu of flowers or gifts, please visit Pablove.org to make a donation."
I, too, went to the blog and felt so many emotions! Sadness, Joy, Peace, and definitely love. Thank you for sharing this story with me and the story of Pablo. He and his family are in my heart forever.
Jeff, I went on to the family's blog after reading yours and wept for this sweet child and his heartbroken family. Theirs is a love story that touched me to my core. My deepest sympathies to all who were blessed to have Pablo as a part of their lives.
Having a 7 year old myself and hearing this news really tears you apart whether or not you know the family. Doesn't matter, just plain old sad. For this, I will give my Son Alex a big hug when I pick him up from Summer day camp and he and I will pray for that family.
Molly Snyder Edler | June 30, 2009 at 1:18 p.m. (report)
Jeff, Jo Ann, Dean ... My heart goes out to you.
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