Message from the Dornbrooks

We received these notes last night from Stephanie Dornbrook's family:

To all of Leroy's bloggers and to Leroy too. I am Stephanie's husband Dustin. I have never entered into this site as I did not wish to intrude into her private thoughts with all of you out there in similar situations as hers.

When I learned of your special outpourings of love and support towards me and our children and Stephanie, I wanted to express our warmest love in return. Without much detail I can say she now has an eternal smile on her face. She wrote a short farewell and some advice to all. As usual, she was short and to the point. She used three words and said, "goodbye....forgive everything."

I know she cherished this blog site and all of you were loved by her. I am grateful to Leroy for making it available. It makes me happy so many of you will keep her alive through your memories. I wish you all well on your journeys.

— Dustin Dornbrook

My family and I have been deeply moved by the response that we have received from the online community. Thank you, everyone, for your support at this time and, as well, for the support of my mother and the constant cheering on that she received from you these past two years. I am proud to say that Stephanie is my mother and, while, as her youngest, our relationship had only recently matured into a mutual adult relationship, that she was a most outstanding soul, remarkable for her constant service and warm and loving personality.

Thank you.

— Mendon Dornbrook



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Dustin and Family - I was one of the lucky ones to get to know Stephanie and it would not have been if not for this sight and Leroy's special. She was and is a special lady that will be forever in my heart.

Sent by Cathy Krekus Kern | 10:15 AM | 1-8-2008

As I read today's comments by the Dornbrook family there was that word again- "support". That's what this blog is all about!
If I had to capture Leroy's Cancer Community in one snapshot, it would be of a huge circle. We'd all be in it, including Stephanie. Everyone in the circle leans forward, like in the game "Trust Me", until our hands join in the center, forming a Teepee of Trust. We all are the Supports. For the new Survivor it takes some courage to fall forward, but we will be there to catch them. Stephanie knew that!
Love, Don

Sent by Don Winslow | 10:39 AM | 1-8-2008

My heart goes out to Stephanie and her family. She touched me with her encouraging, and some days painful posts. I can see her face from the Ted Koppel Special and I feel so blessed to have been a part of her online support group. As many of you all reached out to me when I lost my Dad this past summer, I hope and pray Dustin and family feel the love and warmth we offer up to you now. Blessings....

Sent by Karen | 11:09 AM | 1-8-2008

Last summer, my family and I vacationed in the Northwest. At one of the Native American sites I found this prayer. It touched my heart then, and I hope it brings comfort to Stephanie's family and to all of us here.

Hopi Prayer of the Soul's Graduation

Do not stand at my grave and weep;
I am not there,
I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow.
I am the diamond glints on snow.
I am the sunlight
On the ripened grain.
I am the gentle Autumn's rain.
When you awaken in the morning hush,
I am the swift uplifting rush
of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry.
I am not there.
I did not die.
My Spirit is still alive...

Sent by G.G. in KS | 11:53 AM | 1-8-2008

I was fortunate to meet Stephanie and her family last May at the Discovery Channel Special. She touched my life along with others around her. I am sending thoughts, love, and prayers to her family.

There are people who come into your life for a reason, and she entered mine and gave me a different perspective on a lot of things and viewing the oncology field and human beings in general. For that I will always be grateful.

Sent by Krupali Tejura MD | 1:08 PM | 1-8-2008

My heart goes out to Stephanie's family. It saddens me immensely and I didn't even know Stephanie. Another great soul is lost to cancer. I'm 52 and struggling with Stage 4 cancer and when will all this suffering end. I lost 2 friends this year to cancer and when I read about another person my heart is again broken. Thanks Leroy for this blog and all your great writings and support.

Sent by Debbie | 2:23 PM | 1-8-2008

I have been reading this site for the last seven months. It has served as a way into the heart and mind of my own uncle bill, who was diagnosed with kidney cancer in 1999. reading about leroy and his fight has brought me peace while watching my uncle, my friend, fight for his life not only for himself but also for his family for the last nine years. What a fight, a livestrong fight that was finally laid to rest at 12:05 thrusday night. What a courageous, full of heart life my uncle bill led and what an honor to have witnessed his fight. I want to thank leroy for his willingness to share his caner with the world. it has brought me closer to what my uncle may have been feeling during his fight with cancer. thank you leroy. keep the
faith, the hope and the love.

Sent by suzanne caruso | 3:12 PM | 1-8-2008

Dustin and Mendon,

Don used the word support. I will add from this site and participants you get healing, coping, serenity, and laughter.

Although not a cancer patient myself, I am a care giver. I came "here" I was filled with anger and hate. I found peace. I will remember Stephanie's smile from the TV show. Peace to all. Be kind to yourself and patient. Allow yourself tears and time to reflect. You will remember more moments as time progresses.

Sent by Sue Chap | 3:46 PM | 1-8-2008

May flights of angels sing her to her rest.

Sent by Diana Kitch | 6:14 PM | 1-8-2008

I don't post often but I am a faithful reader and my heart truly goes out to Stephanie's husband and children. I only knew of Stephanie from this blog site and always looked for her comments. I was 24 when my Mom died (she was 55) and though 9 years have now passed since that day she is still with me in every way, just as your Mom/wife will always be with you.

Sent by S A | 7:08 PM | 1-8-2008

To the Dornbrook family, I wish nothing but peace and healing. To paraphrase what was said in the Pirates of the Caribbean films, the world is a little less bright today. Stephanie will be remembered fondly by many hundreds of people living in Cancer World as well as Other Worlds. She touched so many lives that you'll never even know about.

I, like Sue Chap, was a caregiver. I lost my Terry almost a year ago, and I can say that the memories of good times have yet to ameliorate the pain. I just need to find a useful avenue to channel it. May the Dornbrooks do the same and honor Stephanie's memory by building a legacy in memory of such an obviously fine person, loved by so many.

I remember watching the LWC special on Discovery and being very heartened that "Stephanie doesn't look too bad." How deceiving that was. How heartbreaking.

To Stephanie's husband and children, you appear to be the angels she needed when she needed them. God be with you all in the time of your dark hours.

Sent by Bruce | 7:27 PM | 1-8-2008

May God Bless you in your time of loss.

Sent by Teresa in WV | 7:34 PM | 1-8-2008

For Stephanie's family and friends: Find strength and comfort in the love of family and friends...and in the memories you hold close to your heart.

Sent by Laurie Hirth | 10:31 PM | 1-8-2008

How lucky for you all to witness the bravery in Stephanie. That was my constant prayer during my treatments, that my girls would know in their hearts that I was brave and when they were older would draw from my strength when facing their own challenges. It's an incredible gift to have a strong and brave mother.

I wish you all peace and forgiveness.

Kathy Bero

Sent by Kathy Bero | 9:38 AM | 1-9-2008

Dear Leroy,
Crubbage!!!! I am sorry for your news and know how you are feeling as i too, am either near or at that point. I can only say Crubbage to the whole thing and hope we can get through this . I am sorry for your pain and wish you painfree days and nights. Right now my oain is minimal, but i am optionless, and frustrated and sad.
Today will be brighter for all of us fighting the fight----and our helpers, too. Take care...xox dee

Sent by dee | 9:43 AM | 1-9-2008

To Stephanie's family, I'm so sad to hear about the passing of your dear maman. It was evident from the pictures and entries on her blog how well she loved all of you and how well you loved her in return. I pray that you feel the depth of love and support that surrounds you, coming from friends and from all the people Stephanie touched on this site.

Sent by Nichole | 11:34 AM | 1-9-2008

To Stephanie's family - I am so sorry for your loss. I do not post often either, but I read every day and she has been a steady source of honesty, courage, and a wickedly dry wit. She was blessed to have your love and care so close as she began her new journey.
When my mother died of cancer her best friend said to me, "The grief does not diminish, we just get stronger at bearing it." That has stayed with me and was often my lifeline when my father died of cancer three years later. It acknowledges grieving lasts a lifetime.

I wish for you strength and comfort.

Sent by Janet H | 11:07 PM | 1-9-2008

To the Dornbrook Family,

I will miss Stephanie so much, and I am very sorry for your loss. I just visited her site at Brunner's and realized she and I shared something more than this illness, we shared the same birthday, same year - November 14, 1951. Her life was much too short, but I wanted to say how much I know she was loved by all of us here, and the care I felt as I read her journals showed me how much she was cherished by her family. Again, I am so sorry for your loss, but so grateful for the time we were able to spend getting to know her.

She will be missed terribly, by me and all of us here on Leroy's blog.

Love, Briana

Sent by Briana | 8:49 PM | 1-10-2008


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