Gone too soon
The first thing you notice when you visit Grant Truhler’s CaringBridge website is his 1000–watt smile. “I know I’m biased,” says his dad, Dean, “but he had a great smile.”
Grant passed away on October 23, 2007 as a result of a rare childhood brain tumor called invasive pontine gliomas (IPG). He was 10 years old.
Question of the week
Grant enjoyed wrestling, and could often be found playing football or fishing with his three brothers. When his tumor caused paralysis and partial blindness, Grant couldn’t do those things anymore. “But Grant always loved talking,” says Dean.
Grant was famous for asking people about their favorites: favorite holiday, favorite season, or favorite Halloween costume. One day, Grant got the idea to put a “Question of the Week” on his CaringBridge website. He started a tradition.
“Sometimes we’d get 100 responses,” recalls Dean. “It helped us reflect on the simple things that are really important. And Grant just loved hearing people’s answers.”
Connecting from the heart
For the Truhler family, chronicling Grant’s courageous fight provided comfort during dark days.
“It’s a cathartic experience,” Dean explains. “When you’re in the ICU and it’s two in the morning, you can still get stuff off your chest, or celebrate the good things.”
The immediate responses from family and friends proved to be a source of strength. “I’d put something from my heart out there, and two hours later, we’d have 40 responses,” recalls Dean. “That makes a difference, especially during the tough times.”
There have been more than 200,000 visits to Grant’s website. Friends and family continue to leave messages of love and support. Although Grant is no longer with us, the boy with the amazing smile and countless questions continues to inspire those whose lives he touched.