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My Story

Donna died peacefully, early in the morning of 19 October 2009, between her two sleeping parents.

The Donna's Good Things Fund has been established to do good works in Donna's name: dance scholarships, DVD players for kids with cancer, etc. etc. If you would like, you may send donations to:

Donna's Good Things

P.O. Box 5706

Evanston, IL 60204

Thank you for your support.



In March 2007, our 20-month-old girl Donna was diagnosed with a brain tumor. It was cut out. It came back six weeks later. It was cut out again, but had spread to the lungs. We tried chemotherapy, which seemed to work well. She got six doses, lost her hair and also her tumor. To knock it senseless, she got a huge dose in December 2007, with an autologous stem cell transplant. The tumor didn't show up for six months. Then it did. July 25, 2008, Donna had surgery to take out the tumor, and Intrabeam radiation.

She had been recovering beautifully, but the tumor showed up again in October 2008. Donna got outpatient chemo, Avastin and Irinotecan, every other week since the end of October. She handled it well, but it only slowed the growth... not stopping it. So we had another resection in February 2009, and then spent twelve weeks in Bloomington Indiana, getting proton radiation treatment at MPRI.

A lump appeared on her neck during the last days of treatment: a swollen lymph node. On our return to Chicago, it was removed, and a biopsy showed that the tumor had moved into the lymph system. A CT scan showed a lot of nodes in the lungs.  We chose to pursue palliative measures only. She had over four months more of life, pursued to the fullest, until she died on October 19, 2009.

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Jeremy Hornik posted a new journal entry.

Thursday morning we head back to Children's Memorial for a minor surgical procedure for Jay.  Sigh.  Since the day he was born Jay has had what we not so affectionately ... Read more

Jeremy Hornik posted a new journal entry.

I am seeing the images of children dying coming out of Somalia and I am stunned and heartbroken and grief stricken and powerless and angry and defeated. Yesterday I read a ... Read more

Jeremy Hornik posted a new journal entry.

Six years ago today, I got to meet the most amazing girl I've ever known.  Today, I am happy more than sad, hopeful more than bitter.  Oh, Donna, how lucky I am to be ... Read more

Jeremy Hornik posted a new journal entry.

Jay is learning how to use a potty and I am verklempt, or choked with emotion, as the Urban Dictionary defines it.  This is a milestone Donna never got to.  Only two ... Read more

Jeremy Hornik posted a new journal entry, "Ode to Margaret.".

Jeremy has remained close with a crew of his high school friends whom we try to visit with during an annual summer gathering.  Initially it was couples and is now ... Read more

Jeremy Hornik posted a new journal entry.

It's been a month exactly since I last posted.  Man, what a month.  Visited NYC with Jay, came home and was absolutely downed by the mother of all sinus infections.  ... Read more

Jeremy Hornik posted a new journal entry.

Emerson Project - Day 4 Prompt was to think of a personal challenge, then reframe that challenge as a question. Journal after considering for 48 hours. Question: How can ... Read more

Jeremy Hornik posted a new journal entry, "Emerson Project - Day 3".

The world is powered by passionate people, powerful ideas, and fearless action.  What's one strong belief you possess that isn't shared by your closest friends or ... Read more

Jeremy Hornik posted a new journal entry, "Emerson Project - Day 2".

Your genuine action will explain itself, and will explain your other genuine actions.  Your conformity explains nothing.  The force of character is cumulative.  Ralph ... Read more

Jeremy Hornik posted a new journal entry.

NOTE:  I have committed to the thirty day #Trust30 writing challenge to commemmorate Ralph Waldo Emerson's birthday and publishing of his seminal essay, Self-Reliance.  ... Read more

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