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Sean’s Story

Welcome to our CaringBridge site. We've created it to keep friends and family updated. We appreciate your support and words of hope and encouragement during this time when it matters most. We thank you for your calls, emails and text messages.  Please understand we can not respond to all of them as we are overwhelmed at this time.  With love, Sean and Family

Latest Journal Update

Let's Make A Deal.....

So, picture yourself as a newly married person and you are so excited to start the family that you have dreamed about your entire life.  God says to you, "Let's make a deal." The deal is that you will have an amazing child that you love with all your heart, a true gift from God.  He will be an amazing brother, son, friend, teammate, student and tennis player.  He will bring joy, courage, strength..and the love of the Lord.. .to himself and others in his lifetime.  The first 18 years will be "easy" and he will lead a relatively normal life filled with school, vacations, tennis practices and tournaments, football games, parties, church.  BUT, when your child turns 18, he will experience 2 years of enduring and fighting a very difficult and rare disease...he will have an epic battle.  This disease causes him and others to consider their lives more closely, it brings communities together in a spirit of fellowship, people start praying more and relying on God, people desire to live their lives more fully as we are reminded of the fragility of life, people are more kind, more patient..and utlimately LOVE more because of the inspiration that this person brings into the lives of others.  Sadly, after 2 years of fighting this disease, your child will die young, however he will have eternal life with the Lord and experience ultimate peace and joy with his Father and leave a mark that has positively impacted many people around the world.  You will be reunited with Sean after your earthly mission is complete.  The Lord asks now, "knowing all of these things, it will be difficult, but do you want this child, do you want Sean?"  Of course, the emphatic answer is "YES."

So, how are we doing?  It seems that grieving is a very individual process, with no we live day to day.  We also are trying to adopt the words of the famous author, Dr. Seuss, who said, "Don't cry because it is over, smile because it happened." Well, we are crying, but we also smile knowing that we are blessed with 3 incredible children with amazing communities who supported us through some very rough waters.  Thank you for all of the support everyone has shown us through the Celebration of Life (how awesome is UTK?...pretty awesome...#VFL), the Memorial Mass (thank you Holy Family CC!), the prayers, food, cleaning, cards, gifts, gift cards...prayers and love. It was great to see all of our friends from all of our walks of life (Brentwood, Knoxville, Michigan, family, hockey, tennis, church, school, etc). Thank you to everyone for wearing their orange and showing incredible support to our family...we needed the love..and felt the love! We know that we are unusually blessed with amazing people surrounding us...big bear hug to all!

What is our next chapter?  For now, we will take a breath and reflect..and hopefully catch up on some much-needed sleep!  We may move toward foundation work to help erradicate the nasty Ewings Sarcoma.  We have learned that pediatric cancer research is only 4% of the NIH cancer research budget which is woefully inadequate to combat these diseases.  We will pray..and take some more marching orders from The Lord.  In the meantime, if you feel encouraged to help the fight against Ewings Sarcoma, please use the link below to donate.

Also, UTK has set up a fund as well to focus on tennis projects, renovations, possible scholarships.  Those donations can be sent to:
Tennessee Fund
Attn: Sean Karl Memorial
1551 Lake Loudon Blvd, Level 1
Knoxville, TN 37996

Love to all and thank you for walking this very difficult, but privelged journey with us and of course, God is good, God is great,
Laurie, Mike, Sean, Justin, Steven

31 people hearted this



Shawn Clark
By Shawn Clark
Beautiful message. Thank you for sharing. May you feel the peace, comfort, hope and love of the Lord God as you celebrate the birth of Christ this Christmas.
becky johnson
By Love, Becky
Dear Karl family, you continue to amaze and inspire with your faith and courage. The outpouring of love and prayers for Sean and your family is proof of how many lives you have all touched. We will continue to keep you in our thoughts and prayers as you continue along this journey.
jan dephillips
By Jan DePhillips and family
Thanks for sharing this post, sharing Sean and your life journey. How blessed we all were and still are to have know such an awesome boy who will forever remain with us in the memories and love he instilled in our hearts. So grateful to know the Karls and be touched by your family story. May God continue to bless you as you celebrate his gift of Sean. (and if you find a playbook on grieving, pass it on.) Love, hugs, peace and blessings to you all!!
Susan Plantz
Our family is in awe of your family's faith, courage and fortitude throughout these past two years, Karl Family. You have been a beacon to others and we wish you peace and love in the coming days and weeks. With much love and admiration,
The Plantz Fam
Caralyn Noel
By the Noel family--Kirby, Caralyn, Christian and Jack
That is so powerful, all are, and will continue to be in our thoughts and prayers...throughout the holiday and beyond. We wish you peace of heart. xo
Jack Huggins
By Jack H. @ Lee Co.
Sean touched so many people in his life and we are all blessed to be a small part of that. We will continue to keep you guys in our prayers & Sean in our hearts ! "VFL"
Kevin Ziesig
By Kevin Ziesig
We all love the Karl family very much and we are all blessed to have been a small part of Sean's life. He was and continues to be my hero.
Lisa Stone
By Lisa & Morgan Stone
Your strength continues to amaze me! We are all thinking of you daily and sending lots of love your way.
Colin Pigott
By Colin Pigott
Beautiful. Thanks for guiding everyone through this, Tammy, and everyone. Even for one who has watched from afar, the detailed, eloquent updates on this site have made me feel close to Sean and all of you, and I've tried to be part of the fight in my small way by sending love and prayers from a distance. Best wishes to you all.