The kids and I are walking/running again this year in the "Hope It's A Beach Thing" 5K supporting Brain Cancer research at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute (Harvard). This group of amazing people drew our family close four years ago and they can't seem to get rid of us. See their website below for pictures and video of last year's event, which was hosted in memory of Dan.
What: Brain Cancer Fundraiser
Where: University of Dayton (Humanities Plaza)
When: October 12, 2019
Time: 9AM check-in, 10AM start
If you are planning to join us for the walk/run or to donate, please consider joining team "Howell About a Cure"...We joined their team this year in support of our friend Andy Howell who continues to bravely fight his brain cancer with the support of his wife Kate and son Charlie.
Join us on their team following this link:
I've also established a link for "Team DWeck" as we have maintained each year. Either team is a great choice...going to the same great cause.
Just a quick update on other happenings...This year, we launched the www.goresilience.org website to provide details of our plans for The Resilience Scholarship Fund, which was established in Dan's memory. See the site for more details on the program or to donate. In June, our team awarded scholarships in the Oakwood, Kings, and Lakota districts - with plans to expand to (2) more school districts in 2020.
Thanks to all who have contributed nearly $35K to our fundraising efforts over the past year, including the Lumberjack Leaders at OJHS who raised $2,146 for the scholarship through a shirt sale, and chairs of The Blues Bash - a local event coming up in November which will contribute to the scholarship fund. We are additionally grateful to the Oakwood Schools Foundation who honored Dan with a brick in alumni plaza outside the OJHS office.
Thanks all for taking a minute to think about Dan and our family. We appreciate and love you very much.
Make a donation to CaringBridge to keep Dan’s site up and running.
Dan's life was celebrated yesterday with a ceremony and reception at Temple Beth Or in Dayton, Ohio. We were all lifted by the 500+ people who attended, and equally as lifted by the remaining community of friends and family who have supported us in prayer, thoughts and actions over the past few years.
The CaringBridge entry below was read on my behalf at Dan's service by his friend Bruce Wickham. Though I don't have in writing to share here...Thanks to Rabbi Chessin, Dan's nephew Alex Frank, and Dan's brother Jerry Weckstein for their speeches which made the celebration so perfect for Dan and our family.
With love and appreciation,
Kellie & Dan
I started my final and most difficult CaringBridge post the day after Dan died. Since then, I hadn't been able to cobble together enough clear thoughts to complete a journal entry that seems good enough. How do you summarize all the things you want to say about the most important person in your life? It’s impossible. On Dan’s advice, I’m going to “keep it simple” – He liked to say that whenever he thought I was overcomplicating things.
Dan loved broadly and deeply.
Starting with his family…Dan parented with complete joy. He laughed, made us laugh. Collin and Casey were the most important thing in his (and my) life. He taught them ridiculous things like Adam Sandler movie lines and alternate ways to use a poncho. They called him “the papa” and their bright eyes and smiles showed you they thought he was adorable and perfect.
As a husband… I could write about our relationship, our friendship, our adventures…every way Dan made my life better. There are so many things I could say. But, Dan’s greatest expression of love was trusting me with his care these past three years. He let me lead. He let me decide. He followed. He trusted. He offered me his life and asked me to protect it. I’m so lucky and so grateful and I made sure he knew it EVERY DAY.
As a son…Dan would refer to himself “the bad son” – though his siblings would say he was the favorite. He embraced this moniker and used it as permission to get out of family events he didn’t want to attend. Dan loved his parents deeply and he made them laugh harder than anyone. Don and Caryl may never find out the truth about how Dan broke his leg in college…or what “really happened” that day with Opal on the school bus…but the humor in the way Dan told these stories will never be forgotten. In fact…while writing this I contacted Caryl to clarify details of the broken leg story. Her comment was, “We were told he broke his foot two times, so each foot had a turn. We were told he tripped on a hole in the ground. Now we think he jumped off a roof or cliff.”
As a friend…Dan connected authentically. He appreciated his friends – and they (you) always felt that from him. I heard often that Dan got so excited about the things he was doing…”You just wanted to be part of it.” He was lifted and inspired by so many in his path, and it was obvious people were lifted and inspired by him.
Over the past few weeks, I’ve had the privilege of sharing in Dan’s experience of his family, friends, and the greater community. In person, Dan got to connect with only a handful of you directly. But…each day I read to him every card, every email, every text, every CaringBridge comment. SO many of you surrounded him (and his family) with love when he needed it most. He was SO grateful. One of my favorite messages was from his friend Dave, “Like so many others…I’m just not ready to let him go.”
One last comment as I “keep it simple” for Dan…
When someone like Dan dies from a disease like cancer it is commonly said that they “lost their battle” with the disease. The disease wins. My ask for everyone reading this: Don’t give the disease the power. Don’t let the disease win. Dan didn’t. Dan beat GBM. He connected with family and friends deeply. He made things happen. He lived his FULL LIFE in so many ways. He fit his next 44 years into the last 3 years. GBM took his body but NOT his life.
I am heartbroken to announce to those who don't know yet...Dan died peacefully shortly before 7PM on Tuesday night. You will hear more from me in the coming week via this site, but for now I wanted to communicate details of his funeral arrangements and memorials.
Daniel Kory Weckstein of Oakwood, Ohio passed away on August 28th after a resilient battle with brain cancer at the young age of 44. Dan is survived by his wife Kellie, children Collin and Casey, parents Donald and Caryl Weckstein, sister Debbie (Larry) Frank and brother Jerry (Caryn) Weckstein.
Dan was born in Xenia, Ohio on September 6, 1973. He graduated from Centerville High School, received a Bachelor’s of Education from Indiana University and a Master’s of Education from Xavier University. Dan was a beloved Teacher, Coach and Vice-Principal in the Cincinnati area prior to becoming the Principal of Oakwood Junior High School in Dayton, Ohio where he positively impacted the lives of many students and teachers. Dan enjoyed spending time with his family, coaching soccer, being an entrepreneur and cheering on the Bengals and Hoosiers. His willingness to help others and put family and friends in front of himself will be greatly missed by all.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be sent to The Preston Robert Tisch Brain Tumor Center (DUMC 3624, Durham, NC 27710). Additionally, the Weckstein Family has established a gofundme site with plans to develop a Resilience Scholarship Foundation (www.gofundme.com/resiliencescholarship) to honor Dan and his family into the future.
Funeral services and a celebration of Dan’s life, with a reception following, will be Monday, September 3rd at 12:00pm at Temple Beth Or, 5275 Marshall Road in Dayton, Ohio. Our family will receive condolences starting at 11:00pm and will continue as part of the reception.
Dan had a major seizure on 7/31 at 7AM. On guidance from Duke and our local doctors Dan was admitted to the hospital and had an MRI which showed significant disease progression. The low-grade residual tumor surrounding his February surgery site transitioned to a high-grade glioblastoma, spreading up from the corpus callosum and down near the brain stem. Additional tumor sites appeared in three new areas of the brain and treatment options are exhausted.
Are we surprised? Completely. My 7/20 update to this blog paints a picture of a happy family celebrating a year of hard work and acknowledging the end of a perfect summer. It was hopeful and authentic. We had settled into our new normal. There were challenges still but we were encouraged by the pattern of good MRIs between February and July - and expected (similar to Dan's 2015 surgery outcome) that we would have another couple disease-free years before we had to think about GBM again.
Are we devastated? Completely. We have always been truthful with Collin and Casey about Dan's disease, so the kids are both aware of how serious it has become. Protecting them is our #1 priority, so we decided to keep news of Dan's prognosis private from the Oakwood community in effort to allow them to start the school year without additional emotional burden.
What do we need? Dan started hospice care at home, but transferred yesterday to inpatient care. We are hopeful he will return home this weekend once pain is effectively managed. Please pray for our family's physical and emotional comfort. Please reach out expressing support with cards, text messages @ 513.465.3043, or comments within this blog. All are read and we have found great comfort in that kind of support.
Sending our deepest love and appreciation...
Kellie & Dan
Please enjoy some pics from first day of school...