Thursday, March 5, 2009

Dear Blog Family...

This is a blog entry I never wanted to write. But since we’ve made a point of publicly sharing our story in the hopes of educating others and connecting to those in similar situations, we don’t see why we should not share the sad news, too.

As your read in his post last week, Dan became increasingly short of breath. Recognizing that this was not a good sign, we arranged for a scan and doctor’s meeting last Friday. Dan and I chose to go alone this time, as we sensed that the news would not be good, and that certain things needed to be discussed in private. The scans confirmed what we expected- the disease is progressing faster than we could keep up with it. His liver seems to be getting the worst of it, though his lungs are in trouble, too. Though there are still some treatment options available, Dan’s body can’t take them.

As a family, we have spent the last week processing this news and putting a care plan in place for Dan. This doesn’t leave much time for connecting with people individually to tell them the news, so we’ve tried to put family first. I think that it will be tough for people to hear that Dan will succumb to cancer as he beat it back so many times before, setting high expectations for himself. We’ve all looked to Dan to comfort us and give us hope, which he does with his incredible “Will-Win” attitude. And he did win- for almost four years, with a disease that should probably have taken him within months.

I think I speak on behalf of Dan’s family, friends, doctors, nurses, caregivers, fellow cancer advocates and pretty much anyone that was touched by his story when I say that we are all incredibly proud of him and the way that he lives his life to benefit others. Through the National Collegiate Cancer Foundation, we know that his legacy will live long after he leaves us. It is really his gift to us, and we will do our best to continue his efforts to aid young adult cancer survivors.

Dan will be cared for at home at this time. We are not accepting visitors unless Dan requests them (though an exception might be made for Lance or Phil). Please feel free to send a card or email, but we don’t need any food or anything else at the moment. We are fortunate to be supported by two very loving families who are helping us both through this time. I will reach out if we do need anything.

I will continue to update the blog, though more with musings and observations than with medical details to protect our privacy. The blog remains our preferred method of reaching out to people. However, I don’t know that Dan will write anything further. When I asked him if he wanted to, he said "I said everything I needed to say as I went though life, and that if people weren’t listening… then they should pay more attention next time." Well said Dan.

On a final note today, I just want to say that I couldn’t love Dan anymore than I do at this moment, and consider it a blessing to help him through this time. I am ok, and my main concern is being with Dan. But I’ll write more about me later.


Anonymous said...

You, Dan, and your families are in thoughts and prays.

Becky Arnold

Lisa Auslander said...

Dan and Meg, you are both in my thoughts and prayers. You have given so much to everyone you've touched. We are all greatful to have you in our lives.

Karen said...

Holly's friends in DC are keeping you all in our prayers.

Karen Sergeant

Anonymous said...

My love and prayers are with you always.

~Katie Connell

Anonymous said...

Dan and Meg - you're in our thoughts and prayers.

Julie and Rusty LaMotte

Anonymous said...

Thank you both for being a part of our lives. We love you and will keep you in our prayers.

Sarah Hudson

Anonymous said...

God bless you both. Please know how many prayers and how much love surrounds you both.
With Much, Much Love,

Haley said...

Dan and Meg - we are thinking of you!

haley justice

Anonymous said...

I have so much love for you and I admire the courage both of you have shown. You are in my thoughts.

Anne Willis

sarahmay22 said...

Dan and Meg-- I've been reading your blog a lot lately and was saddened to read this entry. But you both have been amazing throughout the past few years and I am so proud of the courage you've shown. I think about you all the time and will be praying for you. I love you so much, Dan!!!


Anonymous said...

Sarah you said it best. Thank you Dan and Meg for beinging in our lives. Thanks for the inspiration and strength that you taught us all. We love you both and you are both in our thoughts and prayers, everyday, every second!
Love, thoughts and prayers are with you both!
The Geraci's (Lee, Karin and Rita)

Anonymous said...

Dan and Meg, you are in our prayers. You are an inspiration to us. -199 crew

Donald Albert said...

Dan and Meg, To add to what everyone else has expressed, we are all so grateful to both of you for being the beacons of courage that we all aspire to as we go through our own lives. My thoughts and prayers are with you both.

Donald Albert

Anonymous said...

Dan and Meg-

Sending much love and thinking of you always.


Anonymous said...

Dan - It has been a while since I last saw you but I wanted to leave a comment. I met you through Anne in Chicago in 2007, and after talking to you for the first time, I knew you were a unique person. I continued to hear from Anne about your office antics and songs that you belted out randomly. Those stories always made me laugh and made me think you should have produced your own album. I was very happy fory ou when you met Meg - I only met her briefly at 10 The Event, but she seemed like a wonderful person, and perfect compliment to your personality. I wish I had a channce to learn more about you in person, but I am thankful for this Blog and your courage to share. I will continue to think of you and smile long into the future...Scott Marchand

Anonymous said...

Dan & Waeger Family,

You are constantly in my thoughts and prayers.

~Lindsay Cobb

Anonymous said...

Dan - my brother from another mother!!! You'll admit it one of these days. I've had your back since day one and I always will man. Meg - the very same goes for you. Thoughts and prayers.

PA 199 - the house lives on...


Laura said...

Meg & Dan -- our thoughts and prayers are with you guys.

-- Laura & Sameer

Anonymous said...

Dan and Meg,

I would like to second Sarah's comments - thank you for being a part of our is something we will always cherish.

Dan, you stand for so much. Your legacy, ideals, efforts, love, hope and character will live forever. Cancer cannot, and will not, take any of these away from you. You are my hero!

And even though we now need to find a new priest for our wedding (Father Dan), I will still love you forever -

Thoughts and prayers

Your friend always,

Jason "Wild Bill/Porkroll" Lowy and BB "The Future Mrs. Wild One"

Anonymous said...

Thoughts prayers and love from the Z's.....


Cára said...

I am holding you, Dan and your and your family in my thoughts and prayers.
Cara-LiveSTRONG Supporter and member of Team Toi

Michael Bergin said...

Dan and Meg -

Our family will continue to hold you in our thoughts and prayers during this time. Your fight lives on in all of us.

BTW, Nathan and Grace still fight EACH day about who gets the "Waeger CUP" glass. Now that we have two, we have to put on the calendar who gets the Waeger glass.

You are loved and appreciated.

Anonymous said...

Dan, Meg, and family -
My thoughts and prayers go out to you with constant love and un-ending admiration.
Mary Kelliher

msvb21 said...

you always have and always will have a place in my heart and have always been such a great friend and i am so honored for you being in my life especially in high school! my thoughts and prayers go out to you and meg and i think what she wrote was absolutely beautiful...
meg spontak and the spontak family

Brooke said...

Dan and Meg - you are both in my thoughts and prayers.

Tink said...

I only know you through the blog and the LiveSTRONG Foundation work. I lost my dad to cancer and so I have some understanding of what you are going through. My thoughts and wishes for your continued strength and courage are sent daily.

Anonymous said...

Dan and Meg,
Thank you for keeping us connected with you guys through this blog. You've both been an inspiration to us. The amount of people that ask us about you guys is incredible and they have all been inspired as well. It just speaks volumes for how much you have done for everyone. We will continue to pray for you everyday along with our friends and families.
Tom and Mary

Anonymous said...

Dan & Meg - much love and many thoughts and prayers.


Patty said...


I don't know you, only found your blog through Lance's tweets. I find you both incredibly courageous, strong, and obviously possessing a love story many of us envy. You've touched us, taught us. God Bless and Keep You.


Anonymous said...

My thoughts are with you, Meg and your families. You have touch so many. Thank you for being you.
Susan F

HN Cancer said...

I've been following along for some time. You both have a lot of courage. When I'm feeling low, I let music help take me away. My new favorite song is Good Riddance (Time of Your Life) by Green Day 1997. Here's a link to one of several versions on youtube.

Thank you for sharing your life. It has been helpful to me. I wish for and hope you the best. Whatever that is for you.

Tim Deegan said...

My thoughts and prayers are with you both, I am thinking of you both......

Tim Deegan

Meetal said...

Dan and Meg-

You guys are truly amazing. I am thinking of you and wanted to let you know that you are such an inspiration. The love and respect the two of you have for each other is truly amazing. It has been an honor getting to know more about your relationship and lives.

Meetal Desai

Anonymous said...

Dan the Man and Meg,

We are so blessed to have you in our lives. You both touched my family in such a special way. My thoughts and prayers are with you and yours always.

Sam I am

P.S. Dan, remember Race car boy??! :)

Linah said...

You've provided so much courage, insight and inspiration to so many people. You've both touched so many lives. Thank you for letting us be a part of it through this blog. My thoughts are with you both.

Anonymous said...

Oh, Dan and Meg,
Peace--I wish you a most intimate and sacred peace during this time together. And love--I wish you an exchange of love with each other that is simply indescribable, being deeply comforting to you both.
May this time be full of grace for you and your families.

cousin Paula

Anonymous said...

Dan and Meg, you don't know me but I am friend of Patrice's. Just from knowing her and reading your blog I know how incredible you both are and what amazing love and support you have all around you. You have been a huge inspiration to so many of us. From reading your posts - I can see how beautiful your relationship is and see the incredible love that you share for one another. You are being prayed for by us and so many others. Sending you courage, strength, thoughts and prayers. Sincerely, Jenn Pierce

Suzpotts said...

Dan, Meg and family,
We are thinking of you and will keep you in our prayers.

Ruth said...

Constant prayers for you, Dan and your families! Your story is inspiring, comforting and helpful to so many. We are grateful to Dan for the many words of wisdom he has shared through this blog.

chris said...

Dan: keep fighting like hell. Your story is such an inspiration to so many people and thank you for sharing at such a difficult time. Our thoughts and prayers are with you both.

With much love and huge respect.

Andi K. said...

Sending love and prayers to both of you and your families.

-Andrea Karns

Anonymous said...

Danny and Meg, these special words from Ecuador are to tell you that even we have never written before, all our family have kept you always in our minds and prayers.We lo you so much. Mama Moncayo and all the Moncayo family, we love you both!!!

Jeanne said...

dear meg and dan, i've been reading the blog regularly since you started it, and thinking of you every day. i've never posted a public comment b/c i felt kind of weird about it, so i'm sorry this is my first one. i'm also really sorry i haven't had the chance to meet you, dan, i feel like i've gotten to know you a little bit through meg and the blog. i am thinking of you both and sending positive thoughts and energy. your family and friends are all around you supporting you, even those that are not nearby. your spirits are amazing and so inspiring. all my best, jeanne

Anonymous said...

Dan and Meg-
My thoughts and prayers are with you always. May you both find inner strength during this tough time. Love Always,
Steph Smith

christy said...

Dan and Meg- my thoughts and prayers are with you. Love you guys!

Linda said...

Hi Meg and Dan

Know how much you both are loved and respected. Your post struck me - "Dan did win" - because of Dan and you - we all have won.

Love to you both from the Indy affiliate of Waeger Will Win!


Kris Lowther said...

Love, Prayers and Peace coming your way.


Anonymous said...

Its not over yet buddy. Keep on living to the fullest.

I wish I could do as much for you and Meg as you two have done for me. If either of you ever need anything, let me know.

Matt Wolfe

Anonymous said...

Dan & Meg,

You and your family are in our thoughts and prayers. May you find strength and peace now in the love and prayers of all those you have touched with your incredible story.

Scott & Lisa (Cindy's friend from SFC) Wolfgang

Kalisa Owens said...

I remember the first time I heard about Dan...I read the article about him in the USA Today on my way into my surgery to remove a malignant tumor in my colon. He was my inspiration. Then by coincidence he met my good friend Meg and made her extremely happy. And because of this connection, I met the guy who let me believe I could beat my own fight with cancer.

I feel very fortunate to have you both in my life and will proudly keep Dan's spirit and story of faith going because of what he has done for me & for all of us.

You have won!! Our prayers are with you and your families.

Kalisa & Brad

Anonymous said...

Waeger Won
You are in our thoughts & prayers

Anonymous said...

Dan & Meg,
You are in my heart and thoughts. Dan - you are such a great person and friend. I love you!

189 loves you ;)

Jen Fegley and family

Grace Bergin said...

I feel sad for you Dan and Meg. I loved to visit the NCCS office and talk to you because you made me laugh. I remember when you put the sign in the window facing Discovery Channel. That was cool.

Your friend,
Grace Bergin

PS I have the Waeger Cup glass this week!!!

Brienne E. said...

Dan & Meg,
You and your families are in my thoughts and prayers.
May God bring you comfort and peace at this difficult time.

Dan, It’s at times like these that words just don't seem adequate enough. But thanks for all of the great memories and for the relentless strength and courage that has inspired me, and so many. I am proud to have been your friend over the years and my fond memories from high school will be with me forever. This world is a stronger place because of you, and I salute you for it.
God Bless,

Anonymous said...

Dan Meg, my prayers and thoughts are with you. Dan I admire your courage and dignity.



Anonymous said...

It is amazing reading these blogs and seeing how many lives you both have touch including myself and Joe. We love you both so much and think of you often.


Gerstner Family said...

Dan, you absolutely ROCK. Thank you for your incredible strength, your inspiring words and unsinkable attitude that has touched so many people, me and my family included. I feel privileged to know you.

We'll be praying for you and know that you are in God's hands.

Thanks, as always, for sharing.

Coleman and family

Anonymous said...

I'll be thinking about you and your family during this tough time, but it's not over yet! You are a fighter and I've always respected you for it keep it up. PA 199 was more than a house it was a brotherhood, stay strong and keep fighting like hell.

April said...

Just wanted to let you know that you are in my thoughts and prayers. You should be proud of your have touched so many people. You are an inspiration! Hugs!

April Gelwicks

kt said...

Our thoughts and prayers are with you always!

Kelly and Steve

Lori said...

God bless you, Dan, for showing your very best in your worst of are a hero in everyway. You and your family will be in my prayers. Sincerely, Lori (Munn) Swidler...a T-high friend of Cindy's

Fred said...

Rachael and I are praying for you and your family and sending good vibes your way. I don't know you very well Dan, but you have made quite an impression on me. I have been confronted by cancer all too often in my family in the past and very recently. Your energy and passion have given me strength and hope. I remember our discussion when visiting with Patrice and James about some of the chemotherapy treatments you had undergone and I was so moved that I decided that was where I wanted to go with my career. Shortly thereafter I began to pursue opportunities within my company. I am on track to advance to oncology in the near future and I want to thank you for being a driving force for me.
Patrice has shared with me your desire to continue the amazing work you have established with The National Collegiate Cancer Foundation. I am currently in the process of promoting your organization to my colleagues, my company (Sanofi-aventis will match employee contributions) and my friends. I have already put in motion plans to establish a sprint triathlon to benefit your organization and another organization in my community called Cuddle My Kids that helps families struggling with cancer. Please let me know if there is anything else I can do to support your work. Thank you most of all for inspiring me to live each day to its fullest.
-Fred Lutcher

Anonymous said...

I'm thinking and praying for you both. Right now I'm feeling sad. I'm also comforted that you have 2 loving families and so many friends to support you. Meg you are absolutely eloquent and I appreciate your post so much. Waeger--thank you for the Titleist hat. You're a good friend; fun, confident, and brave. --TD

Cathy said...

Dan, the best part of being at NCCS was getting to know you. It was a honor to be part of your journey with the incredibly supportive staff there. To a person, your story is their story. What you did for the cancer community will never be forgotten or equalled for that matter. My love to you and Meg.--Cathy Bonner

Anonymous said...

Dan & Meg-
thoughts and prayers with you both. DWI-you are an amazing inspiration and an even better friend. thanks for choosing western maryland and allowing me the opportunity to cross paths with you at the yacht club. those warrior clubs were a fitting set for you and keep up the fight.

Mike and Katie

Anonymous said...

I can't express how honored and blessed it is to have a person like you in my life. You've shown me and so many how it's the big things in life that are the most important. You have handled yourself with unwavering determination and courage throughout this entire battle and have always remained that fun-loving, happy-go-lucky guy before and after your fight with cancer; making lemonade out of every lemon thrown your way. Thank you for always being yourself and for touching the innumerable lives that you have encountered. Your legacy and powerful message will undoubtedly outlive every one of us. My thoughts, prayers, and love are with you, Meg, and your family in this tough time and always.

Keep whistling my friend.

Waeger Will Win,
Laura Ford

Anonymous said...

Dan and Meg, my thoughts and prayers are with you and your families.

Alysha Liljeqvist

Marshall said...

Dan and Meg,
Both of you have been and are now in our thoughts and prayers. Keep up the good fight. Dan, you have always been a positive influenece on all of us. Can't think about you without seeing that wonderful smile and feeling the friendliness and good character that is the central part of who you are.
Those baseball days....those positive traits were always displayed by have many friends from then, more than you know I'm sure. You gave each of us something special. Thanks!
All the best to both of you.
Marshall Englebrook and family

Anonymous said...

Thank you both for showing the world what love, grace and strength are. Love and prayers to you.
Liz Flot

Bil Cullen said...

Dan - we only met once at last year's St. Patrick's Day Party at the Rodgers but it's obvious through this blog that Meg found a winner.

Our thoughts and prayers are with you and Meg always.

Bil Cullen and family

Anonymous said...

A friend has forwarded your story to me and, although I do not know you, I am inspired by you. I always try to tell my husband and children and friends how much I love them, but I am going to try even harder. You are in my prayers - peace be with you.

Pat Richards said...

Dan, you have been an incredible role model during your battle! I feel lucky, proud and privileged to have had you in my life. I will always cherish our Grady Memorial victories, especially our 47 and of course our round together at Sawgrass! You and Meg are in my thoughts and prayers. May God give you peace and comfort. Waeger Has Won!

Pat Richards

anne watson said...

Dan & Meg,
As Kalisa Owen's friend, I have heard much about you and your courageous and inspirational fight. Know that even strangers have you in their thoughts & prayers.
anne watson

Kim Spears said...

Your lives have touched so many people and in so many lives the memories will live. Your courage is an inspiration to anyone who has been lucky enough to meet you or able to know you through others. Your families are in my thoughts and prayers.

Kim Burkey Spears

Anonymous said...

Dan and Meg:

We have never met, but you touched me through your story. I am praying for you and your families.

Anonymous said...

Meg & Dan-
You are in my thoughts and prayers. As an old college friend of Meg's I have been so inspired by your story, your strength and your will to win. Clearly you have touched so many! May you find peace in your love for each other and the love of your dear family and friends who are supporting you at this difficult time.

God bless you both,

Erin said...

Dan, In spirit, we are fully with the two of you again today.
Erin & Brendon

Kevin said...

Hi Dan and Meg,

This is from Kevin. Steph just mentioned to me what is going on and and I'm angry. I'm angry for you, I'm angry for me. You are an inspiration to me and so many other people with this bullshit. It is not right. Even though we are not by your side physically, we are there with you spiritually and know that everything that you have fought and advocated for HAS made an invaluable difference. We never met in person and I'm really upset for that because we would be even closer friends. I'm there for you and so is Steph for you and Meg. We have always been and I just want you to know that. You are cherished by so many and I'm honored just to have met you for the brief time period and corresponded with you. I'll do everything I can to continue carrying the torch on behalf of you. Your voice will never fade.


Anonymous said...

Dan and Meg,

My thoughts and prayers are with you and your families.

Adam Shervanian

hughesd2000 said...

It is amazing to see how many lives you have touched by telling your story, many of whom you have never met. Words are just not adequate at this point to let you know how much we love and care about you both. We are so proud of you for fighting as hard as you have and especially in the last few weeks to realize and make these incredibly difficult decisions.
Love Always,
Dana and the Haxton Clan

Anonymous said...

The Wagner College crew is sending good vibes!

Anonymous said...


Although we had our differences, I hope you know how much respect I have always had for you, sincere admiration for your work, and awe of your determination to win the fight and help others do the same.

I consider myself fortunate to count myself among the many lives you have touched through your efforts; the world is a better place because of you and the work you have done.

My thoughts and prayers are with you, Meg, and your family. You are an inspiration to us all.

Chris Perlongo

James A said...


My thoughts and prayers will continue to go out to you. Your character and strength have touched more lives than you could possibly imagine. I've never had the opportunity to meet your fiancee but she sounds like an amazing woman. You and i showed the world that a Carolina fan and a Duke fan could co-exist.

Continued prayers & Love,

Jay Ingram

Anonymous said...

Dan and Meg,
Know that you are in my thoughts and prayers.
Wishing you strength during this journey,

Regina Vidaver

Mary said...

I am friends with Kalisa and Brad and have been reading your blog. I want you both to know that you have been in my thoughts and prayers. I have continually been shocked by the grace, strength and kindness you have shown by talking about your journey with us. You have no idea how sharing your cancer story has helped several people in our lives who are facing cancer themselves. With Love, The Dodd Family

Anonymous said...

Dan--I attended the NCCS Cancer Policy Roundtable the past two days where you were sorely missed.Ellen dedicated the conference to you and everyone who knows you remarked about what a role model you are for those of us who have battled cancer. Your courage, determination and positive spirit are truly inspiring. We are so grateful for all that you have given us.I know that I speak for the entire NCCS Board and staff in saying that you and Meg are in our thoughts and prayers.

Robert Sachs

Anonymous said...

Dan, Meg, & families,

You are in my thoughts and prayers. I am thankful that Western Maryland gave us the opportunity to meet!

Heidi Snyder Reigel
Ol'Perry County, PA native ;)

Anonymous said...

Dan and Meg, I sat down and read every blog entry today. I have been on your site several times, but never started at the beginning or posted anything. My brother-in-law is John Atkinson who also has stage 4 lung cancer. He was the guy on the Today Show video about lung cancer....the link in your blog. I am truly inspired by your story and wanted you to know I am thinking about and praying for you daily. You seem like a person one is lucky to have in their life!! Sincerely, Jenny Atkinson
P.S. The story about the coins you drenched in Diet Coke was awesome!

Stephanie said...

Dan and Meg,

Although we've never met in person, Kevin and I feel connected to you in a way that words can't quite convey. Reading this post was hard on us both, and I hope you know that you are in our thoughts every single day. Thank you both for sharing your story. Knowing you are out there dealing with something so similar has given us both comfort and courage. Thank you for sharing the 25 Things--I feel like I've gotten to know you both a little better, and that's something I've wanted for some time now. I am so happy for you both that you have each other, and that you are surrounded by love, support, and happy thoughts now. You are both truly amazing people. Your advocacy work and your incredibly positive outlook have touched so many and will continue to do so. Thank you for sharing your lives with us.

Stephanie (Kevin's fiance)

Theresa Cullen Hill said...

We are thinking about you Dan and our prayers are with you.
Theresa, Marcus, Tommy and Eloise Hill

Carl said...

We're all proud of you, Dan. Thoughts and prayers are with you.

Carl Wilton

Anonymous said...

Keep fighting the good fight buddy. No regrets.

Chris McGovern

Jess said...

Dan -- The girls and I are all thinking of you two and holding you tight ...


Anonymous said...

Way to keep your head up buddy! You represent a man we all inspire to be. Thanks for showing me the way!


Anonymous said...

You are in my thoughts and prayers. You truly are an inspiration to all.
Nina Newmaster

Anonymous said...


I feel personally fortunate to have gotten to work with you over the past two years. From all of us here, thanks for your efforts on behalf of people with cancer. You and Meg and your families are in our thoughts.

Kristin Reed

Vatter and Katie O said...

Waeger you are an inspiration to us all. You and your family are forever in our thoughts and prayers.

Greg Mescall said...

Waeger, thinking of you buddy, still have my 'waeger will win' wristband and I don't ever mind explaining to people the green wristband doesn't say 'wagner will win' it's about somebody much better.

R Burkey said...

Only know you from your Blog and what Kalisa(my daughter) has told me. I am inspired by your courage, strength, faith and determination. Thoughts and prayers are with you.
R Burkey

rwburkey said...

Only know you from your Blog and what Kalisa(my daughter) has told me. I am inspired by your courage, strength, faith and determination. Thoughts and prayers are with you.
R Burkey

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