St. Johns NL
Throughout Chuck’s 44 years on earth, he delighted many large audiences, and small with his amazing voice. His boisterous tone commanded your ear and brought all those fortunate enough to listen on a magical journey of history through song.
Chuck was born in Badger NL where he was a beloved son and brother to his family. Chuck’s career in Naval Architecture was one that he loved and looked forward to going to daily. His love of boats was obvious on many trips we took in our short time together. When we came home and looked at the pictures he had taken, 99% were of boats!
The year 1999 was a great one for Chuck. It was this year that he had the great pleasure of joining one of his favourite traditional Irish music bands, The Masterless Men. Ireland and Irish music were one of his greatest loves. He spent 20 years touring with this band and took great pride in his knowledge of Irish history. His band mates became extra brothers to him.
I met Chuck in 2000 and as they say in movies, we lived happily ever after. He quickly became my best friend, and I was fortunate enough to share 19 years of happiness with him.
On an early Friday in January 2018, Chuck left our house for work, stopping for routine bloodwork on his way. By 2pm on the same day our family doctor called informing us that Chuck’s blood levels were all askew. Our family doctor had been in touch with the local Hematology team and there was consensus that Chuck should head to the local emergency department ASAP. We decided to wait until the next morning, however, followed the advice from our local doctor to stay inside and not to go to public places.
During the next month, after numerous tests, Chuck was diagnosed with Myelodysplastic Syndrome(MDS). We received lots of literature on that day, however, we both chose not to read anything, assuming since Chuck was so young none of it would be relevant.
Chuck continued his work as a Naval Architect with the National Research Council during this time and would often leave work to go to the hospital next door to receive either red blood cells or platelets. During a routine fire drill at his work, Chuck and his coworkers were forced to move outside until given all clear that their building was safe. During this drill many of his coworkers remarked that Chuck was not looking well and suggested that he go home. He listened, however, coming home to rest did not seem to be enough. After consulting with his hematologist, we decided to visit our local emergency department. It was during this visit that we learned that Chuck’s MDS had transitioned to AML. We knew this was a possibility however, remained hopeful that it wouldn’t happen to us.
He started chemo immediately at the Health Sciences Center, where we approached this news and turn of events as our next battle. We remained hopeful and Chuck’s commitment to getting better did not waiver. During our stay at the HSC we made many friends and gained a respect and admiration for blood cancer, and especially for those that worked in the blood cancer department.
During this time, we learned that Chuck would be needing a stem cell transplant. The process kicked into high gear and after achieving remission, we learned a non-related 10/10 match donor was found. Chuck had a successful stem cell transplant in Halifax, hitting all the marks for an early release and a trip back home to start his new life.
We had a couple good months following this transplant but sadly, our good times would come to an end. Chuck was admitted back to hospital in January 2019 and succumbed to his battle in February 2019. We remained hopeful until the end but a revisit from this terrible disease became too big of a task for his already tired body.
Chuck is remembered and missed by his friends and family daily. His death has left a huge void in the lives of us all, however, his death has also taught us some very valuable lessons. Be kind to others, tomorrow is not promised, and always have hope.
“Life is not forever, love is”.