Dom

Posted: August 15, 2010 in Training
Tags: ,

At 4:00 p.m. on Sunday I received a phone call that I had been dreading since learning of Dom’s cancer diagnosis almost exactly one year ago.  Our good friend, Husband to Val and Father to Sierra and Nico – Dominic D’Eramo passed away in Pittsburgh after a valiant battle with cancer.

Dom who I feel like many of you have gotten to know since last November when this blog began and followed the journey over the past 12 months will be missed by everyone he had ever crossed paths with in life. 

The simple fact of the matter is, that the world is a worse place right now than it was when the sun rose over Western Pennsylvania on Sunday morning.

39 years old, father of two, loving husband, son, brother, uncle and friend.  Perhaps the kindest, most genuine, loyal and loving man I have ever known.  Gone to cancer with so much life ahead of him. 

The past few weeks have continued to show me just how precious this gift of life is.  As I was speaking to our good friend Jason, who called me with the news from Pittsburgh – one of Dom’s oldest and dearest friends – we did our best to comfort each other telling ourselves that there are no “what ifs”.

There was not an expert that was not consulted, a Doctor that was not visited, a treatment that was not administered, a procedure not undergone or a possible cure that was not vetted and exhausted.  Dom and his support group worked tirelessly to investigate every chance for survival no matter how remote.  There were highs, there were lows, there were times of great optimism and now complete and utter defeat.

I remarked many times over the last few months just how proud I was of Dom and the way that he took the fight to his cancer.  How no matter how difficult things had gotten, he never gave in.  He never ceded a single inch to the disease and he continued to live every day for his family.

At the finish of the race in Pittsburgh I asked Dom for the only favor I ever wanted and that was for him to meet my daughter Landry, so that I would always be able to tell her the story of the time she met her Uncle Dom.  What a tremendous person he was, how he could always be counted on and no matter what, he would do anything for those in his life that he loved. 

Now I realize that while that would have been wonderful, it is completely unnecessary.  Dom will be in all of our hearts for all-time.  Landry will indeed get to know her Uncle Dom – as that is now up to Dawn and I to share his stories and his legacy.

I am going to miss my friend.  He truly was an inspiration to anyone who was interested in getting the most out of life.

I can’t begin to count the many lessons that he taught me this last year about family, friendship, bravery, courage and honor.  I only hope that I can continue to honor him and make him proud as I continue to “borrow from his playbook” on how to live life to the absolute fullest.  How I can strive every day to be a better husband, a better son, a better brother and a better friend.

A lot of us are hurting right now – I for one am feeling very lost and confused. 

There is a part of me that wants to lay down and stay down for as long as it takes for this hurt to go away.

There is another part of me however, a much larger part, that knows just how disappointed in me Dom would be if I gave in to that feeling. 

Once again, Dom, you continue to show me the way.  I promise to never forget you and all of the lessons you taught me over this last year.  Please check in on me from time to time to make sure I keep on pushing. 

If I am going to continue to chase goals in your honor – your memory deserves my very best.  I promise to always try, no matter how high the odds are stacked against me. 

I have a few more medals to win for you.

Godspeed my friend.  I love and miss you.

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Comments
  1. Maggie Hurley says:

    Rest in peace, Dom. May God bless your family and friends as they continue your legacy of love, courage and a passion for life.

  2. Stephanie says:

    Such a tragedy. My heart goes out to all of the friends and family. I know he will be greatly missed and I feel honored to have heard so much about him through the blog. I will not forget his strength and the tough battle he went through.

    Take it easy Joe.

  3. David H. says:

    Please keep running (and blogging) for Dom.

  4. Paula Kiger says:

    Well said – something tells me he’ll keep an eye out for Landry for a long, long time.

  5. Daniel Burgner says:

    I feel blessed to have read about his journey. Dom’s life and courage have inspired so many people to never give up and to strive for the best. I just wish I could have met this amazing man in person.

    May God bless his family with peace during this time.

  6. Lynn says:

    Joe,
    I knew Dom from working at Fisher. He was nice to everyone. I’ve never met you, but have followed your blog since the Pittsburgh Marathon to raise funds for Run for Dom. Your efforts with “run for dom” is an example of a true friendship and love. For people who read your blog that didn’t know Dom, they could learn from you what an outstanding person he was. You have done an amazing job writing about him. I know you will do an equally amazing sharing his legacy with your daughter. Thank you for writing and running for Dom.
    Sincerely,
    Lynn C.

  7. Sandy Predmore says:

    Joe,
    I was very fortunate to kown Dom, and your tribute to his journey was beautiful! He was an amazing young man who was loved, and will sadly be missed by everyone that knew him.
    I believe Dom will keep an eye on all his friends and continue to inspire us with his courage and the love he had for his family, friends, and life.
    Rest in Peace Dom!
    God Bless Valerie, Seirra and Niko!

    Thank you Joe for all you did for our friend Dom!

  8. Jim In Wells says:

    Darn … I knew it would happen someday but didn’t expect it so soon Joe. Landry has gained a guardian angel, of that I am sure. Patti and my prayers and thoughts are with Val, Sierra & Nico as well as they are with you and Dawn. I never read one of your posts or supportive messages to me that I don’t also think of Dom and his family … I will never watch Bruce Gadowski and not think about Dom. For someone I never physically met he is an indelible part of this 55 year old’s life. I am glad that Dom was able to travel to the Great Smoky Mountains in an RV with his family this past week. You writing about Dom, only 39, and not physically being with Landry, strikes home a resonant note with as my Father passed away so young he only meet one of his nine grandchildren – their loss which I try to rectify but have not been able to do so as well as you have permitted us to see and know Dom. Sleep well even with your heavy heart Joe – you have been a good friend to a good man and his family.

  9. Joe says:

    Hi Joe,

    I’m terribly sorry to hear this news. Through your efforts, we have all gotten to know this great man, even if in small glimpses. His legacy will live on well past his days here on earth. I know this might sound strange, but I was just thinking of you guys yesterday and thought I’d stop by here to see how things were going. Certainly a bit odd considering I’ve never actually met you or Dom. I suppose I’m sharing that just to say you guys are in my heart and in my mind more than you surely know. You’ve done a lot of good here, and I know you will continue to make Dom proud as you run further, stronger, and more passionately in his name and honor.

    Take care,

    -Joe

  10. Cancer has taken two people from my friends today. For now, the emptiness is cannot be filled. Only one thing can do that.

  11. Robert Ranzer says:

    When I checked your page today Joe I didn’t expect this. I knew Dom was having a tough time as of late but was hopeful. Sorry to hear this. You have shared so much about the man that I feel as though I kind of know him (a little) . Take care Joe and Rest in Peace Dom!

  12. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Libby Jones, Lara Robinson and Joe, ally speirs. ally speirs said: RT @joe_runfordom: Sad news this evening regarding my good friend Dom http://wp.me/sHGel-dom We will all miss him terribly. Godspeed Dom. […]

  13. nyflygirl says:

    So sorry to read this, Joe. My thoughts are with you and Dom’s family,
    I lost a close relative last year to cancer-and he’ll always inspire me, he’ll always “live on” through me…every last 2.2 miles in any marathon I run are “his.”
    I know you’ll find a way to “run for Dom” forever too.

  14. Jodi Higgins says:

    My heart sank when I saw your blog post title when I logged onto my blog tonight. I am so very sorry for your loss. Thank you for letting me be a part of Dom’s life through your blog. I was thinking of both of you today as I was running up quite a hill with my brother this morning. Landry certainly has a guardian angel. She will know her Uncle Dom and she will be proud of her Uncle and her parents for showing her what the true meaning of friendship is. I wish there was something I could say to make the hurt go away. Please know that as always many prayers are coming your way from Ohio. Please keep going, blogging, and running for Dom. Hugs to you Joe.

    Jodi

  15. Josh says:

    such sad news. your writing and running honored him in life and will keep his memory alive for all who knew him (whether in person or through you).

  16. Vern Myers says:

    Joe,
    I’m sorry to hear the tragic news. My heart goes out to you and to Dom’s family. Dom fought a valiant battle all the way, and I feel honored to have followed his inspiring story.

    Be proud of the fact that you made Dom’s last days better with your incredible support.

  17. Kris @SeeKrisRun says:

    Joe,
    Im so sorry to hear about the loss of your good friend Dom. Through your blog, we got to see you run for your friend and we got to know Dom. We got to know Dom in so many ways. Dom’s family will be in my prayers.
    Kris

  18. Trish Terry says:

    Hi Joe,
    I am really sorry to hear this news. I know you and Dawn were hoping above hope for this to be different. My prayers go out to this family and all who are grieving…God be with you.

  19. Estella says:

    Hi Joe, My heart is broken for your loss and the loss for everyone who knew or didn’t know Dom. Thank you for sharing your journey for Dom and yourself and your continued dedication. I’m sending the most heartfelt well wishes to you, yours, and everyone in Dom’s memory. *Estella

  20. @Lappygirl says:

    Joe, reading this brought tears to my eyes. Reading how you felt about Dom..well..I’m sure he knew and felt te dame way about you. I’m sure HE also was honored to have a friend like you who he could depend on to be there for him.

    I’m so sorry that you lost such an important person in your life. He sounds like he was a truly great guy.

  21. Susan Casey says:

    Joe – what a beautiful tribute to Dom! The lives that have been touched by Dom’s fight and your journey will never be known, but touched they have been.

  22. tbrush3 says:

    I have no words Joe. Just know we will keep you all in our prayers and thoughts. Thank you for inviting us on this journey and getting to know Dom in the process.

  23. onelittlejill says:

    I knew as soon as I saw your title, that Dom had passed. I read your post first thing this morning, but struggled to find words of comfort. I thought about Dom, you, his family and yours all through my swim this morning and drive into work. I thought about how lucky we all were to have Dom in our lives through you.

    I think you can find some peace in knowing that Dom HAS met Landry- I truly believe that and I believe that while that is a great thing, it is little solace at a time of extreme sadness.

    Thirty-nine. Only ten year older than me. Kids so small, a marriage still in its prime. It is all unfair. Those are the only words I can muster- it is unfair.

    I am sorry for your loss Joe. You did so much for Dom and for cancer. I know that, because of your blog, I am a better person. I know, that what you have done, will reach far beyond this blog. Dom is still with you every step of the way.

    Hugs and love from NJ

    Sincerely in thought,

    Jillian

  24. Connie says:

    Joe I was online when your blog came through yesterday..I am so heartbroken. You know its coming and that don’t make it earier.Helen and I emailed back and forth yesterday morning when he went into Hospice.
    I never thought it would be that soon. Lets all remember Dom is pain free.
    For you Joe I’m So sorry you have to go through this again after the tragic loss in the Luckie family.
    Joe remember God don’t give you more than you can carry.

  25. Holly F says:

    Joe –

    I am so sorry for your loss. Cancer is such a heart-breaking disease, but it sounds like Dom met it with courage – sustained by the incredible support of his family and friends. Before my uncle died almost a year ago – I promised him that I would keep his memory close to my heart, remembering the way he laughed and the way he was kind to everyone he met, among other things. I told him that as his young daughters grew up, I would share with them my memories of him, and try to paint as vivid of a picture as I could – so through my memories they will be able to see a glimpse of the wonderful man their dad was. In reading your message, I was reminded of this promise to my uncle because it occured to me that Dom has so many wonderful friends who will be able to do this for his children as well – and certainly you are one of them. My heart and prayers go out to you and your wife, and Dom’s family – I pray that your many wonderful memories of Dom will help you all through this difficult time.

  26. Kristen says:

    Dom was a true inspiration and through your words and actions we all felt like we knew him. This is such a tragic loss and my heart goes out to you and Dom’s family and friends. Dom will always be with you and will forever live on because of your tribute. Joe, you are a remarkable man and this blog has been incredible.
    I have a dear friend battling cancer right now. Her brother lost his battle last year with the same type of cancer. I know you will continue your fight to Kick Cancer’s Butt 26.2 miles at a time!
    Thank-you for sharing this journey.
    Hugs from Colorado!

  27. Kim Essey says:

    Joe and Dawn,
    I learned of Dom’s passing on my way to work this morning. As much as you think that you have prepared yourself for these things, you never really do. Please accept our deepest sympathies. Dom was a great husband, father, son, brother, uncle and friend and an inspiration to all. When my grandfather passed away suddenly three years ago, I found my faith in God waivering. One moment my grandfather was here and the next he was gone. I asked myself, “Is this really it?” “Do we really go all the way through life, facing all of the joys, trials and tribulations, and have it all end in just a moment?” “What happens now?” After a lot of soul searching and a fantastic book, I no longer see death as the end of life as we know it. I see death as a new beginning to an eternal life more wonderful than you or I could possibly imagine. I sit here struggling to find the right words, but please know this, you’ve done more for Dom, Val, Sierra, Nico and the entire D’Eramo family than you can ever imagine.

    Our thoughts and prayers are with you and Dawn,

    Kim and Lou Essey

  28. Joe, I’m so sorry to hear this news. I started to tear up when I heard the news, almost as if I knew Dom myself. You’ve done a wonderful job of honoring your friend and letting so many of us feel like we knew a little about him as well. My thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends during this time.

  29. Joe, There are not words to express how sad I am to hear this and the condolences for you, Dawn, Val, Sierra, and Nico. Thank you for sharing Dom with us this past year through your blog. I know you will continue to run for him and I want you to know he has inspired others to run as well!

  30. tim sciullo says:

    What a wonderful tribute. Thank you for Running For Dom. He truly appreciated your friendship.

  31. Sarah says:

    I am so sorry to hear of Dom’s passing. My heart goes out to you and all of his loved ones. He will be remembered and missed by all those who knew him and knew of him.

  32. Rob Ackley says:

    Dom may be gone but his spirit and story will remain in our hearts forever. Your dedication is amazing Joe and I know Dom will continue to look down on you from above. You, Dawn and Dom’s family will be in our thoughts and prayers.

  33. Gail Crann says:

    Dearest Joe,
    I send you positive energy and love. Everyone got to know Dom through you and your love for him. What a blessing he had in your friendship, and you in his.
    Landry is the luckiest girl in the world to have you and Dawn as parents. You lead by example – the greatest way to parent. You guys have it all!! Dom is already keeping watch over you, Dawn and Landry!!!
    Please be kind to yourself! XOXOXOX

  34. Kym Klass says:

    Joe,
    Your dedication to your friend Dom and to the sport of running and using your talent in such a positive way has touched many. Thank you for your love, support and generosity to Dom and his family and for all you’ve done for him. Thank you for sharing this with all of us.
    Kym

  35. Drew says:

    I’m so sorry to hear of Dom’s passing. It’s been a privilege and inspiration to read about both his courage and your passion for honoring him. We are all so fortunate to have been invited into your lives and witness the bond you shared.

  36. Steven Wiencek says:

    Well done Dom. Rest in Peace. My condolences to the family and his friends.
    Joe, we are fortunate that you knew him and were kind enough to share him with us.

    • joerunfordom says:

      Steven – thanks so much for the visit and for your message. I know that all of the tremendous outpouring of love and support is very helpful for the D’Eramo’s and their relatives and friends. He was a tremendous man our little Dom. We are going to miss him terribly, but if anyone is impossible to forget – it is Dom. We’ll be telling stories about his life for a long, long time. Best to you, Joe

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