Saying Goodbye to CDC Tips Participant, Shane Todd

Today I said goodbye to a friend and fellow CDC Tips participant, Shane Todd

Mark and Shane CDC Tips Washington DC 2016Today, I was browsing Twitter, when I learned that my friend and fellow CDC Tips participant, Shane, had passed away. The news came in a tweet from Dr. Frieden, Director of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). You can read his obituary here.

My family and I are privileged to have met Shane, his lovely wife and their grandson, when we flew back to Washington, DC, this past April. We hit it off right away. I loved Shane’s directness and sense of humor. You could ask him a question and he would answer it without hesitation or pretense.

My wife and I spent hours talking with Shane (and sometimes his wife) by the pool as our kids swam and played together. Over the course of those few days we got to know each other pretty well. We had a number of things in common, besides our participation in our respective CDC Tips campaigns and our battles with cancer. I consider him a friend, a fellow cancer warrior, and a brother.

One of the things I’m grateful for is the way he interacted with our daughter. He was fun and smiled, and was approachable. She could ask him questions — about his electronic voicebox, about his illness, about whatever she wanted to — and he would answer her questions, honestly. The experience of meeting Shane (and all of the other participants who were there that weekend) helped open her eyes a bit more. It taught her not to be afraid of people who are different. It taught her that potential friends are all around us, and they can sometimes look very different than us.

Shane’s passing has hit me rather hard. His loss also brings to mind a flood of emotions associated with my own cancer journey. Emotions I thought I’d “dealt with” but which will return whenever they deem appropriate, it seems. Maybe part of the pain I’m feeling is the rekindling of the pain of older memories, including the loss of my mother.

There’s no doubt he will be missed. My heartfelt condolences and prayers go out to his family.

Shane’s Story

Here is Shane’s story.

Click here to learn more about Shane’s story on the CDC Tips site.

I can’t wrap this entry up if I don’t state the obvious. I am a former smoker. Smoking contributed to my cancer. I’m a former smoker. I won’t pontificate but I will happily give you a friendly reminder of what you already know:

If you’re a smoker, please do whatever you need to do to quit. Visit or call 800-QUIT-NOW for support in helping you quit. You’re worth it.

RIP Shane Todd 1966-2016 CDC Tips

Rest in peace, Shane. You’ll be missed, buddy.

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‪#‎cancersucks‬ ‪#‎RIP‬ #CDC Tips




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