Sorry to say, one of my weggie friends, Phil Berggren, just died after many years battling Wegener’s granulomatosis/GPA. I’ve known him for five years, and made his acquaintance through Australian Andrew MacLean’s excellent support website, Wegener’s Granulomatosis Disease Support Forum, on which he was very active.
Phil was a survivor, with a strong will to live, a strong interest in knowing everything he could about this disease that just took his life. His body, in the end, was weakened by the disease, and even his strong will was unable to heal his lungs, his body.
He willingly shared his knowledge, often from hard-earned experience, with other weggies and members of their families, something that comes up in many of the comments posted on Facebook, where I learned he’d just died.
Knowledge is power when it comes to quieting the fears of a weggie. Or of helping a weggie to accept sometimes grim news about his or her prospects. I hope his knowledge helped him as much as his faith did when the end approached. He was a good person.
Phil, God bless, my prayers are for you, your family, your friend Alysia, and everyone who mourns your passing. We will miss you. You made a big impact in a too-short life, and inspired many people who needed a boost to the spirit when their doctors presented them more bad news about this disease we share with you.
I’ll return to posting things about my kitties tomorrow, but today is a day to honor the memory of Phil Berggren. His phone number’s on my cellphone, you know. Today, I wish I could call him in Heaven to say “Thanks! You inspired me, you answered questions I had, and you made a difference in my life in ways I never told you.”