Tuesday, October 5, 2010

On Healing...

Kelly contributed to a blog and I wanted to share her thoughts with you on healing. Kelly was asked to share from a parents perspective on losing a child. You can view the blog in its entirety at http://www.bridgetchumbley.com/2010/10/healing-blog-carnival/

With these two recent tragic deaths, it really brings Scott and I back to those first few days, weeks and months after Quinn died, and it makes us realize how far we have come. I don’t know if you ever “heal” from something like a loss of a child, because to me healing means fixing and you can’t fix a loss of a child.

What we can do is learn to live the life we have been given, and realize to move forward, we need to accept that we cannot change the past, we can only control our future. You need to let go of finding someone to blame, you need to let go of wishing things were different, you need to forgive yourself for not being able to change what happened… and you need to realize there is a lot of life to live with those who are here and those that love you.

If you stop living, you have lost. You cannot move forward while living with regret. It doesn’t mean you won’t think these thoughts, but you will know how to move past them when they creep in.

Although I would give everything I have to have Quinn back, that’s not a choice/option I’m given. But I will live every day grateful for the son I had, and all the wonderful memories of the time I had with him.

Quinn may not be here in body, but he will always be here in spirit. We talk of him often, and allow him to be in our present life, and that helps us feel connected.

Moving forward for us has been finding a mission to do something positive from something so tragic. Quinn wasn’t given the opportunity to have his own future, but in his memory and using his story, the impact he will have on others will be invaluable and others will be saved because of what happened to him and our family.

I think healing is a mindset of coming to the realization that we cannot change the past, but we can decide what to do with our future.

We chose to continue to live, and to make a difference. We know that choice is what Quinn would have wanted. He cared too much about others for us to stop caring!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Quinn James Driscoll Day

On June 10, 2010, Quinn was honored at Wy'East Middle School by scores of friends, family, teachers and countless others. The Wy'East Parent Network dedicated a memorial stone at the garden planted last year in Quinn's remembrance. We also dedicated Quinn's football jersey, to be displayed in the school, honoring a "True Warrior".

I wrote a "speech" for that day and wanted to share it with you.

First of all we would like to thank Kristen and the Wy’East Parent Network for organizing the event this evening. I would also like to thank the teachers, administrators and staff of Wy’East and those of you who are from other schools in the in our area. A special shout out to Beth Biggs for getting the word out and her dedication to Quinn’s memory.

Also, we thank you, our family, friends and tireless supporters who have provided us with the strength to get through this past year. Words cannot express the gratitude and humility we feel every day for your love and encouragement.

Finally, we would like to acknowledge the young men and women who are here today in person or in spirit to honor their friend. Kelly and I have been absolutely amazed by the network of friends and acquaintances Quinn established while he was here with us. Each and every one of you represents a remarkable testament to what is right in this world. You have shown amazing grace, strength and spirit throughout the past 12months. As Quinn did, we love each and every one of you and could not be more proud of what you have accomplished and what you will accomplish in your lives.

Today marks a day of new beginnings. Together we have made it through a difficult year. A year with countless “firsts”, a year will sorrow, a year with innumerable tears and a year of asking “why”. Today, we start anew. Today we get stop worrying about all of the firsts. The first birthday, the first day of school, the first Christmas, the first anniversary, and so on.

Today we should all need to stop asking why. Why did this happen? Why Quinn? Why me? Why us? Why, why?

Although we still grieve and shed many tears. Today marks the day when we should all stop asking “why”. Instead we should all be asking “how”. The word “how” is used to measure quality. The word “how” is used in a manner in which something is done. The word “how” should be used in your lives as a measurement of action, of character of success.

So starting today, June 10, 2010 start to ask yourself:
How can I make a difference?
How are my actions, words or behavior perceived by others?
How can I be a better son, daughter, husband, wife or friend?
How can I take action and make the world a better place?
How can I live my life with principle, character and humility?
How can I help others when they are down?
How can I honor and make those who have gone before us proud?

Use today as a new beginning. Where June 10th becomes a day to honor, to remember, to cry, to laugh but to most of all ask yourself, how.

I will close with one final thought. A quote from Quinn’s hero, baseball great Jackie Robinson.

A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Soggy Day Brightened with Waves of Orange

The 2010 American Heart Association Heart Walk was amazingly represented by Quinn’s Team. The walk held on the Columbia River water front was a sea of orange, with over 150 Quinn Driscoll Foundation representatives. Although the day was cold, windy and rainy, a mass of friends, family and community members adorned the walk in Quinn’s name.

Together, Quinn’s Team raised over $4300 and took home 3 awards for “Top Community Team Award”, “Strength in Numbers Award” and Kelly took home “Top Walker” for raising over $1000 herself. More importantly, we could not be more humbled by the outpouring of love and support of each and every one of you who participated, donated and spent your Saturday with us! People traveled from Seattle, Portland and other communities outside Vancouver to show their support of Quinn.

I do want to emphasize to all of you who proudly wear the Quinn Driscoll Foundation orange t-shirts the responsibility you have to promote heart health. Wearing a bright orange shirt will undoubtedly garner some attention. If asked about “Quinn”, please take a few moments to explain the importance of getting regular heart screenings, especially for those under 21. Tell them a simple EKG at their next check-up or sports physical can be the difference between life and death. Emphasize that sudden cardiac arrest affects over 3500 kids in this country annually. Many of which do not survive. As a member of Quinn’s Team, we will not allow this to impact another family!

For those of you who were unable to get a t-shirt (we ran out of certain sizes), we will be ordering more in the coming days and get a note out when they arrive. For those of you who wear L-3X, we have t-shirts available. For more information, please contact Scott Driscoll (scott@quinndriscollfoundation.org).

Stay tuned for more announcements, events and a celebration of Quinn’s life on June 10, 2010 at Wy’East Middle School (for more information go to http://tinyurl.com/23qenyj).


Know your family health history, get routine heart screenings and understand the symptoms of heart disease…

Monday, May 3, 2010

A Parents Message

To be honest, I struggled with what to write for the opening blog post on Quinn’s foundation site. I struggled with what to write, how to write it and knowing the pain it would cause as I hammered out words on my keyboard. I came to realize that what I should blog about is less about the past, more about what we can do to prevent another tragedy and how we can rally as family, friends and community around Quinn’s legacy.

On that ominous day of June 10, 2009, both Kelly and I agreed we would not let Quinn’s tragic death occur in vain. What became visible very quickly was the fact that Quinn’s death could have been prevented. In the hours, days, weeks and months since we lost Quinn, we have learned a great deal about the prevalence, dangers, detection and prevention of heart disease which causes Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) in young people. We as a family and now through our foundation are dedicated to the greater community to educate, detect and prevent the loss of another son or daughter to SCA.

As parents, we are wired to protect our children, keeping them out of harm’s way, guarding them against danger, instinctually keeping them healthy and happy. We learned through a very catastrophic lesson that all of the precautions, check up’s, physicals and measures to protect Quinn was not enough. How could that be? Every visit to the doctor, every sports physical and his outward healthy constitution indicated he was in great physical shape. He never complained about anything; he was rarely sick, colds and flu always seemed to pass him by and there was no indication that his heart was 2 times larger than average. No symptoms, no indications, no nothing. Quinn’s one and only symptom surrounding his disease was Sudden Cardiac Arrest.

Throughout the Quinn Driscoll Foundation web site we have provided a great deal of information about taking a pro-active approach to the early detection of heart disease in our youth. Please take a moment to read through this valuable and potentially lifesaving information. I cannot stress enough about the importance of this information. Understanding you family’s health history, not accepting standardized sports physicals as being comprehensive and challenging your family physicians/pediatricians to conduct routine heart screening s are paramount to saving lives.

We are also working in partnership with the Heart & Vascular Services team at Southwest Washington Medical Center to provide access to screening and testing services for the detection of heart disease in our youth. As that relationship continues to advance, we will provide additional information about testing and screening events.

Finally, we have discovered a great need in our community to provide automated external defibrillators (AED’s) to organizations who serve our youth but have no resources to afford the purchase of an AED. We will work with those organizations in need to provide them with AED’s through a grant process.

I will close by extending a warm and heartfelt thank you to our amazing community. Your support and love have not only helped us get through this tragic event, it’s provided us with the motivation to take action and continue Quinn’s legacy.


Please check back soon for updated content and information.