Many thanks to Rebecca Gale for reporting on the Chip Kennett Memorial Golf Tournament. Her article will appear in Monday’s print edition of Roll Call. This is going to be a great event! – Sheila
Members of Congress, Staff Tee Off to Remember Chip Kennett
By Rebecca Gale
Members of Congress, current and former staffers are among the honorary host and tournament committees of The Chip Kennett Memorial Golf Tournament, scheduled for Oct. 26 at the Westfields Golf Club in Clifton, Va.
Kennett was a former Capitol Hill staffer who received a stage IV lung cancer diagnosis in 2012 at the age of 31. He became an advocate for more cancer research funding and increased access to clinical trial medications, even testifying to Congress about his personal experience. Advocates within the cancer community credit his fight with helping spur congressional action.
He died on Jan. 17, at the age of 34.
“Three years ago on October 26th, as a seemingly healthy 31-year-old man and soon-to-be father of our second child, Chip was diagnosed with stage IV non-smokers lung cancer and given 1-2 years to live. No one, no spouse, no parent, no child, no friend deserves to hear that,” his wife, Sheila Kennett, said in an email to CQ Roll Call. “On October 26th, we honor Chip’s life and continue his work in raising funds and awareness for LUNGevity, an organization that provided us with indispensable support and remains in the forefront of need and developing treatment options.”
Continue reading at Roll Call
On October 26, 2012, Chip and I were delivered the shit sandwich of a lifetime.
This year on October 26, we are going to celebrate his life and raise a shit-ton of awareness and money for LUNGevity at the first annual Chip Kennett Memorial Golf Tournament, to prevent other families from enduring what we had to.
Details (PDF download)
Today is World Cancer Day, so we thought it was a good time to post this video:
The video was thoughtfully and beautifully put together by our friends at LUNGevity, from footage shot for their 2014 foundation video. We are so grateful to them for creating this for us!
Learn more about LUNGevity and their important work at http://lungevity.org.
Back in May 2014, the lovely and talented photographer Jennifer Hughes had taken some family photos for us. A few days later, she emailed me with the offer to come back to spend another day with our family – not to take formal pictures, but to document our real life instead. She wanted to be a fly on the wall and capture our day from start to finish.
Chip and I loved the idea, but I was a little bit like Reese Witherspoon in Wild. I mean, I was just supposed to roll out of bed circa 6:45/7:00 a.m. to unlock the front door for her while she patiently waited downstairs for the kids to stir and I didn’t need to coordinate, but not match, our clothes for the day?
Jennifer spent that fly-on-the-wall day with us in June, and how grateful we are to have these photos of our family. She has been kind enough to post them to her website. Thank you, Jennifer!
(If you’re viewing on a computer, use the bottom scrollbar.)
photo by jennifer hughes
It’s been a week since we gathered together to celebrate Chip’s life. A big, warm THANK YOU to all who were there with us in person and to those who joined us in spirit. Several requests have come in for the remembrances and homily delivered at the memorial service and for a copy of The After Party playlist, so here’s a recap of last Thursday:
Memorial Service Program (PDF)
Homily by The Rev. Oran E. Warder (PDF)
The After Party Playlist (Spotify)
The bad news: Spotify does not have in its collection a few very important songs: The Idea of You (Live)/Dave Matthews Band, Shake It Off /Taylor Swift and Callin’ Baton Rouge (Live)/Garth Brooks. So you’ll just have to listen to those on your own. But the rest of the music from the party can be found at the link above. I wanted to include Lie in Our Graves from DMB The Gorge if the party had only been 16:59 longer. If you have a Spotify account, you should be able to log in and listen; if you don’t, you can sign up for an account – it’s a free service (with the ads).
For some reason, The Washington Post/legacy.com copied and pasted the memorial contributions section twice. A very benevolent intern, perhaps?
Thank you all again. Now, as Crosby and Clete have directed us … NO REST. FLY!
We’re sharing another video today, this one a project of Robert X. Fogarty’s Dear World. The video was filmed on November 10, 2014. AstraZeneca sponsored a cancer survivor project with Robert, and LUNGevity recommended Chip after the video we did with them. We are forever grateful.
A beautifully written and stunningly heartfelt tribute to Chip, from dear friend Brooke (with some pretty awesome pictures!) that we wanted to share this morning: Miles Back Home
This post is to be treasured.
From Brooke’s blog, The Conley Chronicles:
Just keep posting pictures of that boy.
I couldn’t have guessed that such a simple text would in hindsight mean so much.
We had been talking all week while he lay in a hospital bed. He sent me a breathing tube selfie and I ribbed back, “Try to get some sleep with that thing on your face.”
It was our normal banter and I never wanted to believe it would end. We laughed and we joked. We occasionally took the serious route.
Can I do anything from here?
Just keep posting pictures of that boy.
And then it was over.
Perhaps I did know that these seemingly basic interludes would one day take on greater meaning. Somewhere deep down I must have, because for the past two years I have been unwittingly creating a virtual memory vault filled with texts, photos, and voicemails that I could never bring myself to erase.
Bayard Winslow Kennett II – aka Chip (Chippewa as I liked to call him) – was one of the greatest people I have ever known. I met him at the ripe old age of 22, back when we both lived in Washington, DC and worked in the same congressional building on Capitol Hill. Every week day was spent IMing back and forth about the best bars in town and every weekend was spent exploring them.
I’ve written about Chip and his beautiful wife, Sheila, before in my post Get on Board. Team Kennett – as their family of four has come to be known – have been an inspiration to so many as they focused on being present and grateful after Chip’s 2012 diagnosis of Stage IV lung cancer.
The above words were our last correspondence just hours before he passed away.
brooke and chip
(You might remember that we wrote about the Conleys back in February 2014, in the post How to Train a Train
miles with chip