Archive | October, 2015

Brooke Conley’s “A Year of Firsts”

16 Oct

Brooke Conley, Chip would have leapt at the chance to pour some sugar on you!! Thank you for always getting it right when you write about Chip and giving me the gift of your words. I missed seeing you this birthday weekend but am grateful Chip brought us together (and that you are still championing the ‪#‎selfawareness‬ cause). – Sheila

Brooke’s new blog post:

A YEAR OF FIRSTS

My birthday is a few days away, which in my younger years signaled the start of a week-long party filled with the types of shenanigans that are forever locked in a memory vault titled Shit You Do Before Kids. These days, there are no t-shirts to mark the occasion or requests for the DJ – there is simply reflection and gratitude. (Although if someone made me a shirt, I wouldn’t be mad about it.)

This year is particularly bittersweet because it’s the first without my dear friend Chip. Every year since we left the Beltway, I’ve traveled back to D.C. for my birthday weekend. I even managed to make it the year I had an actively nursing 5-month-old baby girl. I packed up my breast pump and my postpartum depression, stocked the freezer with four days worth of milk, and left her in Arizona with her daddy. Clearly there wasn’t much that could keep me away.

My favorite part of the weekend was a long lunch with Chip, where we looked forward to recapitulating the previous twelve months in one sitting. As the years wore on, our conversations turned more reflective as we added spouses, kids, career changes and, ultimately, cancer to our list of things to discuss. Our last lunch was difficult because he was ill from chemotherapy and unable to eat. But he still showed up.

Chip always showed up.

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Roll Call Reports on Chip Kennett Memorial Golf Tournament

2 Oct

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
Roll Call

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