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Day in the Life

1 Feb

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!

http://jenniferhughes.com/We-ve-Got-This

(If you’re viewing on a computer, use the bottom scrollbar.)

photo by jennifer hughes

photo by jennifer hughes

Celebration of Life: A Recap

29 Jan

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)

Remembrances

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). 

Chip’s Obituary
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!

Dear World Video

26 Jan

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.

 

Miles Back Home

22 Jan

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.

Continue reading on The Conley Chronicles: Miles Back Home
Screen Shot 2015-01-22 at 7.48.27 AM

brooke and chip

(You might remember that we wrote about the Conleys back in February 2014, in the post How to Train a Train.)
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miles with chip

Friends

21 Jan

A short video on the importance of friends:

tk-friends

Direct link: http://vimeo.com/royheisler/review/105995704/6623bfb778

What Is “Team Kennett”?

20 Jan

A short video on the origins of Team Kennett, and how its meaning has changed over the years:

tk-video

Direct link: http://vimeo.com/royheisler/review/105998450/ecc91bdb30

Former Staffer, Cancer Advocate Chip Kennett Dies at 34

19 Jan

We wanted to share this article by Rebecca Gale, Roll Call/Hill Navigator:

Former Staffer, Cancer Advocate Chip Kennett Dies at 34

By Rebecca Gale / Posted at 3:59 p.m. on Jan. 17

Updated Jan. 19 | Bayard Winslow “Chip” Kennett II, a former Capitol Hill staffer whose personal battle with lung cancer helped push Congress to take action, died Saturday. He was 34.

On Jan. 12, Kennett went to the hospital with shortness of breath. He had been scheduled to travel to Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston to complete the screening process for an experimental treatment. The Kennetts remained optimistic, keeping their friends and family apprised of their progress on Facebook and their blog, Team Kennett.

But on Saturday morning, his wife Sheila posted on Facebook:

“At 4:22 AM, Chip received a brand new body up in heaven that is free of cancer and simply full of everlasting life. The kids and I sure are going to miss him down here on earth with us but, boy, did he teach us all how to live and love. May you enjoy your rest in eternal peace, my darling Chip.”

The sad news came just a few days after Roll Call published a story detailing Kennett’s struggle and work on the issue.

Kennett worked on Capitol Hill for nearly eight years, starting out as a legislative correspondent working for his home state senator, Republican Judd Gregg of New Hampshire. He later worked as a legislative assistant for Sen. John Sununu, R-N.H., then as a military legislative assistant and director of appropriations for Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine. While working for Gregg, he met Sheila, who later served as director of scheduling and operations for Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va.

In October 2012, Kennett went for a routine eye exam that revealed a suspected melanoma. A positron emission tomography scan and subsequent biopsy diagnosed Kennett, then 31, with Stage IV lung cancer. The disease was incurable. His prognosis: one to two years to live.

But the Kennetts didn’t believe in going without a fight. With the help from their friends and community, Kennett became an advocate for cancer research, testifying on Capitol Hill and helping draw more attention to recalcitrant cancers, such as lung cancer, which need additional funding to develop and bring more treatments to market. He worked with cancer organizations, including LUNGevity, Friends of Cancer Research and the Prevent Cancer Foundation. He encouraged his colleagues on Capitol Hill — both members and staff — to assist in fighting the disease by raising awareness and money. Advocates within the cancer community credit Kennett’s fight with helping spur action.

Kennett surpassed his two-year prognosis last October and celebrated with friends. That same weekend, he led the largest fundraising team for the annual Breathe Deep DC walk. Kennett remained upbeat, friendly and energetic. He still worked full time for Raytheon as a senior manager for government affairs and told CQ Roll Call late last year he found the support from Capitol Hill “lifts him up” on a daily basis.

Kennett was a native of Conway, N.H. and a graduate of Colby College and A. Crosby Kennett High School. He is survived by his wife and two children, Bayard “Joe” Kennett III, 5, and Crosby Reynolds, 2. Parents Bayard and Theresa Kennett of Conway, N.H.; brother and sister-in-law and Tanner and Sarah Kennett of North Conway, N.H.

Funeral services will be held at 11:00 a.m. Thursday at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Alexandria, Va.

Original source: http://blogs.rollcall.com/hill-navigator/chip-kennett-obituary-cancer-advocate/