I admit it hasn’t happened to me. Not yet. But it probably will. It has to. It’s as sure as the sun rising. Either someone you love and cherish will die or you will. There is no other way around it.
That’s what happened to Mark Miller (that’s him on the right) when he lost his partner, Keith Hamm.
Keith died of lymphoma and I’m guessing Mark was shattered. I don’t know Mark (I’ve seen him around the office; he’s the Quicken Loans L.E.A.D. Team leader – the L.E.A.D. Team is responsible for leadership training) and I didn’t know Keith, but I know what happened.
The reason I know is because Mark decided to act on his grief and do something positive.
This resulted in him being named the Michigan Chapter of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s Man of the Year. Mark was recognized for his "outstanding contributions as an individual to the society’s efforts to fund blood cancer research, education and patient services."
What happened was that when Mark lost his partner, he decided to do something to honor Keith’s memory. Mark wanted to help others. So, he decided to have a fundraiser to raise money and awareness for leukemia, and man did Mark throw a party.
Each year he’ll gather his friends to celebrate the life of Keith Hamm and to raise money to help others. Just maybe, and of course it’s a long shot, but just maybe the money he’ll raise will save a life. You never know until you try and Mark is trying.
So with that, THE DIFF salutes Mark Miller for celebrating life.
We think it’s really cool that Mark is going the extra mile to help others. By memorializing a loved one who has passed, Mark is extending a gift to those still living. This might sound corny, but Mark has turned tragedy and loss into triumph and life.
I didn’t make the first Keith Hamm tribute. But I sure hope I make the next one.