Yesterday marked the second anniversary of Ben’s death. He has been gone for two years. In some ways it seems like yesterday that he was here and in other moments it seems like forever. Surviving the first year felt like an accomplishment of some sort. Perhaps what has been most difficult about the second year of his absence is the recognition that we must live through each and every marker and milestone over and over. We are reminded once again that time doesn’t heal…but time passes.

In the midst of our ongoing sorrow, we look back on 2010 with amazement and gratitude. So much has happened! If you had told us on December 30, 2008 that within two years we would have quit our jobs, launched a foundation and strategically partnered with a new research center for childhood cancer we would have laughed—or cried harder. The journey we have been on is totally bewildering. And yet at the same time it feels right. We know we are in the right place at the right time.

As we close the books on the first calendar year of Ben Towne Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation, we want to say thank you. Following the launch event in September, your enthusiasm and generosity has been astounding. It may be unusual for a start up organization to raise over a half million dollars in its first year. What is more extraordinary to us is your willingness to dream big and to boldly envision a world without childhood cancer. We can’t explain it except to say thank you again and again, and state that this feels significant. It feels purposeful. Seattle is going to change the way pediatric cancers are treated and cured—in our lifetime. Thank you for your willingness to walk alongside of us in our grief and thank you for taking this next step with us. Your compassion, kindness and generosity are unparalleled.

We are excited, encouraged and looking forward to what will come in 2011. There will be much to celebrate and update you on in the New Year. You can keep up with what’s happening, as well as read excerpts of Carin’s writing, by subscribing to our blog here. If you are a facebook user, please join us there.

For now, we offer up this toast:

To all of you – with immense gratitude.

To our second year.

And to our beloved Ben.


Best Wishes in the New Year,
Jeff and Carin Towne

*Make sure to check out our home page, there is a clip of the King 5 HealthLink special that we were a part of this week on behalf of Children’s.