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For You, My Dear Friend… I never met David Rodriguez healthy. The first time I met him he was already diagnosed with a rare pediatric cancer and the doctors were baffled as David was already in his mid 20’s. I remember my girlfriend, Marina, whom at the time, I had just started dating, had left her phone in my house and came back to get it. David, her brother, came for the ride. When I met him, I remember thinking that this kid didn’t really look sick, just a little tired. The 3 of us went to lunch and I got to know David a little. It was apparent that he and his sister were very close. More than siblings, they were best friends as well. They really loved each other. It was also apparent that this was a funny mother fucker who was cracking jokes and smiling even though the Chemotherapy was probably kicking his ass. Over the next few months I grew closer to Marina and spent more time with her family. I met David’s fiancée and all of his friends. Every time I would see David when I visited Marina he always greeted me with a smile and warm handshake…That is, in between him playing his video games. The man was obsessed with those damn video games. He always made me feel welcome in his home. During his hospital stays, I gave him some comics to read to pass the time…We became pals. In February Marina asked me to join David and his friends for the weekend at a ski resort. I hesitated because as much as I liked David and his friends I wasn’t really a part of that crew. I was, after all, just his sister’s boyfriend. But David insisted. “You to come” he said to me…So I did. David and all of his friends made me feel very welcome. We drank too much, ate too much and had a fucking great time! It was at this party that one of David’s closest friends, Marthial Jean – Francois. Marthial sat next to me(both of us criminally intoxicated)and helped me design the werewolf for issue 6. It was at this party that David went from “my girlfriend’s brother” to “my friend David”. David went into remission in March but by May the cancer had returned. More aggressive than before. David was one of the strongest mother fuckers I ever met! He fought the cancer with all of his heart and soul. Even when the doctor gave him a poor prognosis he said to me “I’m 27! I‘m too young to die! I’m going to fight this!” To David’s credit he sought every available treatment to combat the cancer. He never gave up. I watched this man display a strength and courage I have only ever seen in comic book super heroes. I watched a man stand up against his demons and fight for his life. In early June, David married the love of his life, Cristina Ayanna Rodriguez. And on June 30, 2011 he passed away. Both his wife Cristina and his sister, my love, Marina was with him. David died as he lived…Loved by all. Issue 6 was supposed to be online by July 11. It was 3 weeks late due to the fact that I went to the hospital a couple of times a week to visit him while they tried to treat him. I held his hand the night before he died and I am so thankful that I could be there for him in some small way. David, I love you man. I would give anything to have you back in your family’s life. I am so sorry that we didn’t have more time with you. The good really do die young and you were the best of all of us. This issue is for you, my friend. Walk with Angels…Always. We will see each other again.

To A Special Friend  

To A Special Friend

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