Casey Kane 1975-2004
This site is devoted to sharing our memories and stories about Casey. Please e-mail me yours at firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll post them.
Thursday, July 28, 2011
Thursday, May 19, 2011
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
Six years ago today
We all miss you. We all love you. And we all feel you with us everyday, especially the times when we need you, the angel, to help us navigate this .
Monday, July 27, 2009
Casey would have turned 34 today. Heather Leenders checked in with a message:
Can't let this day go by without a wish up to the heaven's of a 'life is a highway' happy birthday... does it say something that i was born on 7/24 at 7:27? You on 7/27 while your dad went to get a burger (with reassurance from the nurse that he'd have time)!
Love you and miss you a lot... especially when it sneaks up on me and i just want to call and say hi,
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Terrific piece in the Globe by Casey's former professor Maddy Blais on Casey's dad on father's day.
SOME STUDENTS arrive in your classroom ready-made, and Casey Kane was one of them. She had graduated second in her class at Holyoke High School, played three sports, was president of the National Honor Society, member of the band, captain of As Schools Match Wits, and eventually ran for colleen in that city’s annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade.
If you teach in the autumn at a college in Massachusetts and there is a reasonable way to fold baseball into the curriculum, you would be a fool not to try. Casey proved the ideal ally, discussing John Updike’s essay “Hub Fans Bid Kid Adieu’’ while reciting lines from “Good Will Hunting,’’ “Bull Durham,’’ and George Carlin’s monologue on the differences between football and baseball.
Her major flaw as far as I was concerned was that she took just one class with me, as she disappeared into more and more kudos and accomplishments, including serving as editor-in-chief of the Daily Collegian, supervising, among other aspiring journalists, Jill Carroll, who was later kidnapped while reporting for the Christian Science Monitor in Iraq.
Casey graduated in 1999 and was hired as a sports reporter at the Anderson Independent Mail in South Carolina. Her work there was memorable. One example: “There was never a moment’s doubt in her mind. Pendleton High School softball pitcher Brooke Norris may have worried about how she would throw, or whether she’d be able to make it through the game, but she knew she had to be on the mound. With more than 300 spectators to support her and an empty chair behind the backstop where her father Tommy always sat, Brooke offered the best tribute she could to the man, who died of a heart attack Saturday morning.
The first signs of Hodgkin’s lymphoma were more irksome than frightening: Casey thought she had a flu that wouldn’t go away. When she got the diagnosis and called home from the hospital, her father asked if she had been in an accident. “No, but I have a feeling that when this is over I’ll wish I had been.’’
Bill Kane, a fit 60-year-old retired teacher and downhill skiing, cross country, and indoor track coach at Holyoke High, husband of Eileen and father of two sons, did not always have a perfect relationship with his daughter: A feud broke out when she was in her late teens after he thought she had made some bad personal choices. He kicked her out of the house. The details he prefers to keep to himself, except to say: “She was just as Irish as I am,’’ and, “It is the most regretful decision I ever made. It is close to two years that I lost.’’
When she died in May 2004, the grief specialists identified him as the family member most at risk. He commenced therapy with a doctor named Lisa Uyehara in South Hadley who he says saved his life, encouraging him to honor the vow he had made to Casey to ride cross-country on his bicycle - a trip he postponed twice during her five-year cancer struggle.
Yesterday was officially Father’s Day, but Bill Kane intends to honor the occasion tomorrow when he drives from Holyoke to Dana Farber Cancer Institute in memory of his daughter, which he does every two weeks or so.
“It is not whole blood I donate, but platelets, the blood cells responsible for clotting, one of the first friendly victims to be killed by chemotherapy. I am still a biology teacher at heart and can’t let a detail like that go by. I would often donate while Casey underwent her therapy, and on those days when I just didn’t feel up to it she had a remarkable way of getting me to walk past the children’s cancer ward. She knew how to push my buttons.’’
And so he will leave the house he purchased for $25,000 in 1972, with the American flag out front and a shamrock and Red Sox logo stenciled in the driveway, and shoot down the Pike. Afterward, he and Eileen are likely to go out for a bite to eat or, when the Sox are in town, to walk the half-mile to Fenway.
His life is simple now: He works out, he gardens, and he reads. He has only one goal left and he tries to live it every day.
“I want to be,’’ he says, “the man my daughter thought I was.’’
Monday, May 19, 2008
See you soon
By Arni Sribhen
It rained today after three really great days of weather at the Speedway, and on the way to dinner, I heard that Steve Wariner song "Holes in the Floor of Heaven today.
Ordinarily, that wouldn't mean much to me, but I think it was a sign of things to come.
You see, four years ago today (May 19), my friend Casey Kane lost her battle with non-Hodgkins lymphoma. That Casey died during the Month of May-- which is my favorite time of year -- has always made me sad. But Casey always had a way about making feel better about things like this.
Tonight she did it again.
I never said goodbye to Casey. I told her "See you soon." so I didn't have to say goodbye. Even though she's been gone for four years, every once in a while I see things that remind of her. I think that's her way of saying, "Here I am."
Tonight, I having dinner with a group of friends and when I saw on the ESPN ticker that Jon Lester of the Boston Red Sox had a no-hitter through six innings. I started to pay attention to the ticker. Seventh inning. Eighth inning. Finally, the ninth was broadcast by ESPN.
I sat there and cheered for Jon Lester -- not just becasue Casey was a charter member of Red Sox Nation. I remembered Jon Lester is a cancer survivor. And he beat lymphoma.
When he Lester struck out the final batter and got the ball, I had a tear in my eye.
It worked out all to perfectly. And I knew why.
See you soon, Casey.
Arni worked with Casey in South Carolina.
Hard to believe its been four years. Root for cancer survivor Jon Lester, who is pitching for the Red Sox tonight.
Friday, April 25, 2008
Got this email today
Hi, I was going through some Team in Training websites looking for fundraising ideas when I stumbled across Casey Kane's blog. I was drawn to it my the Duke references (I am a proud Duke alumni/obnoxious fan). I am running in a half marathon in June for The and will add Casey to the list of people that I am running to honor. She sounds like a great person. I am also running to honor two friends, one from my hometown and one from Duke, who have lymphoma.
Friday, February 22, 2008
From Heather Leenders
In the Strangest Places…
After a wild week of testing, grading, full moons, and 12th graders with senioritis like I've never seen before, I arrived at Massage Envy, a franchise between and . Approaching the front desk, I was welcomed with a warm smile, and a question: "Let me guess… Are you Casey?" It was weird but wonderful that the other person scheduled at that time was named Casey, and I had been mistaken for her. I grinned, and shook my head. "It's interesting that you asked me that," I said. "Casey is, was, my best friend growing up. She passed away a several years ago of complications from lymphoma." I still have a hard time referring to her in the past.
I'm the kind of person who needs proof, tangible proof, that there is a higher power. It's moments like these that bring me a little closer to believing. And it's moments like these that I wish so much that Casey were still with me getting a massage and a drink on a .
Monday, October 29, 2007
Monday, October 22, 2007
Thursday, July 26, 2007
Thursday, June 28, 2007
Walking for Casey
Wednesday, June 06, 2007
Casey Kane tennis tournament
Holyoke High school tennis coach Bill Rigali is running the second annual Casey Kane Tennis Tournament this weekend (June 8-9) at the Holyoke Canoe Club.
He passed along the info for anyone who is interested:
"Tournament June 8 & 9 at Holyoke Canoe Club. June 8 round robin mens and womens singles starting at 5 :30PM Sat mens and womens round robin doubles at 10 am - Mixed at 12 noon. cost $5 per event. Bring one can of tennis balls. T- shirts can be purchased for $7 at event. $500.00 was awarded June 1 on class day to a graduating senior in Casey's name."
Saturday, May 19, 2007
Friday, July 28, 2006
Friday, May 19, 2006
It's hard to believe that it's been two years already. Thanks to all the people that keep checking this site and have contributed so much to it. Casey's spirit is alive in so many of us.
Friday, April 07, 2006
Saturday, April 01, 2006
The Jill Carroll Connection
By Will Martin
I don't know Jill Carroll. Though we're both journalists, I cannot remember our having ever met. So why was it as the story of her captivity and release at the hand of Iraqi insurgents unfolded, she seemed so vaguely familiar? As a news editor and a combat medic in the National Guard, I've formed a necessary capacity for emotional detachment, so I knew this wasn't mere sentiment or chivalrous concern. I didn't know Jill Carroll, but somehow, I felt as if I should.
Yesterday, as images of her release saturated television news hours, the murky grew clear: the face, the name; here position as a foreign correspondent in the Near East. Might this be Casey's Jill, or, if memory serves, her "Jillybean?"
Until cancer claimed her body in 2004, Casey had been my girlfriend and closest companion. For about two years, we shared in the highs and lows of life, an ebb and flow exacerbated by her repeated bouts with Hodgkin's Disease, a cancer most common to young adults and the elderly.
Casey, aside from an accomplished sportswriter, was an excellent friend.
She possessed an innate skill for relationship, a gift she eagerly shared with any whom would receive it. Strangers couldn't remain as such for long in Casey's presence; her hospitable spirit wouldn't allow it. And neither could friendships already existing die of neglect; her loyalty forbade it.
It is not surprising, then, that I should recall the details of Jill's life though we had never met. Raised a Michigander like myself (yes, that's what we're really called and your jealousy won't change the fact), Jill grew close to Casey during their work at The Collegian, the student newspaper of the University of Massachusetts. Casey detailed her time at UMass with such animation that when I shared a meal with her college friends around the time of her funeral, most of the stories familiar. I felt at times as if I was rewatching a beloved movie from my youth, one from which I could quote the cherished lines, another evidence of the devotion and pride which Casey held toward her family and friends.
The details surrounding Jill's life were no exception, and as I Googled her yesterday, my suspicions were confirmed: Employment at the Wall Street Journal; a stint in Jordan; Ann Arbor roots. Yes! This was indeed Casey's Jill. Strangely excited, I began to spread the news of my discovery among the soldiers with whom I'm now deployed to Washington, D.C.
"Hey, I know that girl!" I exclaimed, pointing to our workplace television bearing Jill's face as if I was claiming a connection to a Hollywood celeb. "Well, sort of know her. I used to date her close friend. I just realized who she was."
The responses ranged from apparent apathy to screaming ignorance: "Well, no offense to your friend, but I hope these Bible bangers have learned their lesson."
"Yeah, the Christian Science Monitor," came the retort, spoken with a painful slowness, so as to make such lofty knowledge accessible to even me.
Derailed into explaining that freelancing for the Christian Science Monitor does not a missionary make, I resigned to exploring my excitement with myself. On this day, I truly was an Army of One. Suddenly, I realized the only one with whom I really wanted to celebrate Jill's release was the one with whom I cannot. This is not the first time: "Casey, how 'bout them Red Sox?!!";
"Your Dad, he rode his bike coast to coast. Eat your heart out, Lance!"; "Did you read that Mitch Albom column the other day?"; "Ian and Emily - they're getting married".
Rather than reach out to mutual friends and Casey's family, I've dealt with such emotive blockage by turning further inward and moving onward. While I think of Casey often, and Matt's blog has served as a healing balm on many a night, I don't dwell on all things Casey, and I rarely pick up a phone or e-mail to connect with those who knew her best. As to whether this modus operandi is dysfunctional, I'll leave for therapists to decide. But witnessing Jill's release through the television reminded me of what defined Casey: relationship, and how knowing her forced my own life's direction to broaden. I have always valued love; indeed, my worldview is simple: God is love, and those who walk in love, walk in God; but knowing Casey allowed me to realize that relationships provide a context through which the ideal of love becomes reality. I am not simply better for having known Casey, I am different , and the world is the better for it.
Reading through the deluge of stories surrounding Jill's ordeal, I am confident that she and Casey are made from the same material. It is little wonder that they were close friends. Political pundits, possessing a knowledge of Iraq confined to Fox News updates, have wasted no time in questioning Jill's character, statements and motives. Rather than celebrate her release, they speculate about that which they cannot possibly know. I am privileged to bring to Jill's story what every journalist cherishes: a reliable, inside source. That source spoke highly of Jill on several occasions with an admiration that bordered on awe. Casey was both proud and fond of Jill, personally and professionally. My reporter's instincts tell me that my inside source was dead on. I only wish she was here so I could share her joy during this happy time.
Friday, March 31, 2006
Many or you are aware that Casey and Jill Carroll were close friends. During Jill's three months in captivity, quite a few people told me they were optimistic because they knew wherever Jill was, Casey was watching out for her. I ad the same thought many times.
The Collegian ran an entire edition today about Jill. This column had a nice Casey mention in it as well.
Thursday, March 30, 2006
My Other Big Sister
By Jessica Walker
Every couple of weeks, or sometimes months, I wander onto this site and read all the amazing stories Casey created for us. Reading new adventures and rereading old happenings always leaves me misty. Consistently I think…
“Ok, I’m going to write something.” “Today’s the day.”Well today is that day.
Growing up Casey was my other big sister. Casey and Laura (my biological sister) are nine years older than me. As you can imagine the 6-7-8 year old me just loved to follow my High School aged sisters around everywhere I could manage to go. Things just always seemed more fun with two big sisters.
Some phenomenal amount of; band practices, football games, swim meets, and field hockey brawls later I watched my sisters graduate top of their class. There was a party with balloons to celebrate, and a photograph on my wall to remember the whole thing.
Many years later they both moved away, and I began my own High School days. In the entrance hall there is a plaque with the names of all the Valedictorians and Salutatorians. Everyday I would stop and think “1993, those are my big sisters.” It filled me with an astounding sense of pride. I held onto that thought hard, and let my admiration of them carry me through.
Even though I had not heard from Casey in years, news of her diagnosis traveled to me almost immediately. The sorrow I felt was intense. “My sister has cancer.” The thought echoed in my mind with the sinisterness and disbelief of a bad horror movie.
Later that month I was shopping with my mother. I purchased a few cute items and assembled a “thinking of you” package for Casey. I wasn’t sure if she would really remember me or not, but I sent it because she meant so much to me. A few months later I received an unexpected card. It was small and simple. In the place of a commercially generated thank you, there was a beautiful note from Casey. Her words were full of hope and love and gratefulness, but that’s just the sort of person she was.
In the years to follow I would always want to send her another package, or a letter, or even just a card. Sadly, with my life just getting in to gear, it just seemed like I could never get around to it.
It was a sunny day at my apartment in California when my sister (and then my mom, and even my brother) called to tell me about Casey’s passing. I was so upset. At that moment I couldn’t understand why, for the last four years, buying a 99cent card and mailing it out had been so hard. I pulled Casey’s card out of my memory box and quietly remembered.
After a while I decided to stop being so sad and do something. I educated myself. I donated. I made signs about awareness. I told Casey’s story to everyone who wanted to listen. People I’d known for years began coming up to me and telling their stories. They thank me and say I’ve helped them be less helpless about their losses. I tell them I didn’t do anything, it’s just me giving back all the love and inspiration Casey gave to me when I was growing up.
It’s become my own little thinking of you card to my other big sister.
Friday, March 03, 2006
Marcus Amaker wrote a Casey Inspired poem.
the last time i saw you
you were a shadow of yourself -
hiding the battle scars
after declaring war
on the ghosts
that were moving through your body.
we all would have
gone on the frontlines for you
but you had to do it alone.
so you held on to your heartbeat
like a weapon -
smiling through the pain
even after your enemy claimed its name:
a year and a half later,
your ex-boyfriend tells me
it's a shame that someone
with so much life
couldn't win the fight.
so we drink and think of you
and continue to train for the battle
like it's the only thing to fight for.
and now i sharpen my sword
for your memory
and cut through the silence you left here
after all of the smoke cleared.
You can hear him narrate it at www.marcusamaker.com
Monday, January 16, 2006
Friends after all
By Stacy Shackford
I'll start with a confession. While many others have written about the wayCasey made them feel so warm and wonderful and welcome, my firstimpressions were masked by fear. She scared the hell out of me. What can I say, she was intimidating!
She seemed to know EVERYONE, and everyone adored her. She was so witty and fun, poised and confident. The only woman on thesports desk, she nevertheless ruled that roost. And the entire office, more or less. As Julie said, she was like a rock star.
I had ventured into the dank basement a few times before becoming sucked in and part of the furniture during my senior year, so I immediately knew of Casey. It took a lot longer to actually know her, and I'm not convinced Iever really did, as I continue to learn new things all the time, primarilythrough this site.
There was a time when I thought Casey didn't like me at all. I wasconvinced I'd never truly infiltrate the close-knit group that had gathered around her. But those final few months were magic. The picnic, the Collegian formal, the nights out in the Packard's 'library', the ice hockeygame she dragged us to - I NEVER thought I'd enjoy ice hockey, but it was fantastic.
She was also smart. Wicked smart. I don't think I realised the full extent of this until much later, but there were hints of it all the time - in her insane sports trivia, for example. She obviously had a head for numbers andstatistics. She was also an amazing writer.
I tended to avoid the back of the paper, as I'm not what you would call a sports fan, but then I started doing some copy editing to rationalise all my time at the Collegian and fund our nights out. It was the first time I actually read her stories, andthey were GOOD. Enough to get even me interested in sports, and that isquite an accomplishment. There were also her occasional ed/op columns -always a delight. This is no revelation to any of you, I'm sure, but thegirl sure had a way with words!
Then there was the time she really proved herself to me as editor. I hadspent hours struggling with a difficult story about students on welfare, trying to relate the plight of an individual single mother to highlight the problem that many faced, only to have my source turn on me after publication, going so far as to threaten a lawsuit. Jill and Casey did not hesitate to stand by me, and backed me in an emotional, intense confrontation in the claustrophobic confines of the Collegian conferenceroom.
Casey was unflinching in her stance - and most importantly to me, hersupport - and eventually got the girl to back down. It was amazing. I gradually got a glimpse at the softer side of Casey. I suppose with all the sports stuff and general office tomfoolery, it was easy to forgetsometimes that she was also just a girl. Seeing her in all her green taffeta Colleen glory was amazing. Hearing about her special collections of mementos and personalised photo albums made me realise she was a bit of asentimental sap.
I was starting to see a connection between us after all. I distinctly remember the last time I hung out with Casey. She turned up with Matt at the Daily Hampshire Gazette office barbeque in Northampton. I was legal correspondent for the Gazette at the time, about to leave for the glamour and glitz (hard work and strife) of life as a freelancer in Greece. Casey had been undergoing treatment, and I wasn't sure what to expect whenI saw her. But I need not have worried, for she was as vivacious as ever.And so happy to see me!
I didn't expect such a reception. It was a weeknight, and I had to be back at work at 7am the next day, yet somehow Casey convinced me to drive two hours with her and Matt to Boston for an impromptu reunion with some fellow Collegian pals. She was so excited about the prospect of the gang get-together that she was positively bouncing inthe car. I couldn't believe I was going, and I don't think she couldeither. She kept phoning people, saying 'You're not going to believe who Ihave in the car with me right now, on our way to see you... SHACKFORD!'
Needless to say, it was a great night. And I began to realise maybe Casey did like me after all, and I was so glad of it. When I started getting cards from her in Greece, that cemented it for me. By some weird twist of fate, I now find myself working on a sports desk asa copy editor at a Scottish newspaper. I'm sure Casey would find this fantastic, and hilarious. I think of her often, and regret that our time together was so short, and the time it took me to realise we were friends after all.
I've been so glad to check in here and see that others arethinking of her too, and doing wonderful things in her name. May it long continue.
Sunday, December 04, 2005
A fun day and a good cause
Tailgating, Tickets and Tackling CancerDana-Farber auctions off Patriots ticket packages
Football fans can tailgate in style and watch the three-time Super Bowl Champion New England Patriots all, while supporting the fight against cancer.
Dana-Farber is having an exclusive auction for New England Patriots Game Tickets and Tailgate Party Packages. Each package includes a pre-game party inside the newly-named Dana-Farber Field House with complimentary food and beverage, a designated seating area, appearances by Patriots Cheerleaders, a free copy of Patriots Gameday magazine and tickets to the game.
These ticket packages are available thanks to a generous donor. All funds raised will go to support cancer research and care for adults and children at Dana-Farber.
Casey's cousin, Gregg Narvell of Hockessin , Delaware bid, in memory of Casey, and won the September 28th auction for the Chargers vs Patriots game on October 2nd .
He and his twin brother Gary made the trip to Foxborough for the pregame party and the game. New England lost to San Diego, 41-17, but seeing the Patriots play and supporting the fight against cancer was well worth the trip.
The photo above was taken with Jack Blais and Bill Poutsiaka, Dana-Farber Trustees, Gregg and Gary each had the chance to wear the Super Bowl ring given to Mr. Blais by the Patriots.
Sunday, August 21, 2005
Touching lives and the Pacific
Casey's father, Bill Kane, just completed a cross-country bike ride raising cancer awareness.
From the Newport (OR) News Times
By Jake Schubert Of the News-Times
Bill Kane, of Holyoke, Mass., completed a 52-day, coast-to-coast bike ride on Friday, Aug. 12, in Newport by dipping his front tire into the Pacific Ocean.
The ride started with his back tire in the Atlantic Ocean in Newport, R.I. just after the end of the school year.Kane, 56, a high school teacher by trade, was not making this trip for any sort of personal glory. He was making this trip to spread the word about cancer research. On May 18, 2004 his daughter, Kathleen, 28, lost her battle with cancer.
A few years back, Kane got the idea for this bike ride from his son. In the summer of 2000, Kane was going to complete the ride, but Kathleen was diagnosed, and he knew he had to stay home with his family.
Now, a little more than a year after his daughter's death, Kane has been spreading the word about the Jimmy Fund (jimmyfund.org), which, according to the organization's website, "supports the fight against cancer in children and adults at Boston's Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, helping to raise the chances of survival for cancer patients around the world."
On his trip, Kane has also spread the word about donating platelets. Platelets are irregularly-shaped, colorless bodies that are present in blood. Their sticky surface lets them, along with other substances, form clots to stop bleeding.
Kane says he has long encouraged people to donate platelets, and his brother, Marty, of Grants Pass, who met Bill in Newport, is among the donors.
Kane's trip took him through 12 states: Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, Wyoming, Idaho and, of course, Oregon. The trip spanned 3,300 miles, with a high of 81 miles in a day and a low of 44 miles in a day.
Kane said the ride through Iowa was very tough, noting it was much like a washboard, with a number of hills rolling up and down. He also said the ride was psychologically tough because, although his wife made the trip with him as support by car, when he was on the bike he was "all alone."
"I had a lot of time to think," Kane said, joking that he has lesson plans done for the next 40 years.
He did note that his wife served as a great support system for him and really helped him through the trip, as well as the memory of his daughter. He said many times people he talked to during his journey would say what an amazing thing he was doing, but he quickly refuted their sentiments, stating that what his daughter was able to do - live four years with such a horrible disease - was so much more amazing and inspiring."
If by doing this I can get just one person to donate their time or money or platelets to cancer patients, I feel as if this was a success," Kane said.
Anyone wanting to learn about cancer research is encouraged to visit jimmyfund.org.
Saturday, August 13, 2005
More birthday musings
By Marcus Amaker
I was thinking about her all day today.
Even posted something about it on my web site. she would have been 30!
She is so loved ... random people here know her, since i still talk about her so much. =).
Wednesday, July 27, 2005
Birthday and bikes
Casey would have turned 30 today...
Somebody suggested I post directions to her burial spot. She's buried in the Forestdale Cemetery on Cabot St. in Holyoke. It's the same site as her grandmother, who she adored. The stone is marked Rollins, (her gram's maiden name). Eventually there will be a marker added on the ground for Casey.
Casey's Aunt Chris (Keaney) passes along regards as she trains for the Pan Mass Challenge.
"I am thinking about her a lot these days as I am I doing the Pan Mass Challenge on Aug. 6&7. It's the bike ride from Boston to Provincetown. I am doing it as a part of Team 9, the Red Sox group. Stacy Lucchino, some of the wives and other front office family and friends will be on it. I've heard there are about 30 of us. Guess who I will be riding for? Every time I get frustrated with the practicing I think of Casey. I will be the Golden age rider for Team 9. Wish me luck."
Wednesday, June 29, 2005
Couple of things to update
The Holyoke High School library has a new reading area, complete with a comfortable chair, a reading lamp and a picture of Casey. Bill Kane, Casey's dad, thought it would be an appropriate way to remember her and her love of reading. The picture is part of a plaque. In it Casey is wearing her "Sam Malone Red Sox jacket" (her words not mine) and smiling inside Fenway Park's Green Monster.
I was at a workshop Monday for Business writing in sports, where Red Sox president Larry Lucchino was a guest speaker. As many of you are aware Lucchino, who is a cancer survivor himself, took a liking to Casey. They met through Sarah McKenna, Casey cousin, who works in Community relations for the Red Sox.
Last April, Lucchino put Casey in his private box to watch a Saturday game between the Red Sox and the Yankees. She wasn't healthy enough to be out in the crowd, so she was let into the park early to go into his box.
Chris Keaney, Casey's aunt wrote about that day below under the heading "A Dream Fulfilled."
I got a chance afterward to talk to him. Anyway, I relayed to him how appreciative we all were to him, Sarah and the Red Sox for how special they made her feel at a tough time.
He smiled and looked sad at the same time. "She was special. She had so much enthusiasm, the whole family does," he said.
Wednesday, June 01, 2005
Something to get behind
Julie Fialkow sent me(and presumably some of you) this email. If you've got some extra money and feel like supporting a good cause...
I'm planning on running a half-marathon in September for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.
Am I a runner? Am I fit? No, but I'm jumping in with my eyes closed and hoping I don't trip over my shoelaces!
I'm really excited to be a part of this cool organization and event. I've even started to like running which is a triumph in itself. The purpose of this race is to eradicate these cancers so they stop taking the lives of our friends and loved ones.
I am running in memory of my friend Casey and for those who are currently battling these diseases. I am asking for your support, in any amount, to help find a cure. Please check out my website and email me if you have any questions. Feel free to forward this to anyone you can!
Thanks and much love,
Tuesday, March 29, 2005
Across the room admiration
By Mike MacLean
Funny thing about news; it can still travel slowly, even among those trained in its dissemination.
It was only a few months ago that I learned of Casey’s passing, and just today that I stumbled upon this page. An old colleague from The Collegian had mentioned the recent reunion, which prompted a Googling, and up came this page.
Casey joined The Collegian during my senior year at UMass. By that time my role had been reduced from the previous year, so I only worked with her for a brief time, and we worked different beats, so I did not get much of a chance to get to know her. Yet as a closeted sports fan hiding over behind the Arts desk, I always admired her confidence - that sense of knowing what you want and going for it.
Being able, as a Freshman, to walk in the front door of your student paper knowing that not only are you going to write, but that you’re going to join the sports desk and put your opinions toe-to-toe with the guys in the trenches. If she was ever scared or nervous about it, she never let it show, which is also crucial to those daily sports debates we got to overhear from across the room, during which she was never shy about standing up for her opinions.
That takes a special level of determination and self-confidence. Life itself is not only short, it’s also unpredictable and unbiased. It has an end, that much we’re sure of, but the rub is that the ending is unscripted.
So as those of us who knew her in college approach our 30s, and some may believe, our first full “adult” decade, we should all take time to reflect and learn something from Casey and the others in our lives who have demonstrated their own brand of grit. If we could all take a moment to think about that, and maybe make a decision, just a few times a year, to emulate and act on that – produce a physical manifestation of an admiration for someone – it will be enough I think, to keep someone’s memory alive.
Mike MacLean worked with Casey at the Collegian.
Thursday, March 17, 2005
Two favorite days
The only tolerable Duke fan
By Ted Kottler
Casey was two years younger than me but because I attended UMass for five years, we worked together for a couple of them at the Collegian.
Casey is the only Duke fan I ever knew who I liked; in fact, because Casey could express her opinions so vibrantly and clearly, I was always willing to entertain her thoughts on the Blue Devils, not merely tell her they sucked.
I knew Matt Vautour before I knew Casey, and because I sporadically have kept in touch with him since I left UMass, I do remember hearing from him some time ago that Casey had fallen ill. But I did not realize the gravity of her illness, and it is only now, in discovering Matt's blog, that I learn she has died.
They say life is short, but it is not supposed to be so tragically so. Death can be completely unscrupulous; so often it seems to attack those whom we think should be imprevious to it. But any life, no matter how long, can be celebrated, and Casey's, as all these posts indicate, richly deserves to be.
I commend Matt for his most thoughtful gesture of this blog, and am glad to have the chance to contribute to it.
Rest in peace, Casey. A newsroom was always a little brighter with you in it.
Ted Kottler worked with Casey at the Collegian.
Thursday, February 10, 2005
Thursday, January 27, 2005
Today, I found out someone whom I had worked with in college passed away last spring. Casey Kane was 28 and even though I haven't spoken to her since a couple years after graduation, I'm shocked and very sad to hear the news. She was one of my fellow editors at the Collegian and in some ways, we 'grew up' together. She came on staff a semester after I did, but we became section editors around the same time, and we ended up on night staff around the same time. I was always impressed by Casey's gumption. She went for Sports -- the only female on the staff for quite a while and she handled those guys like a pro when she became editor of the section. Casey knew how to fill that newsroom with her presence and she was just an amazing person.
Thursday, October 28, 2004
Tuesday, October 26, 2004
Another new Sox fan
My name is Mandy Solomon. I met Casey because she worked with my husband Jon at theAnderson-Independent. We met for the first time at the SCPA awards in February 2002. I am not a writer by nature and tend to ramble but I will try and convey myfeelings as best as I can.
Shortly after we met thefrenziness of March Madness began and Casey and Willwere frequently at Jon's place where we watched basketball until I thought I would go nuts. I actually fell asleep during a game and when I woke up Casey just looked at me and shook her head.
Regardless, me, Emily and Casey had many margaritas and beers together and had a blast. The last time I saw Casey was at mine and Jon's wedding in November 2003. I have a picture of the two of us that I cherish to this day.
I wasn't expecting her to comebut she said she wouldn't miss it for the world. I was so glad to have her there that day. I know it was a lot for her to come. I still think about Casey and although I grew up in the south and am an avid AtlantaBraves fan i have found myself cheering for the RedSox, those adorable idiots that Casey loved. I am finding myself, especially lately, believing thatCasey is up in heaven and has charmed God and BabeRuth into lifting the curse.
As I sit here, after the Sox have won their second series game, with tears streaming down my face it has really hit me how much fun Casey would be having right now and how much I miss her.
Dan Shaughnessy wrote an excellent column in the Globe today. The passage below will resonate with some people here.
How many of you watched the thrilling comeback against the Yankees and thought of a parent or a spouse who has died? How many watched the first two games of the World Series and thought about how much more special this would be if Uncle Joe or Aunt Elizabeth had lived to see it?
How many of us think maybe Uncle Joe or Aunt Elizabeth have something to do with it happening?
Thursday, October 21, 2004
Not a coincidence
I knew I was going to cry a little. That much was inevitable.
With the Red Sox holding a big lead in the middle innings, I had an unusual calm about me that I don’t usually get during playoff baseball games. I knew they were going to win. I knew I was going to cry.
It was an almost perfect night. The only thing missing was Casey. She would have liked this. Maybe I’m being foolish, but something in me believes she had something to do with it. Maybe I just want to think so.
But as so many of you told me by phone or e-mail this morning and late last night, she was in all our thoughts as we watched the game. I’ve been carrying a wooden Irish necklace, that I bought her in Belfast, with me during each of the game. I rub it when the Sox need some luck. It has been pretty successful in recent days.
I’ll have it with me Sunday for Game 7 of the World Series. I have a feeling Casey will be there too.
Tuesday, October 19, 2004
Tuesday, October 12, 2004
Feel good cancer story
By Len Pasquarelli
SPARTANBURG, S.C. -- Like the little kid on Christmas Eve whose combination of pent-up excitement and untreatable anxiety eventually turns into insomnia, Mark Fields tossed and turned restlessly much of Friday night, finally gave up on trying to get some sleep, and headed for the Carolina Panthers locker room.
None of his early-bird teammates were surprised to see the nine-year linebacker. But they were surprised to see Fields, normally among the last of the Carolina veterans to check in for work, that early.
Then again, Saturday, the first time on the field in training camp for the defending NFC champions, wasn't just any other day. For the universally respected Fields, who missed the Panthers' run to the Super Bowl last year while he battled Hodgkin's Disease, the day marked the resumption of his football career. And, of course, his first encounter with full-contact drills since the final days of the 2002 season.
Despite some rust and obvious fatigue, Fields made it through the opening test with a passing grade.
"It's to the point now where it's a battle with myself," said Fields, who worked with the No. 1 defense, as he took the initial step toward reclaiming his starting spot at strongside linebacker. "The coaches are very aware of it and they have been great. But now, after all the chemo(therapy) and all the treatments, it's up to me. No one else can go out there for me and do the things I have to do to re-prove myself."
The fact Fields is back on a football field at all, let alone trying to climb back to the top of the depth chart on one of the NFL's best defenses, is already a feel-good story. Fields won't feel really good about things, however, until he is all the way back.
Toward that end, it seemed, Saturday produced some mixed results. There were plays on which Fields, 31, flashed his typical quickness to get to the ball. But on a few occasions, it appeared he struggled to merely get back to the huddle. There is a long way to go. Then again, given where Fields has come from, his progress is nothing shy of remarkable.
"I doubt most people understand what he has been through," said weakside linebacker Will Witherspoon. "Yeah, you hear the word 'cancer' and everyone reacts to it pretty much the same way. But for an athlete, a person who earns a living with his body ... well, I mean, you never expect to hear that word. You think you're invincible, right? So, mentally, as well as physically, he's had to fight back."
Witherspoon once accompanied Fields to observe a chemotherapy treatment for Panthers linebacker coach Sam Mills, whose battle with cancer continues. The unusual experience provided Witherspoon a raw insight into what Fields and Mills have faced, increased his respect for both men and steeled his conviction to help both come all the way back.
The optimism of Saturday's two workouts aside, even with the positive vibes, Fields still has questions that will need to be answered before he is deemed whole again. He will be closely monitored and, in a game where there are no gimmes, will have to produce.
"At some point," acknowledged coach John Fox, "you have to use the same measuring stick for Mark that you use for everyone else. He knows that."
Greg Favors, who moved into the starting job after Fields was diagnosed last year, has departed in free agency. But the Panthers signed veterans Jessie Armstead and Brandon Short, the latter a young, three-year starter for the Giants, in free agency. The strongside spot, it seems, is one of the most competitive on the team.
Then again, for Fields it feels pretty good just to be able to compete again. Part of the depression he battled last year was the feeling of being separated from the team, not a part of the success -- an interloper of sorts. It's a common theme suffered by any player who is injured for an extended period but, of course, Fields' circumstances were more severe than most.
"There were times last year when, on a bad day, you would think to yourself, 'Man, this isn't going to happen,' " recalled Fields. "It humbles you and changes your perspective. And it makes the (comeback) all the sweeter, too, and that really drives you."
Len Pasquarelli is a senior writer for ESPN.com
Monday, October 04, 2004
A Special Bond
By Jo Ann Checkovich
I first met Casey while she was covering a University of South Carolina basketball game at the Carolina Coliseum. I'm sure she had been there before but I had never spoken with her.
This paticular night however was the first game I had worked since the death of my daughter Suzanne. Casey caught my eye with her attire that evening. You see she had a scarf on her head and I could tell by the soft fold around her face that she had lost her hair.
As I walked closer to her, I heard her joking with the other reporters about the loss of her hair. As a mother who had been through the battle of cancer with a super hero of a daughter, I knew all the signs and language.
I fought back tears because I knew my daughter would not be very proud of me if I spoke to Casey and had an emotional moment. I finally found the courage to speak to her and let her know that I knew she was fighting a battle. I told her my daughter had been through a similar experience and I knew a little about the strength it took to wage such a battle.
Casey asked me how she was doing and my answer to her was she was well and happy. I did not lie and as Casey's brother so eloquently put it "she had her had in the hand of Jesus when she breathed her last breath". Actually I believe it was Casey who told her brother that.
Over the next several years we e-mailed back and forth and I would see her at occasional South Carolina ballgames. She did not know for the first year that my daughter had died. She asked me point blank one day at a game how she was and I had to tell her. I reminded her that as she well knew each journey was different and that is why I had not told her before.
I kept her e-mails because she was such a gifted writer but in main part because she spoke of her battle and had such inspiring words to light up many days. Like many other people who have written about her, I felt her incredible life force everytime I was around her.
I did not know of her death until football season started at South Carolina this year. I have spent the last several weeks thinking about her and feeling much the same as I do about my incredible daughter. While the world sometimes feels empty without my wonderful Suzanne and vivacious Casey, so many lives were touched and blessed with the pleasure of having been able to share their lives even if the time was much too short.
To Casey's parents and family - I met her, I admired her, I grew to care very much for her and she will always remain in my heart. Thank you for sharing Casey with all of us.
Monday, September 20, 2004
Collegian coverage: UMass alumna Casey Kane: Collegian legend not forgotten
In connection with the Light the Night Walk, Collegian news editor Erika Lovley wrote a column about Casey and quoted from this site. This ran in the Sept. 20, 2004 UMass Daily Collegian.
by Erika Lovley
September 20, 2004
The name may mean nothing to you, but to the staff at the Massachusetts Daily Collegian, Casey Kane is a legend.
Casey Kane was an Editor-in-Chief and Sports Editor of the Massachusetts Daily Collegian. She was also a Red Sox fan, a UMass student and a friend.
The last time she darkened the doors of the Collegian was when she graduated from the journalism program in May of 1999 - but the mark she left on the newspaper and the people who make it flourishes still today.
Here at the Collegian, our family grows by the day. We are constantly gaining new writers, meeting new people and branching out in the UMass community. However on May 19, our newspaper lost a member who may arguably have been its finest. Casey Kane died of pneumonia due to complications with lymphoma treatment. She was 28.
I do not remember Casey. She graduated several years before I had even heard of the Collegian. But sitting here at the news desk on an unremarkable weeknight in the newsroom, I have a very good sense of who she was. There is a common thread that bonds every person who ever holds a position in the newsroom - the love of journalism.
Casey was, first and foremost, a Collegian writer. Awarded 12 varsity letters for tennis, field hockey, swimming and soccer, she was not unique simply because of her athletic prowess. The Holyoke native aspired to be a professional sports writer - an admirable challenge for any woman in a genre of journalism that is still dominated by men.
She began immediately as a freshman, walking the trail of a sports reporter across Garber Field, Warren P. McGuirk Alumni Stadium and the Mullins Center, impressing everyone she came into contact with, from her fellow reporters to the athletes she covered.
When she became Editor-in-Chief, the most highly regarded position on the paper; Casey didn't just make sure the papers hit the press on time and that every headline was balanced, well reported and clear. She did much more.
Casey made the Collegian a fun place to work - a daunting and often impossible task for any leader in an environment where a night can stretch from 5 p.m. until 3 a.m., where the pressure of up-to-the-minute deadlines, chronic exhaustion and endless criticism from the outside community can sometimes cause the desk editors themselves to question why they don't throw down the pen and notebook, climb the stairs of the Campus Center and rejoin the world of regularly-sleeping, socially active UMass students.
It's a story like Casey's that lifts our spirits, and keeps us vying for the most captivating interview or that perfect photograph.
According to her friends and coworkers, when Casey worked at the Collegian, she made the newsroom feel much like it does today - like a family. Matt Vautour, a close friend and former Collegian Editor-in-Chief himself, said, "She liked people liking to be in her company."
"She was the closest thing the Collegian ever had to a rock star - and held that role modestly and effortlessly," wrote Julie Fialkow, a former Collegian staff writer. "I have never met a woman like Casey before and I know I never will."
Casey's gleaming personality continued even in January of 2000, when she was first diagnosed with Hodgkins disease, a form of lymphoma.
"In typical Casey fashion, she was often scared to talk about her illness. Mostly, she was scared about how other people would react, so she sheltered many of us," wrote Jon Solomon, a co-worker at the Anderson Independent Mail, where Casey covered University of South Carolina sports after college when she was first diagnosed.
As her blonde hair fell out and regrew brown and curly due to chemotherapy treatments, Casey refused to let those around her be worried with her illness, humorously dyeing her hair funky shades of red, and referring to her treatment as "Keno Therapy."
"She said all you had to do was pick the right numbers," said Vautour, who shaved his head to match Casey's the first time she lost her hair.
Her struggle with lymphoma was long and tiring. Not one or two, but three bouts of recurring cancer and treatment dotted her life for over two years. To this day, Vautour still carries with him an everyday reminder of Casey's struggle - the top of his head has remained bald from her second chemotherapy session.
"I'm not ready to change it yet," he said.
Although many of us never knew her, Casey is still very much a part of the Collegian. Sometimes late at night, when every computer is humming, the coffee is being passed around and we all joke and laugh while rushing to finish the next day's issue before deadline, the names of old Collegian legends begin to haunt our conversations.
We tell stories of old writers and editors who grew from writing previews of on-campus lectures to gracing the front pages of the Boston Globe, the newscasts of ESPN and hosting radio shows all over the nation. We tell stories of people who typed on these very computers in the basement of the Campus Center and dreamed as big as we do - dreams of following the passion that first led us all to the Collegian.
As time goes on, some of the names begin to sink into the shadows. But unlike a good news story - current today, old tomorrow - the name of one Collegian legend will always be timely: Casey Kane.
Erika Lovley is a Collegian columnist.
There is also Light the Night coverage here.
Light the Night
Light the Night
Photo from Light the Night
Thank you immensely to everyone that contributed and participated in the Light the Night walks.
There were five of us in Northampton. Julie Fialkow is participating in Philadelphia, Lorraine Kennedy is walking in Wakefield and Casey's Aunt Jane has a group involved in Delaware.
Thanks a lot.
Friday, September 10, 2004
Light the Night
A bunch of you asked me to let you know when I was doing this. Myself and several of Casey's friends and family are doing the Light the Night Walk (Sept. 19, Northampton), a fundraiser for Leukemia and Lymphoma Research (Casey had Hodgkins Disease which is a form of lymphoma).
If you're interested in walking let me know and I'll give you the information. If you're interested in donating, you can do it here. There is no pressure to do it, but if you'd like to, it would be appreciated.
Tuesday, August 03, 2004
Wear Yellow -- Livestrong
This story moved on the Associated Press wire.
By Jim Vertuno
Associated Press Writer
AUSTIN — John Kerry wears one. President Bush has one, too. So do several movie stars.
One of the hottest fashion trends in America is the "Live Strong" yellow wristband produced by the Lance Armstrong Foundation, the cycling superstar’s cancer-fighting organization.
Since the fund-raising effort started in May, the charity has sold 7 million of the rubber bands for $1 each — and it plans to sell 1.8 million more. Nike donated the first $1 million, and proceeds go toward programs for young people with cancer.
Sales easily surpassed the $6 million the foundation initially hoped to raise. The wristbands can be purchased at www.wearyellow.com.
"It’s been an overwhelming experience," foundation President Mitch Stoller said. "I think everybody, from average Americans to celebrities, are getting the message of courage and hope."
Armstrong overcame advanced testicular cancer that had spread to his lungs and brain before putting together one of the most astonishing athletic feats of the past decade by winning a record six Tour de France titles, all in a row.
Armstrong was given only a 50 percent chance to live in 1996 but has won every Tour de France since 1999. He has inspired cancer survivors around the world and linked himself to the traditional yellow jersey worn by the Tour leader and champion.
The foundation timed the fund-raising campaign to coincide with this year’s race, which Armstrong won July 25.
Kerry, the Democratic nominee for president, wore his wristband while campaigning this week and at the Democratic National Convention. Kerry had a cancerous prostate removed in February 2003; his father died of complications from cancer in 2000.
White House spokesman Taylor Gross said Bush also has a wristband and supports the Armstrong foundation.
Foundation spokeswoman Michelle Milford said the group appreciates the candidates’ support but will avoid any political debate.
"The way we fight cancer is a bipartisan issue," she said. "We want support from everybody."
Milford said foundation officials have been keeping track of celebrities wearing the wristbands. Bono of the band U2 and actors Alec Baldwin, Bruce Willis, Robin Williams, Matt Damon and Ben Stiller have been sighted wearing them, Milford said.
The wristband had a noticeable presence at the Tour de France as well.
"A lot of his competitors were wearing them," Milford said. "Cancer doesn’t pick teams."
The biggest spike in sales came during the race. The foundation sold 25,000 in Paris on the race’s final Sunday alone. Another 400,000 were sold over the foundation’s Web site over the next three days.
But the popularity has brought out profit seekers as well.
The online auction site eBay has several listings for wristbands for sale at inflated prices. One listing said the online sale could help the foundation raise cash, but there is no guarantee the money will be sent there, Stoller said.
The foundation is trying to steer buyers away from secondhand purchases.
"We don’t want people buying these and trying to profit," Stoller said. "That’s not the intention of this campaign."
Lance Armstrong Foundation: http://www.laf.org
Wednesday, July 28, 2004
Casey and Emily
By Emily Walthouse
Not many people that read this web site know who I am. I’m a 10-year old girl from Woodstock, GA. But, like a lot of people, I knew Casey.
The first time that I met Casey, was when my Nanny (my grandma) took me to a Denny’s Diner to have lunch and meet her. It was three years ago when I was in the second grade. I was told by my Nanny that she did not have hair but it was different when I saw her in person.
We had to meet her half way between South Carolina and Georgia for lunch, so we were in the car for a long time. I’m not a big fan of sitting in the car with my two little brothers for a long time, but after I met Casey, I knew that the car ride was worth it.
When we met her and I first saw her I felt a little bit funny. A little bit funny because she had no hair. But after five minutes talking with her, she was an inspiration to me. She inspired me because I love to write.
While I was talking with her, the last thing that you would think about was that she had no hair. My brothers liked her, too. Billy, one of my brothers, talked baseball with her. Matthew was too young to talk about much. They both liked her and so did I .
By the end of lunch, Casey and I decided to be pen-pals. I found out that she was a sportswriter. I had been writing stories since kindergarten. Since we both liked to write, we thought that we should write to each other.
I kept in touch with Casey over the year by letters. She wrote back to me, too. We became friends by our letters. I was always happy when I got a letter from her.
A couple months later, I had my first communion. Casey came down to see it. She drove me home after. She gave me a beautiful bracelet with my name on it. I wear it all the time. I loved it when she was at my house.
Last Christmas, all fifteen of the cousins, all twelve aunts and uncles, and two grandparents were at the Springfield Country Club for brunch. Casey came, too. She gave me a wonderful necklace. That was a great Christmas.
I loved to see everyone in that room together. Most of all, I loved seeing Casey in that room with everyone. It was one of the best days of my life.
That was the last time that I saw her in person. It was so sad to hear that she was sick. I talked to her a couple days before her death on the telephone. It was a little hard to understand her with her mask on but it still meant a lot to me that I was talking to her. The last thing that I said to her was that she was a great cousin and that I loved her.
I wore both pieces of jewelry to her funeral. I cried so much. I met many of her friends at the funeral. They were sad, too.
Casey gave me courage. She inspired me and taught me many things without trying. She taught me to be a good friend. She taught me to be strong.
She taught me how much you should dislike the Yankees. Every game that the Red Sox win, I am certain she is watching. She’s probably got a Red Sox cap on over her halo.
I love Casey. I knew she is watching over me and many of us. I think that people like Casey live on in our hearts forever. I know she does in mine. I will never forget her courage or anything else about her. I love Casey.
A dream fulfilled
By Chris Keaney
I have been reading with great interest these many wonderful stories about Casey and the impact she had on so many of your lives. There is a constant thread, however, that runs through each of these recollections, a concern that Casey had so much to offer and that she never really had a chance to fulfill one of her dreams.
I want to dispel that notion by recalling for you a very special day in Casey’s life.Casey is my niece. She is also my godchild. Last summer, my daughter Sarah, who is Director of Fan Services for the Red Sox, had arranged for Casey to meet and have her picture taken with Lou Merloni. Two years ago Casey had written an article about Sarah which had been published in the Providence College Alumni Magazine.
Casey and Sarah are about the same age and shared both a friendship and a passion for sports.In late April the Yankees were coming to Boston and I asked Casey if she would like to attend one of these games. Without hesitating, she said," I’d love to go."I called Sarah and asked her to make the arrangements for us to attend, and on Saturday, April 17, I picked her up at her home in Holyoke and we made our way to Fenway Park.
Casey could not move very easily and so Sarah had made arrangements for us to park in the players lot. Sarah then took us to the new right field seats where Casey camped herself under the new Budweiser sign and watched her Red Sox take their batting practice. I think that she would have been perfectly happy to remain in these seats, but in her condition she could not remain in a crowd and so, as game time approached, Sarah escorted us to our seats for the game.
I had no idea where we were going to sit but we soon found ourselves approaching a door which read "Red Sox - Executive Press Box." I looked at Casey as she walked through that door and I know that she stood up taller. She looked out of the box in one direction and identified the faces of reporters from the Globe, the Herald, and a number of journalists that she knew by name.
Immediately to her right she could see Jerry Remy and Don Orsillo getting ready to broadcast the game. After seating herself in the front row of the box an attendant came in and opened the window in the front of her and immediately, the box was flooded with the sights and sounds of Fenway Park.
The Green Monster loomed to her left and in the right field grandstand she could identify the seat where Ted Williams had hit his legendary home run. There it was – Casey’s own field of dreams.
Within minutes, however, Casey was on her cell phone. She wasn’t about to let this moment pass without advising whoever she could contact that she was sitting in the Executive Press Box.
"Turn on the game", she shouted. "Look up at the Press Box. I’ll wave to you."Shortly after the end of the first inning the door to the Press Box opened and in walked Larry Lucchino, the President and CEO of the Red Sox.
"Hi Casey, I heard you were coming to the game. It’s great to see you" He immediately followed up his greeting with a question. "Where’s your Press Kit?"Casey smiled at Lucchino and said, "That’s OK, I’m not doing much writing these days".
Lucchino responded, "Hey Casey — you’re a reporter." He picked up the phone and within minutes Casey had a complete Press kit delivered to her seat, and for the next three innings he remained by her side and debated with her about how the game should be scored.
For that hour the President of the Sox took no phone calls and diverted any attempts to take him from his seat. Here she was sitting in a Press Box, talking with the guy who had built Camden Yards and who now ran one of the most storied franchises in the history of Major League sports.
You would think that this would have been enough, but there’s more. She went on to consume not one, but two Fenway hot dogs. She followed up with two sodas, and an ice cream. In fact, she probably consumed more food that day than she had eaten in the past month.When the game had ended, (The Red Sox won of course), we waited for the crowd to clear and then made our way to the players parking lot.
When we arrived, several of the team members were getting ready to leave. The attendants were bringing up a Hummer, A Lexus and a Caddy convertible. Out strode Manny Ramirez, Pedro Martinez and David Ortiz. The fans behind the fence were screaming at each of them and the trio was responding to these fans who were waiting to greet them as they left the park.
At this moment the attendant drove up with my little Honda and the crowd fell silent as they watched Casey performed the arduous task of climbing into the front seat. They recognized that with her mask and physical appearance she had to be battling Cancer. They gave each of the ballplayers a hearty round of cheers as they drove by, but their loudest ovation was saved for the girl who had just covered her first game as a major league reporter.
I’m grateful for having been a part of Casey’s day. I’m grateful to my daughter who made it happen. I will never forget the kindness shown to Casey by Larry Lucchino and every member of the Red Sox organization who were so kind to her on that Saturday. But I also want each of you, who knew and loved Casey for your own special reasons, to know that for that one brilliant afternoon, she was truly happy.
Tuesday, July 27, 2004
As I'm sure many of you are aware, Casey would have turned 29 today.
On the tree her Dad planted in her memory in the Kane's backyard, a single pink flower is blooming high on top. It felt like her smiling at us.
Lou Merloni homered last night. Lance Armstrong won his sixth Tour de France and the Red Sox took two out of three from the Yankees this weekend so wherever she is I think she's happy this birthday. So raise a Bass Ale to her this week if you get a chance. I think she'd like that.
Monday, July 19, 2004
I've had a few people tell me that they're following the Tour de France more closely this year because of the inspiration Casey drew from Lance Armstrong (see lower on this site). So this seemed an appropriate addition here. Armstrong's top competition for winning the tour this year is his close friend Ivan Basso, whose mother is battling cancer.
This is from cycling news.
On Tuesday's rest day in Limoges, Armstrong and Basso met to discuss Ivan's mother, who is currently battling cancer in Italy. Armstrong paid homage to Basso today. "Ivan deserved to win the stage today...he's a hell of a good guy and he was super-strong today. We have been friends for a long time...we're working on helping to treat his mom's cancer."
"He and I have been friends for a long time. Now off the bike we're working on his mom's situation to see if she can win the fight against cancer."
"It was special for me to be out there with him. In the last week we haven't talked about the race but talked about his mom."
"It was a pleasure for me that I didn't win."
Sunday, July 11, 2004
This isn't so much a memory as a news flash, on a topic that will forever interest me and likely many of you because of Casey's love for her sweet baby Lou:
Cleveland beats Oakland in final at-bat again
By The Associated Press
Even with a new closer, the Oakland Athletics couldn’t put away those pesky Cleveland Indians.
Pinch-hitter Lou Merloni’s two-run single off Octavio Dotel in the ninth inning gave Cleveland another thrilling victory over the Athletics, 5-4 on Friday night.
So if the sun is shining extra brightly today, you know why...
Thursday, July 08, 2004
Lots to bond over
By Jim Pignatiello
It seems silly now, but I’ve been putting this off for most of the same reasons that Seth Koenig wrote about earlier on this site. It just didn’t feel right to put myself on this board alongside Casey’s closest friends.
I didn’t know Casey before she was sick. I never spent time along with her. I probably saw her in person only a dozen times or so. But then I remembered that Casey would have kicked me in the rear for thinking that way.
As a Collegian writer who came along a few years after Casey graduated, I only knew about her through word of mouth. They still talk about some of the legends down there as the older folks pass along the stories and Casey was someone we heard a lot about in the Sports section.
It wasn’t until my senior year that I met her through Matt at a Steve Lappas Show and I was instantly taken with how the two of them played off each other. As you could all imagine, she was quick to make me feel both comfortable and like a fool at the same time.
We became friends through Matt, each passing along our hellos and catching up to watch an basketball or Red Sox game together at Rafters or Smokeybones.
We bonded over our love for Duke basketball (her favorite player was Bobby Hurley, mine was Grant Hill), the Red Sox and sports writing. She always had a different, and generally more intelligent, way of looking at things.
A few months back, she learned that I was a finalist for a reporting job I really wanted. Over lunch a few days prior to the interview, Casey met up with us at Rafters with prepared questions to quiz me with. She wasn’t letting me go in unprepared.
Not surprisingly, a few of the questions she asked — and stumped me on a bit — were brought up during the interview. Total Casey. I learned later (after I was hired for the job) that Casey was trying to plan a congratulations dinner for me at my favorite restaurant. Apparently, the plan was to tell me she and Matt were taking me out and then to have two more of my best friends from the area surprise me. Unfortunately, she became sick before we could get together, but I’ll never walk into that restaurant without thinking of her and how generous she was to me.
That mock interview was the last time I saw her, and I’ll never forget that she was giving her time to me that day.
As we were leaving, she said her good-byes and gave me hug and told me she loved me for the first time. Our "I love yous" were the last words we spoke to each other.
Wednesday, June 23, 2004
Strong memories for few moments
By Greg Halstead
I've noticed a couple of important things from reading this website over the last couple of weeks: 1) Professional writers can bring such
emotion into their words that it can be enough to make you cry. 2)People have the power to leave indelible marks on the lives of others
just by being themselves. 3) Most importantly, Casey's wonderful life
is a testament to how she is remembered.
I must confess that I'm not a writer, so I don't have the eloquence that so many of you are blessed with. I must also say that I only had the privilege to see Casey three times but despite the many years, I can remember each meeting like it was yesterday. I am proud to be a good friend of Matt's and I can tell you that he thought the world of Casey.
Matt is a great judge of character and any friend of Matt is a friend of mine.
My introduction to Casey was at a bar in Boston so Matt could have me meet his new girlfriend. I was able to learn in the first 5 minutes that Casey was an energetic, friendly, intelligent, opinionated and pretty woman that just had a zest for life. I knew in the first 10 minutes that she loved Umass, the Red Sox, Lou Merloni and Duke. I also learned how much she hated the Yankees (don't we all).
I knew in the first 15 minutes that this woman was going to do something in her life that few ever get the chance to do. Casey would leave a positive impression on every person she would encounter. I'll bet there are at least 1,000 other people out there that have only met Casey a couple of times and could say how their lives were affected positively by this Angel. How many people do you know that have this ability? My guess is that you won't be able to think of many.
Unfortunately, God felt that Casey's talents were better served in Heaven than on Earth. I'm sure that her spirit is leaving indelible
marks throughout heaven as it has left that type of mark throughout all
of you and probably thousands of others that we will never meet. A
person's life can be summed up by how they are remembered, and it is
very clear to see Casey Kane's legacy will live on forever.
God bless you Casey.
A life's landscape
By Elizabeth Walters
The first thing I ever knew about Casey, months before I made her acquaintance, was that she was sick. Once I met her, it was the last thing I could ever remember about her.
I started work in Anderson in September 2001. Casey was out getting treatment that fall, and the first I heard about her was one night when Stacy and Geoffrey were making her a get-well card. I met her for the first time at their Grammys party the following February. All I knew about her, really, was that she was a sports reporter and had been out of work getting cancer treatment.
Turns out that she knew a lot more about me. “I heard you went to Smith! That’s so cool! I went to UMass! I’m so glad there’s someone else from the Pioneer Valley here!” I was bowled over. Here was this person who had been seriously ill, who had every right to be preoccupied with her own problems, who could have just talked to all of her old friends at the party, and she was interested in talking to me—someone she’d never met before.
But, as I’d soon learn, that was Casey. She understood, in a way I didn’t and possibly still don’t, that everyone needs attention. It’s a rule of journalism, but she knew it should also be a rule of life.
My year in Anderson was the most difficult I’ve ever had. The Sept. 11 terror attacks fell during my first week of work. I was used to a college dorm and found living alone isolating and, at times, frighten-ing. The friends I’d seen every day for four years were scattered around the country, the closest a 12-hour drive away. Although I made new friends in Anderson, I longed for the familiar, for school and for Northampton.
When Casey came back to work, in May, I was still homesick. But talking to her made things better. If there was someone else who knew about Herrell’s and Packard’s and Atkins Farms (funny how so many of our conversations revolved around food and drinking), then it meant that those places existed, that I could go back to them someday if I needed to. She told me about her Pioneer Valley, too—about Collegian parties, about the Colleens in Holyoke, about the importance of late-night slices at Antonio’s. When we talked, I’d see in my mind the trees in fall, the view of the Quad through my window, the profile of Mount Tom rising up as I’d walk past the pond down to orchestra rehearsal.
We talked about many other things that spring and summer — our plans for the future, our families, boys, books we’d read, books I thought she should read, books she thought I should read (some of which she later lent to me), Catholicism, journalism, sledding hills, music, Ireland, the Red Sox.
Casey was so many things, and as I learned more about her, her cancer faded so far into the background as to become an afterthought. She was beautiful. She was glamorous. She was smart. She was funny. She was one of the best storytellers I’ve ever heard, or read. Everybody wanted to sit next to her.
Casey was the cool older sister I’d never had and always wanted. I wanted to be just like her; I still do. Being in her company was always a treat, and an honor.
But those first nostalgic dialogues she shared with me were an outright gift. When she barely knew me, Casey gave me a way to move on from my past while keeping it alive, and moving on is what I needed if I was to ever be happy again.
As it turned out, we both went back to New England in fall 2002, her for a stem cell transplant and me for a job in New Hampshire. I got to visit her, and we took several excursions. We went to Fitzwilly’s for dinner and beers. We went to the Hangar with Matt. We went to hear Mount Holyoke’s Christmas vespers with Chris and Maryka. (Casey said her vocal range wasn’t wide enough for her to sing along, so, in her typical make-lemonade style, she whistled “O Come All Ye Faithful” and “Joy to the World.”).
In the time we spent together, I never asked her why she was so nice to me that night. Maybe she sensed that I needed someone to talk to – that I was lonely, that I was, to be honest, unhappy most of the time. More likely, she just saw me sitting there and decided to introduce herself. After all, that was Casey. She never wanted anyone to feel left out.
On the day before her funeral, when I was driving south on 91, I realized that my geography of the area had shifted. Here was not just Northampton on my right, here was Casey’s Amherst on my left. Towering to my right was Mount Tom, where Casey and her brothers learned to ski, back when Mount Tom still had skiing. Still miles ahead was the house with the basketball hoop, just down the block from the elementary school, on a street named for her family. In helping me reclaim my old stomping grounds, I now realized, Casey had given me something far more precious: the landscape of most of her life.
The valley had never looked more beautiful.
Liz worked with Casey at the Anderson Independent Mail.
Thursday, June 17, 2004
A Spirit Finaly Free
There are few people in the world that truly inspire you to try. Now, when I say "try" I don't mean that you don't give an honest effort every day.
Try in the sense that I mean is the effort that comes from the heart, not stretching to reach for the remote.
I was a hack photo technician for the Collegian my sophomore year. Scared as I was to walk into the office, the people were welcoming, especially one. I had the luck of the draw to be the photog for the Ben Folds Five show one night in Northampton. The reporter for the show was this woman named Casey.
I'd talked to her in the office, but that was the extent of my knowledge of her. After that night, I can say that my life was changed for the better.
We went to Wendy's to order some food before the show. When I received my change, I tried to do a smooth no-look drop of the change into the charity collection they had, I missed. Casey laughed and laughed and, instead of feeling silly, I laughed as well. I still smile when I think of that laugh.
Casey encouraged me to become an editor, and I in fact, changed my entire semester's schedule around specifically to work with her the next semester.
We spent hours dancing on desks to Fat Boy Slim, listening to music way to loud for others to work, and again, laughing.
Casey encouraged me to become Managing Editor, and I thank her to this day.
Casey yelled at me when I told her how much an Internet editor's salary was.
As I sat in my chair at the office, I got the e-mail. "I have cancer." The world stopped, for a second. Then it started turning, as Casey joked and described so plainly what she would be going through, as if she was having a cavity filled.
At that moment, I made a decision, one that I don't think I ever told her: When I am lucky enough to become a parent, to be blessed with that awesome responsibility, I want my first child's name to be Casey. (Thank God it is a Unisex name, I'd have a hard time explaining to my son why his name was Jennifer or Suzanne.)
If there is one person in this world blessed enough to have half of the passion, the drive and the gift to make people smile that Casey did, and still does, well, I'd want them playing on my team.
It's amazing that you can hear things through your heart, I still hear
the clink of the change on the floor, the laugh, the more laughing, and the smile. You think that you can't hear a smile? I can hear her smile right now.
Casey is a spirit to me, and now she is free to fly. She can now follow Lou Merloni to all his various starts in the Majors, minors, Independent Mexican League, his career as a coach in the Cape Cod League, and eventual presidency.
Hopefully that is making you smile Casey, it's the least I can give
Ken McDonald worked with Casey at the Massachusetts Daily Collegian.
Saturday, June 12, 2004
By Will Martin
Why Casey? If you knew Casey, if you knew here at all, if her life even touched you once, you've asked why.
Why not the drug dealer? The murderer? Why not the bad people of this world? Or as Casey might ask, why not one of the New York Yankees?
I don't know why, but for some clues, I turned to Casey. Casey loved to read and among her many books I found "The Problem of Pain" by C.S. Lewis, who himself lost a wife to cancer.
From that book, one line stands out. Lewis states "God whispers to us in our pleasure, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains."
If Lewis is right, God whispered often through Casey. Casey knew pleasure.
Casey personified pleasure. Whether it be a simple beer among friends or climbing South Carolina's highest peak only months after her first bout with cancer, Casey refused to allow life's cirumstances to deny her life's pleasures.
If Lewis is right, God also spoke through Casey, because through her battle with cancer, she awakened many a conscience.
Young coworkers were reminded that life isn't about the next paycheck or next year's vacation, but it's about what you'll do with today.
A locker room of high school football players learned from Casey that their troubled homes and questionable lots in life were not insurmountable injustices, but challenges from which they could grow.
Casey's daily courage pricked our conscience with the truth that warriors aren't found just on battlefields, but heroism is all around us, if we'll only slow down long enough to look.
In the end, Casey knew pain, which brings us back to why. Why, if Lewis is right, would God send an angel like Casey through a hell like three rounds of cancer? What was he shouting to her? To us? I don't exactly know.
But I know Casey found God through the pain. In one of our last moments alone, she told me that I could hold her hand on this side of eternity, but that Jesus gets to hold it on the other - in her words, "the perfect package deal."
I've cursed God plenty throughout my 32 years of life, including the past several days. But now, seeking His grace, for my own existence, I will choose to view Casey's life and illness and death, not as injustices, but as a loving shout from a father trying to speak and whisper to his hurting child. For those of you who love Casey, and you are many, I hope you will find the grace to do the same.
We'll miss you Casey.
Will delivered this eulogy at Casey's funeral.