August 5, 2000
picture was graciously shared with our community by Kevin's sister.
It was taken in September 1989, prior to Kevin's being diagnosed with HCV.
it has already been nearly 6 months since we lost Kevin,
he is still in our hearts and prayers. The following is a Holiday Message, written in December 2000, from Kevin's sister Monette....
Kevin Drue Donnelly, USAR, Captain, is unable to wish you a Merry
Christmas for the year 2000, I wish to send holiday greetings to you in
knew last year that 1999 would be his last Christmas. He spent
Christmas Eve and Christmas morning in the ER ward. A neighbor drove
him to the hospital, upon Kevin's request near 4:00 a.m. When we spoke
later on Christmas afternoon, he asked me to not to share how ill he
was, including with his parents. He did not want others to worry about
him, but he wanted vets and people to work together moving forward.
Kevin wanted each moment, each minute to count, to continue the momentum
with education and research. He was devoted to helping others in their
fight against HCV.
Kevin sent his siblings a large silver sequin Christmas
ornament. It had the year 1999 - 2000 on it and was filled with
chocolates. Kevin wanted us to have this 'last' special gift from him.
He also sent a red fire station 'house' to his nephews. That afternoon,
as our sister-in-law was cooking, the smoke alarm 'went off' in the
kitchen. I woke the boys from their naps, dressed them in fireman
outfits and equipped each with the fire tools Kevin had sent. They ran
down the hall, half asleep, fire extinguishers in hand, swinging toy
axes, fire hats tipped down their faces to each chin. I took pictures;
then I phoned Kevin. Although he was tired, ill and alone, we roared
laughter. I am so grateful for that memory. There are memories that I
hold deep in my heart: the memories of listening to Kevin describe his
newest project, most exciting correspondence that day. Often Kevin
would phone or email sharing his enthusiasm for another path, a new
curve in the HCV highway.
of you would include as a New Year resolution to continue to
educate others, Kevin's life, research and death will have been a well
fought fight. He fought to live, just as others are now. You can make
a difference. You can set goals together. You can assist to find 'the'
cure educating others and working together.
you for the notes, cards, poems and emails that continue to be
sent since his death August 5th, 2000. Just as Kevin impacted so many people
in his life, you too can make a difference. Kevin would want it that
way. He would be on the phone, on the net, and leading a new charge
over the next HCV hill tonight and for each tomorrow that he was still
with us. May you have a peaceful Holiday. And will you please say a
prayer for my brother's soul?
Christmas and God Bless,