Oct 2, 2019 2:13
I met Steve and his parents at The Gorse Mill in Needham MA at the kickoff gathering for the Boston Brain Tumor Ride the winter/spring after his surgery. I asked if he was a rider and he replied yes, and a patient. He related his curiosity story and I remember being amazed at his strength, character, modesty and outlook. I remember his answer when I asked what he “did” and he replied a grad student in Boston. I sensed a hesitation. He wasn’t looking to make an impression by mentioning MIT or PhD or with whom he worked. Coming from a science background myself, I asked about his work and enjoyed hearing about his amazing 3D printers.
I looked Steven up on the internet when I got home. Reading more, I found his email address and asked if he would share more of the details at which point Steven shared the YouTube link to his surgery. We emailed back and forth, and then checked in to see how he did at the Boston Brain Tumor ride since our paths did not cross on the event day. And then a year later was another exchange initiated by me, just checking in. Steven was always warm and cordial to this very much older person with whom he spoke to for all of 20 minutes.
I remember seeing an article on Steven now a PhD graduate of MIT being hired by Apple and being delighted. Smiling as I quietly congratulated both him and Apple.
Over the years I would relate Steven’s story of smelling vinegar for about 30 seconds. Sharing with others my understanding of his diagnosis and survival. Then and just two days ago I was telling a coworker about Steven and how his surgery is on YouTube. She declined the link.
So of course, with Steven in my thoughts I googled him. Anticipating to read about his continued successes in open source medical data only to learn of his passing. I am profoundly saddened. A 20 minute conversation — equal to a pebble being thrown into a pond— Steven’s ripple effect is endless. My prayers are with his family.
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