Through sci-fi and our limitless imagination we can live forever, we can touch the stars, and we can best any foe. There is a romance in that free and unbelievable escape, a poetry to the words of Bradbury, Wells, and the contemporary masters. Sci-fi fans Tashi King and Kevin “Wash” Pratt felt the pull of that romance and their shared love of it made their love for each other stronger. Just 22 and 24 when they married, the two were partners in crime, going to Cons and taking in copious amounts of Joss Whedon and Doctor Who.
It’s a familiar story to those who are lucky enough to have someone to share their interests with and it’s a thing that others who don’t have that often wish they did — a friend, a partner, someone to geek out with. For Tashi and Kevin, though, things would soon take an awful turn.
It began with Kevin losing his job as an architect and then snowballed from there. Sarah Fenske from the Phoenix New Times tells the full story here, but in short — Kevin stopped laughing and he stopped being himself. This wasn’t depression though and it wasn’t marital troubles. Kevin had a tumor in his brain, an aggressive one that had compromised his memory, his physical ability, and his state of being. Worse still, the tumor, a gliobastloma multiformeit, was a likely death sentence, usually taking those afflicted by it 9 to 12 months after diagnosis 95% of the time. Kevin is presently 27 and he has lived with terminal brain cancer for 28 months.
Words can’t express the frozen hell of lost memories, missed moments, and helplessness that these two have doubtlessly suffered through — their once boundless imaginations forced to entertain thoughts of his end and her journey without him. Tashi, who is her husband’s full-time caregiver, spoke of her love for Kevin in a blog post, a piece that kicks you hard and feels like a near invasion to read, or in my case, post about, but she clearly wants the world to know how this man has made her feel: You care. My Wash, you care.
You have always been supportive of who I am, what I love, and what I care about.
You give me the motivation and inspiration to always be better, to be patient, to be kind, to be loving.
You are the person I want to touch as I fall asleep every night. You are the person I want to speak my last words to every night, “I love you”.
You push me to keep living, every day.
Even in the bad times, you are still my best friend.
I will take happily every day I am allowed to wake up next to you, my love. For however long we get.
Kevin is in Home Hospice Care now and his condition is worsening. Mindful that the end may be near, Tashi has taken to the net to let people know about her husband’s last wish, one that is as heartbreaking as it is splendidly geeky. He would like a portion of his ashes to be placed in a TARDIS urn (you can see details about the urn at Regretsy).
In an effort to help make that happen and help ease the extreme financial hardship placed on the couple, her friends have started a donation site and several sites like Comics Alliance, Blastr, and now us have taken notice. According to the fundraising page, the money received “will be used for things like rent, general expenses, end-of-life care, medical bills, and memorial costs.”
The message is clear: We are a community and Kevin and Tashi are a part of that, so while we are tragically unable to deliver immortality, the stars, or the ability to best this foe, we can stand here in awe of their love and help give them one last thing to geek out about.