I was first made aware of Dean Eastmond when a journalist contacted me about an article that she wanted to write for a new magazine his HISKIND. I naturally followed the magazine and its editors on twitter because I thought I might be able to write an article for them one day. Dean is one of those editors and what I was actually following was his struggle with Ewings Sarcoma, a form of soft tissue cancer.
Over the last 6 months I have read his journey with cancer through his twitter feed and his articles for the press and his blog. During his fight, he has wanted to make people aware of the issue surrounding the gay community and cancer and has been a real LGBT+ activist, winning an Attitude Pride award for his writing and activism.
Dean is loosing his battle with cancer, and the many ups and downs have been lived by myself and the 1000’s of people that follow him on twitter. He has weeks left to live. What makes his journey so special is that he has been so incredibly brave about putting his thoughts and feelings into writing so that he might help other people that might be going through the same thing as him. It reminds me of the film Precious where her teacher tells her to write it all down, get it all out on paper, tell everyone your story because that is what will be left after you have gone. Its good practice for us all to do, to get our thoughts and feelings out, if nothing else just to know that someone else is listening and cares.
Dean’s last tweet is one that is utterly heartbreaking but so brave and courageous to share with everyone explaining that his battle with cancer is almost over and that he can feel the cancer is taking him over. He explains that he is fighting for weeks to live rather than the years that he so longs for. I have not read a series of tweets that have moved me as much as Dean’s, nor have I read something so brave about a battle thats about to be lost, to cancer, by a 21 year old.
Dean, for me, will prove to be a constant reminder about how lucky I am that I am not going through what he is going through but if I were to be, how to do it bravely and courageously. I don’t know Dean personally but I’m with him every step of the way, holding his hand along with everyone else that is sharing his battle with him.