Friday, March 30, 2012

MGH ONE HUNDRED

Dear Family and Friends,


I am delighted to inform you that Jeff was nominated and has been selected as part of the One Hundred, Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center's annual fundraiser honoring 100 individuals and groups whose diligence and discoveries, philanthropy and passion have helped advance the fight against cancer. 

We're thrilled that they will honor Jeff for his advocacy and fundraising efforts through Living with the Big C and Cycling Against Sarcoma, among his other many accomplishments.

I want to thank all of you for your beautiful nominations. I was told that Jeff had more nominations than any other candidate in the history of the MGH One Hundred. Jeff will be honored with a video tribute at the One Hundred fundraising gala on Thursday, June 7, 2012 at the Westin Boston Waterfront. 


I am honored to accept this recognition on Jeff's behalf.


Autumn

Saturday, January 28, 2012

2012 Fundraising Campaign

We have started a new fundraising campaign in 2012 in memory of our beloved Jeff Guyer. Our 2012 goal is to raise more than $250,000 in order to directly fund liposarcoma research at Massachusetts General Hospital. Please click on the "Donate" button to your right to make your donation. Please help us find a cure to this terrible disease and remember to "Breathe in Hope, Breathe out Love."

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

PLEASE NOMINATE JEFF FOR THE MGH ONE HUNDRED


Dear Family and Friends of Cycling Against Sarcoma,

Each year Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston accepts nominations honoring one hundred individuals whose diligence, discoveries, philanthropy, and passion have helped advance the fight against cancer.  We are asking that you submit a nomination on Jeff’s behalf for this honor.

The MGH One Hundred is a group of 100 individuals who have "contributed to the fight against cancer in creative and meaningful ways." Jeff is a shoe-in for the award but we need to have everyone we know nominate him. There is strength in numbers.Multiple nominations for Jeff increase the chance that he will be selected.  Just click on the link below and follow the 3 simple steps to nominate Jeff.


Step 1: Please enter the below information:
I wish to Nominate: Jeff Guyer
Nominee’s Organization (title): examples include "Inspirational Writer," "Founder of Team Jaguar's Cycling Against Sarcoma," "Patient, Philanthropist, Optimist, and Creator of the Inspirational Blog, Living with the Big C," or any other designation you see fit.
Nominee’s Address:  c/o Autumn Guyer, Boston, MA 02114
Nominee’s Phone Number:  Leave Blank    
Nominee’s E-mail AddressAutumn.Guyer@gmail.com

Step 2:
Enter your address

Step 3: Required is a short essay (at least 250 wordsdescribing specific examples of how Jeff has contributed to the fight against cancer and what he has done that has affected you and the entire community.

Examples of how Jeff inspired us all may include a discussion about his blog, “Living with the Big C,” (http://jeffsfightwithcancer.blogspot.com/)  which remains a prime example of how Jeff inspired us to “breathe in hope, breathe out love” and despite difficult times to always remember to enjoy every day. Another example of Jeff’s contribution to cancer was through his clear understanding of the need for fundraising to support basic science research to one day find a cure to sarcoma and all cancers. By founding “Team Jaguar” he inspired us all to raise money through the Dana Farber Cancer Center/Pan Mass Challenge website. Many of you rode your bike in one of the organized bike rides this year to raise money for cancer research and many more of you raised money as virtual riders. Over the past year and a half, Team Jaguar has raised over $190,000 that will go directly to sarcoma research. We will continue to raise money in honor of Jeff until we find that cure to sarcoma and all other cancers.


Please forward this email to everyone you know and post it on your Facebook page. 

Love Always,
Autumn Guyer

Friday, June 10, 2011

We Remember Jeff

A funeral is a ceremony for celebrating, sanctifying, or remembering the life of a person who has died.  Jeff's certainly was that and more.  We had over 600 friends and family attend Jeff's funeral in Dallas.  There were not enough seats for everyone who came and hundreds of people stood outside the chapel for the hour long service.  The speeches were beautiful, sweet, funny, and sad.  We laughed, cried, and relished in the memories of Jeff.  We have received hundreds of emails, text messages, and cards from family, friends, and complete strangers from all over the world who have been inspired by Jeff and his blog.  We thank you all for your outpouring of love and support.  Please always remember our Jeffrey and try to live by his last words ... "Breathe in Hope, Breathe out Love." Below are copies of the Eulogies for those of you who couldn't join us.


Love,
Autumn, Shelly & Rick, Lindsay, Kim & Dan, Samantha & Jessica,  Helen, and Benson






From Rabbi David Rosen (Cousin from Congregation Beth Yeshurun in Houston, TX)

          My friends, today is as sad a day as anyone could imagine. We should not be here; we should instead be laughing and celebrating life with Jeff and Autumn, such a beautiful young couple who stood under the wedding canopy just a year-and-a-half ago.
          Now instead, we are here in Dallas, numbed by what has unfolded over the last year and still reeling over the painful loss we are forced by reality to absorb. We do not know what to say. We want to put our arms around Autumn, around Shelly and Rick and say something that might make lessen the pain or make it all go away.
          Yes, life can be unfair, even cruel, and we who are only mortals can ask all the questions of God and Man we like – how did it happen, why did it happen – and for all we ask, there will still be no answers that can bring comfort and peace into our hearts.
          We can only say with certainty two things:  First, that after a year of so much suffering, both emotional and physical, at last our beloved Jeffrey is not in pain; he is at peace. For he was too young to suffer so, too sweet, too beautiful a human being to bear such a burden. But now, he is at peace. And second, we can with certainty that no one has ever been more loved, received better care, touched more people, and defined courage with greater dignity than this young man, only 30 years old. When he had every right to feel embittered, to strike out and raise an angry fist, he chose instead to fight on, to never give up, to grasp at each possibility, and in the last days of his life, to thank his doctors and nurses and therapists, to show gratitude, respect and love.
          But we should not have been surprised by how Jeff handled all of this adversity. All of his life, as a child, then young adult, he was instantly likeable. As someone wrote about him, “If you met Jeff Guyer and knew him for only five minutes, you knew Jeff. His infectious smile, unbridled enthusiasm for his craft and obvious joy of the ‘moment’ gave you a full and unfiltered view of his personality.”
          He had this way of making everyone feel instantly loved and appreciated. Even in the hospital, when he was so uncomfortable, he was always ready and eager to give every visitor a hug and a kiss and made you feel like you were his dearest friend – and there wasn’t a single false note – that was Jeff. Shelly and Rick, what a mentsch you raised! You could see it on the faces of his doctors and therapists, you could hear it in the way they spoke with him – he wasn’t just a patient, they loved him.
          And because of that warmth he so easily radiated, the friends he made at Greenhill School and later the University of Pennsylvania, and then at Alphatec Spine stayed with him and extended themselves in ways you just don’t see. So many people simply treasured his warmth and humor and ever-present smile. I love how it was put in the article which appeared in the paper: “He had the mind of an engineer, the soul of an artist, and a passion for sailing and biking.”
          And what a beautiful son he was to Shelly and Rick.  Jeff didn’t just love his Mom and Dad, he adored them. There wasn’t a day he didn’t know how much he was loved, and there wasn’t a day when Rick and Shelly wouldn’t do anything for their son.
          That was so clear over the last dozen months, as Shelly and Rick made countless trips back and forth to Boston, and Shelly in particular all but lived there, doing her best to help Jeffrey and Autumn both. There were the many visits by Kim and Dan, and Lindsay, and Nancy and Jeanine and their families. And all of these visits meant so much, and it seemd that every time a family member showed up, Jeffrey perked up; all these visits lifted his spirits and gave him an emotional lift. Family meant so very much to him, and anyone who knows Shelly and Rick knows that family has always come first.
          And what a wonderful husband Jeff was to his beautiful Autumn. She was the springtime of his life, casting a summer glow on his darkest days. And I have never seen a couple that loved one another more than Jeff and Autumn did. It was a love I first observed in Las Vegas a year-and-a-half ago when I first met Autumn and her mother Helen.The first time I saw Jeffrey and Autumn at the hotel, I immediately noticed how Jeff touched her, how he looked at her, how he spoke to her. Clearly, he didn’t just love her, he adored her.
          And that night, when we stood under the huppah, I recited what Jeffrey had told me he most loved about his bride: “Autumn is adorable!” he said. “So caring and loyal. Always surprising me with little notes in my lunch box or with a welcoming hug when I return from work. I love how she is always there to support me with a listening ear or a helping hand. Her insatiable capacity for love and how we share the same passions. It’s wonderful finding someone who is always ready for new adventures and willing to try new things; that’s what Autumn is for me,” Jeff said, “and I love her so.”
          Who knew how deeply that love would be tested in the months that followed. But through it all, the passion remained and their love, it seemed, grew even stronger. And most wonderfully, in the short time I visited with them in Boston a couple of weeks ago, so many times I would glance over at Jeff and see him looking at Autumn, and quietly, gently, he would look into her eyes and tell her how much he loved her.
          She was his Encourager with a capital E. When he would grow frustrated, she would reassure him. When he struggled to make sense of all the options his many doctors put before him, she made sense of it all for him and comforted him and reassured him. And give him a kiss, a squeeze of the arm, run her fingers through his hair, and tell him that she loved him.
          Here was a love story played out not on a big screen, but in their small apartment or hospital room, day after day, night after night. Yes, through it all, Jeff was never alone, but always in the company of family and friends.
          It would have been so easy for Jeffrey to simply throw in the towel any time along the way. As his condition worsened, no one would have faulted him. But that was not Jeff. He pushed himself to enjoy every moment of life he could. In his extraordinary blog, he described in careful detail all that he was experiencing, not only in the hospital but in his many trips around New England and down to Dallas and Houston.
          His blog could at times be emotionally difficult to read, but at other times, his emotions soared when he described how wonderful it felt to go on short trips with Autumn and of course Benson, his life-affirming little doggie.
          Always and to the end, Jeff savored life, and even when it became clear, just last week, that his time was so very limited, he pushed himself to be discharged from the hospital so that he might enjoy a normal life at home in the time he had left. He dreamed of traveling to California and driving down the coast, but sadly, that was not to be.
          Yes, today we are here and we are so sad. But today, too, we are here to celebrate what this young man did in so little time. As the story in the paper said, “He made us laugh, cry, and taught us to take advantage of life’s little opportunities and tiny miracles.”
          In Jeffrey’s words on his blog: “I’m not sure if this is my last posting, but if it is I want to thank everyone whom has helped me along the way, everyone whom has become inspired tomake a difference, and everyone whom has changed their own lives to better take advantage of life’s little opportunities and tiny miraces. It’s not a goodbye but more of a see you later. It’s truly been an honor and privilege.”
          And for a young man to write that, to teach us about life and courage and being hopeful as Jeffrey did, to inspire us and uplift us, how blessed were we to know him and to share what years we had with him.
          And my final words? I draw on the words of an anonymous writer who offered his prayerful wish, that my cousin Jeffrey might enjoy in the next world what he most enjoyed in this one:
                    May the ride rise up to meet thee.
                    May the wind be always at thy back.
                    May the sun shine warm upon thy face.
                    And the rains fall soft upon thy fields.
                    And until we meet again,
                    May God continue to hold thee in the palm of His hand.
                    Zikhrono livrahah – may his memory ever be for a blessing.
                    Amen.




From Brad Meyers (Jeff's best friend from high school)

          Over the past few days, we've read and heard hundreds of comments about how Jeff battled his cancer with courage, grace, humor and an amazing positive attitude. But what's truly amazing about Jeff is that this wasn't only how Jeff lived with cancer. It was the way he lived life every day that I had the pleasure to know him.
          Jeff found joy in the little things. He could find just as much joy in a blockbuster movie as he did in the bagel-lox-and-onion sandwich that he snuck into that movie. Seriously, he spent all of Kill Bill 2 talking to that sandwich.
          Jeff was generous and forgiving. Last Saturday, we were watching a movie in his hospital room and I needed to get something off my chest. "Jeff," I admitted, "when we lived together, sometimes I'd run out of clean underwear and sneak into your drawer and steal yours." Without turning his head from the movie, Jeff simply replied, "I know, Brad."
          Jeff was a committed friend. During our wedding the weather became so severe that many guests were left grounded in their home airports. When the airport closed in San Diego, Jeff rented a car and drove to Palm Springs to catch a flight in time to arrive at the rehearsal dinner. I think he would have hitchhiked if he had to.
          Jeff was a wonderful teacher. Whether it be to his co-workers, his sisters, or Benson, his best canine friend. Jeff even taught Benson to ring a bell when he had to go outside to go to the bathroom. That's just amazing.
          Jeff gave us so much in his lifetime. He of course gave us his amazing story through his blog, which has already begun to help both people who know Jeff well as well as complete strangers who only know him through his words. He gave us the Guyer Lift, an award-wining procedure that makes spinal fusing safer, quicker and more comfortable for many patients.
          And most importantly, he gave us Autumn. Who is not only my good friend's wife but also my very good friend. Autumn, please know that every hug you get from one of us, and every cuddle or kiss you get from Benson, isn't just from us but from Jeff, too. A reminder of how much he loves you. And please know that we are humbled and honored to be able to deliver that message to you.
          I will miss my friend for a lifetime. But I take comfort in knowing that his life was nothing sort of, as Jeff himself would say, a-ma-zing.".




From Zac Bleicher (Jeff's best friend from high school)

          I met Jeff in 9th grade when he came to Greenhill, and we immediately hit it off, sitting at the lunch table or out on the rocks together, with all the usual suspects, telling jokes and cramming in last minute math homework. I still remember the incredible doodling we passed around Mr. Warner’s geometry class, including Jeff’s trademark ducks and chickens.
          Through the years of high school we became better and better friends. I spent many, many nights over at the Guyers’, sharing dinners with the family, staying up late and watching movies, and just hanging out in a way that only best friends can. And then, as fortune would have it, we both ended up being accepted to Penn and were able to spend another four quality years in Philadelphia together.
          What more is there to say about Jeff that hasn’t already been said? Gone from us is a smart, witty, goofy, warm and passionate man with whom I’m proud to have been friends for over 15 years. What I’d like to add to the litany of praises for Jeff is that he was also one of the most fearless people I knew. He was never afraid to go after anything he thought was important or could be a fun opportunity. Like when he decided to pick up and move out to San Diego when he felt he needed a change of lifestyle. And what a great choice that was, for it was there that he met the love of his life, Autumn.
          Even in the past year, there was perhaps only one moment when I sensed Jeff felt truly at a loss for courage and that was the first time I talked to him about his diagnosis. But true to form, after a moment of tears, he composed himself and told me he didn’t believe life was about what was fair or not, but simply what needed to be done in the present. And that is what I see as his best strength: to push on and fight in the face of impossible adversity. A life without fear and filled with love for every waking moment.
          I do just want to add one remark about the Cycling Against Sarcoma fundraiser that Jeff and I organized over the last few months. I am so grateful that Jeff was able, in his endless positive way, to encourage me to pursue it in spite of the fact Jeff knew he would never be able to ride his bike again. Through this effort, Jeff felt he had a project to work on until the very end, and he knows that it will be something we, his friends and family, can return to doing every year both to remember him and to hopefully make it easier for current and future sufferers of his disease to extend their lives or even be cured. Jeff is leaving a legacy of love and friendship, but he is also leaving hope for everyone who will be diagnosed with liposarcoma. I am so fortunate that Jeff allowed me to work with him in this way over the last months of his life.
          Jeff, I will miss you dearly. You were always someone I could turn to for advice, many laughs, and of course, expert computer advice. Thank you for the opportunity to share with you many parts of your amazing life.




From David Spiegel (Jeff's best friend from high school)

          I have had the privilege to call Jeff my friend for 16 years, and I am a better man for having known him. But Jeff was more than a friend, and I was reminded of how he felt every time we talked, because he would start of every phone conversation with an exuberant “Brother!”
          I nicknamed Jeff “Goober” back in high school, we joked that he was so simple minded that he enjoyed everything. But we all knew that this was far from the truth. Jeff wasn’t easily entertained because he was simple, but rather because he chose to be entertained. He would rather make people laugh and be fascinated with minutiae than live life in worry like so many of us do, and it’s this attitude that let him live such an incredible and rich life in such a short time.
          He could go on and on about a subject that no one normally cares about, but to Jeff if it was neat, it was fascinating. Once, I was privy to an hour long sermon about the wonders of his universal remote, but he was also a good sales man and guess what, I have that remote.
          But it was his analytical and creative mind that made him a Renaissance man, someone you could talk to about technology and science, but who also loved to paint and sculpt. And most of all, he wanted to make people happy, and for 30 years, that’s what Jeff did best.
          Jeff’s easy going attitude is why so many people loved him. He was the kindest person I have or will ever know. Jeff never spoke ill of anyone, and his kindhearted attitude even carried into a year filled with challenges that most people would not have the strength to face, but he did.
          When he wrote about his experience in his blog, he didn’t think anyone needed to hear the unfair suffering he and his family faced; instead he tried to convey his genuine strength and optimism in the face of adversity.
          I know many of you read his final blog post, but I thought I would share how I saw it begin. On Saturday night, as I left the hospital at 2am in the middle of Total Recall, I noticed Jeff had started tooling around on his ipad, which often meant he was blogging. I offered to lend him my laptop and he smiled and said he’d rather just write it with one finger. The truth was, his vision had been bothering him throughout the weekend so it was easier to type by focusing on one letter at a time as opposed to a full keyboard.
          When I woke up in the morning and read the poignancy that he was able to convey with just one finger, it was just another example of how incredible he truly was. Jeff’s sense of humor was quirky and goofy, but you’ll be hard pressed to find someone as genuine as he was. As I sat with him and his family last Friday, Jeff looked at me and told me that he was going to ask the big guy upstairs for a favor, he was going to ask for him to help me with my hairline. And on Saturday night, as Brad and I left the hospital room for Jeff to finish what would be his final blog while watching Total Recall, he called to us as we left with a “Get your ass to Mars!”.
          Jeff was more than a friend, he was family. I’m going to miss my brother and will never forget my dear friend. Rick, Shelly, Kim, Lindsay and Dan, I know you have lost a son and brother, but look around you and know that he has left you with several in his place. I know we can never replace Jeff, but if we each can take what we learned from our friend, the effect in this world will be felt.
          When Jeff signed my Ketubah and I signed his, I envisioned the two brothers from different mothers and our wives taking family vacations for years to come. Well, while Jeff is no longer with us, he did give us the leave us an incredible sister in Autumn. You joined our family 2 years ago, so take it or leave it, you’ve got a family larger than you could ever imagine who are here for you, who care for you, and who won’t let you go. You are our sister now, and through our extended and non-genetic family, we will help keep Jeff with us through being the family that he cherished.





From Rabbi Glickman (Congregation Shearith Israel in Dallas, TX)

          We come here today, with grief spilling out of ourselves, reaching for the love of one another, shaking our heads in disbelief, and shaking our fists at God at the loss of Jeffrey Guyer. This is so profoundly difficult, because it is not the way it is supposed to be.  I have done funerals for people three times Jeffrey’s age with less to say.  Jeff simply left us much too soon.  There is no other way to say it, there is nothing I can say about an Eternal plan that could make sense about losing Jeff from our lives at this young age and with this much untapped potential.
          Jeff was a Dallas boy starting off at Solomon Schechter Academy, going off to the Plano Schools and finally to Greenhill for High School where he made life-long friends.  It was also where he gained skills like art and sailing that would continue to give him joy for his entire life.  Then, off he went University of Pennsylvania to study Mechanical Engineering.
          As a boy, Jeff was a goofy-looking, skinny kid who had not yet picked up his athleticism.  The 1980’s were really not good for many of us – style-wise, and little Jeffrey was no exception, with his huge glasses and wide smile that took up half his face.  He would grow into his frame, lose the 1980’s glasses, learn how to dress, but that smile – oh that smile.  That smile never left him.  It was the kind of smile that disarmed and charmed anyone he met, helped him make friends, and drew anyone nearby into his easy orbit.
          Jeffrey was always kind, sweet, a mensch, a gutte neshama – a good soul. He was the kid who wasn’t afraid to hold his dad’s hand, and whose sisters looked up to.  Jeff loved his family, and his family adored him.  Not just his parents, Rick and Shelley, and his sisters Kim and Lindsay, but also all of the cousins, aunts and uncles.  He was very independent, but at the same time loved his family and loved being with them.
          Jeff was the one who had the answers for everything.  He knew how to program everything in the house, fix any computer, set up any gadget.  He was always the natural teacher, he was the one who knew how to do everything.  He also was totally honest and open.  He never held back his opinions or his feelings, and sometimes – even to the detriment of the listener – he would share what he thought.  He loved everyone.  He helped everyone. He also had a special relationship with Benson, his best canine friend – who he even trained to ring a bell every time he needed to go outside to pee.
          Jeffrey was silly.  He was goofy.  He had a great sense of humor.  That humongous smile never left him, and he was a charmer.  He traveled Europe by himself, creating adventures along the way, and collecting friends the way others would collect souveniers.
          His cousins looked up to him.  Jeff was the big cousin who they would sneak off and have their first beer with.  He was the one who taught the younger male cousins how to talk to girls, how to dress, what music to listen to.  Growing up sandwiched between two sisters, I think that Jeffrey enjoyed having the role of “big brother” with his cousins.
          On a professional level, it is really incredible to understand Jeff’s accomplishments at such a young age.  His work at Alphatec Spine in San Diego, allowed him to invent and create the GLIF.  The GLIF was originally known as the Guided Lumbar Interbody Fusion technique, and has since been renamed the Guyer Lumbar Interbody Fusion technique.  This device, which started for Jeff as a back of the napkin sketch, and ended with him receiving national awards, will allow doctors to work on patients whose spine needs to be fused without turning over the patient.  As I understand, this is the part of these dangerous surgeries that can lead to the most harm to the patients with loss of blood, and Jeff’s invention will undoubtedly help countless lives.  Rick, I would not be surprised if, after it gets through its trial stages, you will one day use your own son’s work to help your patients.
          When Jeff arrived in San Diego, he went to a Jewish singles event at the Hard Rock CafĂ©, and there was his soul mate, Autumn.  The Torah describes the creation of humanity as one being – Adam.  But, the rabbis understand this to not necessarily be a man, but a being with both female and male characteristics that is split into two.  Then, when a husband and wife come together, it is simply a reunification of two pieces that were long ago separated.
          I could not think of a better way to describe the relationship between Autumn and Jeff.  Even saying they were soul mates may be two much of an understatement.  They were two halves of the same soul, that rediscovered one another underneath a poster of Shakira.  Autumn, though you are a bit of an introvert, and Jeff is always connecting with new people, you two were tied together at the deepest of levels.  You did everything together, you loved spending time with each other, and you shared the most basic values of goodness, openness and honesty.
          Jeff’s diagnosis came before your first anniversary, and no newlywed anticipates this when they get married.  But you were his angel, and the devil to the doctors.  Jeff’s blog was titled “Jeff’s Fight with Cancer,” but it was both of your fight.  You were his advocate.  You read and reread every test.  You gave him comfort and gave him strength.  You were his, and are our heroine for all you gave to Jeffrey.
          I know that there is nothing anyone in the family would give to have taken away Jeff’s cancer, or to have prevented it from ever coming.  But, Jeff took the worst situation in the world, and made it the best.
          When Jeff would make something, he had a phrase: “Do it once, and do it right.”  That didn’t just apply to tasks and projects, it was how he lived his life.  Though his life was many years too short, he did it once and he did it right – and the way he lived his final year literally changed lives. 
          He is a hero to so many, a friend to more than any of us could hope to have, and an inspiration to any who read his blog.  Jeff was always a unique soul, and always a special individual, but this fight with cancer put all of his finest qualities into sharper focus, and transformed him into a fighter and a hero for all of us.
          Instead of his loved ones giving Jeff comfort, he was the one giving his friends, Autumn, his parents – everyone else comfort, support and above all, laughter. Listen to these beautiful lyrics from his friend, Barton David, "World Got My Head:"
                    Lowest to low, I'm reaching out for something new
                    I keep up with the times, but stay a drifter through and through
                    Don't no one take a thing from me
                    That I don't give
                    Except this little life I put aside
                    To live
          Jeff LIVED every second he had.  It’s not that he didn’t give up, it’s not just that he fought back death, he LIVED.  He never lost his sense of humor.  This past weekend when he was receiving the most tragic news possible that the doctors had no more options, Jeffrey was not morose.  Instead, he turns to his friend, David and says, “When I meet the Big Guy, I’ll make sure he does something about your receding hairline.  Jeff was always caring about the other.  He would be helping his aunt with her iPhone, he would be training his sister Lindsay to make the perfect cup of tea.  He inspired others.  His friends put together the Jaguar team to fight against cancer, and instead of complaining that he couldn’t bike with them, he would spend his time finding the perfect bike for his buddy Zac to ride on.  Instead of being sad that he couldn’t go to the Formula One race with his dad, he found the perfect way to sell the tickets on Craigs List so Rick would not lose the money from the tickets.  His last day on earth was as happy as anyone could want – going around Boston Gardens, spending time with family.  On Saturday night from his window, the family gathered for fireworks.  It was as if MIT had planned their gala just for Jeffrey and his loved ones, saying: “Jeff – you light up our lives, you inspire us, these are for you.”
          Martin Buber, the famous Jewish philosopher wrote a work called “The Eclipse of God.”  It is about how in dark times, or when we feel God’s distance, it is like there is an eclipse of God.  This is not unlike the pain that Jeff’s loved ones went through when Jeff was ill.  I would not be surprised if many of you felt very distanced from our Creator during these darkest times.  But it isn’t night, it is an eclipse.  There were tumors blocking out the light of the sun.  But, like an eclipse, God’s light that shines around the sides of the darkness are the brightest.  The light that Jeffrey gave to others was nothing short of miraculous.  In his struggle with cancer, he taught us all how to live.
          This week, in synagogues throughout the world, we read about the lighting of the original menorah in the Tabernacle, and how Moses and Aaron were commanded to raise up the lamps to give light to the entire community of Israel.  It reminds me of the sages writing on the lighting of the Chanukkah menorah which we light at the darkest time of the year: or me’at or docheh harbeh choshech – A little light pushes away much darkness.  The reading from the prophets we read this coming Saturday morning will be from the Book of Zechariah when we read of the eternal Menorah that will be re-lit in a time to come.  It speaks of the Jewish people’s eternal hope in a messianic redemption, of resurrection, and of the hope that this is not goodbye but a “see you later,” so that this need not be the end of the conversation, because the conversation was too short and there is so much more left to say.
          Jeff, I don’t know if you received the email I sent to you on Monday when I read your final post, but I will read it to you now: 
          
Dear Jeff,
          I have been reading your blog, and just read your beautiful but painful post from this weekend.  It is such a painful and awful tragedy that there is nowhere else to look as far as further treatment.  You are a living example of the fact that in a very dark place, a small flame can bring a tremendous amount of light.  You have been a support to your family, to Autumn and your friends.  But more than that -- you have been a total inspiration.  You have taught me that what people call "quality of life" is not related to the quality of living.  Despite your illness, you have been such a source of life.  I pray that God should always bless you and comfort you, bless Autumn and comfort her and give strength to your family as well. I am going to try to call you, but I know you must be with family and friends and I wanted you to receive this regardless. Much love from Dallas. Shalom, 
David

          When meeting with the family and friends last night, Rick told an incredible story about Jeff’s athletic career.  Long before he excelled at sailing and cycling, Jeffrey played baseball – at which, one could understatedly say, he did not excel.
          Jeff’s team was down, the bases were loaded, and the fans were already starting to leave.  Having Jeff come up to the plate did not exactly urge the fans to stay.  But, as in the best of Hollywood endings, with strikes and balls filling up, Jeff took one mighty swing and made a grand-slam.  His team one, and they lifted up Jeff on their shoulders.  Most of us will never experience a grand slam like that once in our lives, and Jeff – we were all praying that you had another one in you.
          We all wish that your grand slam was knocking the cancer out.  We didn’t get the grand slam we wanted, but we got a grand slam nonetheless.  The inspiration that you gave us.  The hope you gave your parents Shelley and Rick, the strength you gave Kim and Lindsay, the light you gave your friends, and above all, the life, the joy and the purpose you gave to your angel, Autumn.  This was the grand slam you hit in your short time, and it is one most of us will never hit even.
          I will conclude with Jeff’s final words, because they are more eloquent and more inspiring than anything I could write about him:


June 4, 2011
I'm not sure if this is my last posting but if it is I want to thank everyone whom has helped me along the way, everyone whom has become inspired to make a difference, and everyone whom has changed their own lives to better take advantage of life's little opportunities and tiny miracles.  It's not a goodbye but more of a see you later.  It's truly been and honor and privilege. I just ask in return that everyone keeps on fighting to find a cure.  Continue fundraising and continue to "breathe in hope, breathe out love.”
-Jeff Guyer

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Remembering Jeff

Jeff's memorial service will be on Friday, June 10, 2011 at 12:00 pm at Sparkman/Hillcrest Funeral Home, located at 7405 West Northwest Highway, Dallas, TX 75225.  The ceremony will be held in the chapel followed by a graveside service.

In lieu of flowers, please honor Jeff's wish that we continue to fight for a cure by donating in his name to sarcoma research at http://www.pmc.org/profile/TJ0053 (Team Jaguar).

Monday, June 6, 2011

It's Not Goodbye, It's See You Later

Jeff passed away peacefully tonight at 9:15 pm. He was surrounded by his immediate family and closest friends. We will forever cherish our memories and will miss him very much.

See you later, Jeffrey. We love you very much.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

A Beautiful Weekend

It has been a beautiful weekend with family and friends coming in from all over the country. We have laughed, cried, reminisced over lots of good memories and mostly just spent quality moments together. We even had a random fireworks show from the 21st. floor.Today we all went to an art festival right outside the hospital and then took a stroll to the Boston gardens where we had a wonderful pizza picnic lunch sitting outside with perfect sunny blue skies listening to beautiful music by a random musician.  The immediate family is now sitting with Jeffrey while he is resting. Even Benson managed to give Jeffrey a facial he loves.  We just wanted to thank you all for the love and support you have given us. Jeffrey is an amazing person.

We cannot even begin to send this to all who have been there for us and for those who are with us now so please forward this to all.

Love
Shelly and Rick