This site will be left as a memorial to Kevin. The new current blog is now
Kevin Edward Boitson
Kevin Edward Boitson, 36, of Conestoga, Pennsylvania and formerly Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, passed at Johns Hopkins Hospital, on Tuesday, October 28. He is now with his Lord and Savior after a courageous four month battle with Angiosarcoma cancer.
Kevin was well loved by all those around him, and throughout his life has touched many lives with his big heart and strong will. These traits helped him to reach out to so many and fight on during his battle with a rare cancer, and, for this, his legacy will go on forever.
Born in Winnipeg, on Apri1 7, 1972 to parents Linda Boitson and the late Alan Boitson. Kevin always had a passion for sports and fitness and was raised to share and love others. He loved to play ice hockey and developed a strong skill at surf fishing in the Atlantic Ocean. It was his dream to be at the ocean and soak up the sun with his wife of almost 2 years, Brenda. He also loved his job at Rohrer’s One Hour, where he had worked for a year previous to becoming ill.
Kevin is survived by his wife, Brenda Lee, of Conestoga, mother Linda, of Winnipeg and brother Ken, of Winnipeg, the Kowalinskis, of Beeton, Ontario and of Toronto, Ontario, the Willsons, of Toronto, Ontario, and the Collins, of Guelph, Ontario. Kevin is also survived by his parents-in-law, J. Donald and Lindsay Harnish, of Conestoga, brother-in-law, Kurt Harnish, of Conestoga and his fiancee, Bethany Hamby, of Lancaster, sister and brother-in-law, Louis and Joni Staffieri, of Lancaster, as well as many friends and family whom Kevin was so grateful to have had in his life.
Funeral Services will be held on Sunday, November 2, 2008 at 3:00 P.M. at the New Danville Mennonite Church, 103 Marticville Road, Lancaster, PA with the Rev. Curtiss L. Kanagy and the Rev. Jay C. Garber officiating. Friends may call at the church on Sunday from 2:00 P.M. until the time of the service. Interment in the New Danville Mennonite Cemetery will be private and held at the convenience of the family. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to the family, or to the Liddy Shriver Sarcoma Initiative (Checks must read: FJC/Liddy Shriver Sarcoma Initiative), 17 Bethea Drive, Ossining, NY 10562-1620. For more information on Sarcomas, please visit http:// www.sarcomahelp.org or visit http:// www.theboitsons.info. Arrangements by the Kearney A. Snyder Funeral Home, 394-4097. To send an online condolence to the family, visit our website at www.kearneyasnyderfuneralho…
It is so interesting how God places certain people in your life. I would’ve never known before this why I felt a special bond to certain people, and now I completely understand. It’s because they are meant to be my guardian angels along this path. Thank you.
I got a good night’s sleep, but I find waking up is the hardest part. Your mind just can’t process, and for me, I keep seeing Kevin at his last moment over and over and over again. It’s not how I want to remember him, and I am sure in time that will come. It’s just so hard.
Today will be spent with all the girls in my family, so pray we have a good day shopping for our life celebration outfits. I am NOT going to wear black. It’s decided 🙂 Kevin would yell at me if I did.
Thank you all for your prayers and love….
There are just no words. Not from me, not from those around me. How can you put THIS into words? The only thing I can say, is that we are surviving.
I continue to just be devastated. Some things I can talk about with ease, and others just cause me to break down. I want to cry all the time, but I know I don’t feel any better. I want to ask why, but I know I will get no answers. I just want to not be. But that also is not an answer. It is just so hard.
Losing a part of you is just torrential. There is such a HUGE emptiness that no one can describe. It literally feels like I have been ripped apart and as ravaged as Kevin’s body was with this cancer. I hate it.
Thank God for my support system pulling me along. Thank God the arrangements are made so I can just focus on being with my family and trying to get through the day.
….there are just no words sometimes.
Please join us on Sunday starting at 2pm for visitation at New Danville Mennonite Church, 103 Marticville Road, Lancaster, Pa. We will be doing a visitation from 2-3pm, and at 3pm, the funeral services will start-All are welcome. H’ors Doeuvres will follow for the family. A private burial will take place at the family’s convenience.
Kevin’s obituary will be in the Intelligencer Journal and the Lancaster New Era, tomorrow, Thursday, October 30th.
Thank you all for your prayers.
*A wake in Winnipeg is being planned and will be announced soon*
Ken and Linda arrived safely here in Lancaster around midnight last night. After some hard hugs, we parted ways to get some MUCH needed rest.
I woke this morning just thinking about everything and going…well, maybe I don’t have to be as sad as I felt yesterday. Maybe every day really does get easier. But right now, I just don’t know. I just sat here reading all your wonderful comments and blessings on Kevin’s short life, and our marriage, and I just miss him all the more.
The thought of never kissing him again, or holding him, or even just hearing his voice absolutely destroys me. I know he is no longer in pain, and this horrible disease doesn’t control our lives anymore, but it still doesn’t help comfort me right now.
Just please be with us today as make the arrangements, which I think will be the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do.
Thank you all.
My brain won’t shut off, as you can imagine. I have been surrounded by my amazing family, and by all of you all day. Thank you for that. I find I can’t sleep, and am praying for a safe journey as Linda and Ken arrive in the next 4 hours to my parents’ home.
I’d like to share with you the last picture I took of Kev, just last evening. I got a smile from him which was glorious for me. It’s hard to see, with all the wires and things, but know he is content and we were just enjoying each other’s company during this photo
We were so blessed to have each other. I was discussing with the chaplain at the hospital today how we both just felt so lucky to have each other. We both felt like we won the jackpot when we met. We had such a high respect for one another, and we tried never to take advantage of that. We hardly fought, and through all we had been through just in our relationship with the distance and immigration, we felt everday was truly a blessing to have each other. We unfortunately were granted such a short time together, but in that short time, we had such a passionate marriage. I do not regret a thing when it comes to Kevin and I, and although my loss is beyond imaginable right now, I still feel so blessed to have had the opportunity to love him and to be loved by him.
He is my other half, my soul mate, my ayn true love. Without him, I am not. But I will always carry him deeply with me. He showed me love in ways I never could have comprehended before I met him. You never would have thought tough guy, ice hockey player, car lovin’, workoutaholic Kevin could have such a deep deep love and charmisma. But that he had, and so much more.
In our service planning ahead, I want you all to know that tears are expected and welcomed, but celebrating and remembering, and embracing is of the upmost importance to us. Kevin loved a good party, and we hope to just rejoice in his going to Heaven where he is healed. We want to rejoice in our mourning, knowing that he is pain free, and just…free.
Some verses that help us get through, and have in the past through this journey…
In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ, whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, receiving the end of your faith—the salvation of your souls.”
1 Peter 6-10
My brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of any kind, consider it nothing but joy, because you know that the testing of your faith produces endurance.
By the power at work within us [God] is able to accomplish abundantly far more than all we can ask or imagine.
It is beyond words to tell you of the past two days for us. I’ll start with the most recent. This morning, Tuesday, October 28th, Kevin went to be with his Lord and Savior after fighting a long and virtuous battle against an unforgivable cancer.
Yesterday, Dr. Thornton came to tell us that Kevin’s cancer had spread to his abdomen and around his pancreas. He also was diagnosed with a blood clot in his lung. Due to his extreme infection, and the chemotherapy, the only “cure” for a blood cot is through blood thinners, and for him that was impossible. She said that in the beginning, the taxol chemotherapy seemed to work, but that Angiosarcoma is a sickeningly smart cancer and finds its way to new, healthy areas. She said that there was nothing more we could do, and recommended going to Hospice.
We were rightly devastated, and after much decussion, agreed with Dr. Thornton on the Hospice plan, forgoing a second opinion. We just didn’t have the energy nor time to dedicate to seeking more answer, and in most liklihood, it would have been the same or worse opinion.
We went over all the options, and put in orders to be transferred to the local Essa Flory Hospice Center. Kevin and I also discussed his end of life wishes and anything special he would like. We were at peace with our decisions, yet still devastated at losing that hope.
Kevin originally told me not to spend the night (as at Hopkins, it’s just a recliner chair), but then changed his mind, so I stayed. Throughout the night, Kevin’s delirium got worse, and he was in so much pain and having trouble breathing. Early in the morning I had a deep sense that it was his time to go.
I prayed with him while he was slightly awake, and promised Him that I would care for his mother and brother, and that if he was in too much pain, it was ok to go. We would be ok. He slumbered on and off for several hours, and then I started making calls to the family. I just knew that he would not make it.
After making those calls, I went back into Kevin’s room and found him to be barely breathing. He was completely comfortable and just at peace. …And I held his hands as he took his last breaths and went to be with His Lord, in his new body, with his Father.
I am beyond devastated. Disbelieving not so much, just shock. None of us expected things to go so quickly this direction, but once we found out that the fight was done, Kevin was just too worn out to keep going. He passed peacefully and with His God.
Linda and Ken Boitson are flying down tonight, so please keep them in your prayers. We will be making arranagements for both here in Lancaster and in Winnipeg over the next few days, so I will keep you posted.
Please just lift us up in your arms and prayers now as we attempt to move forward honoring Kevin’s life.
Thank you for all you have done for us-I will never forget your support.
Updates Coming Soon…
In the meantime, lift us up in special prayer tonight for us and our families. Thank you.
We just had doctors’ rounds, and nothing too new. Kevin had a great night off the amnioderone for the first time in about a week. This is SO encouraging because his heart is functioning properly on its own! Kevin is on his lipids and electrolyte mix for his feeding until nutrition determines it’s “safe” to use his feeding tube.
He’s on all the right meds to make things happen, and hopefully our meeting with Dr. Thornton will be a positive one. I’m still very anxious and nervous about what she’ll have to tell us, but I’m trusting in God. Kevin and I both agreed that if we don’t hear the news we want to hear, we’ll get a second opinion possibly at Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia.
Thank you to everyone whose left comments with their own angiosarcoma experiences and have found us on the web. It is so thrilling to connect with all of you. And thanks to those who left messages about the social-I love reading them!
Big Shout out to the Fightin’ Phils-wishing them lots of luck in HOPEFULLY winning the world series tonight. It’s quite exciting to see.
Say prayers for us throughout the day as we learn more about what’s going on and need the strength to fight on. Much love.