Progressive Diary January 4th, 2015
By Rick Staab:
When we started this war on Dystonia, we knew that
passion and emotion would play a huge role in our momentum, and that our
ultimate victory would include challenges and heartbreak on the path to the
finish. Tyler's Hope has become a force in the quest for a cure, our confidence
is high and we should all be intensely proud to be pushing Dystonia into a
corner. But is with a very heavy heart that I share with you the loss of
one of our most promising warriors. Don Beardsley, Tyler's Hope
Ambassador, husband, father, entrepreneur, and fearless friend, passed away
Saturday after a massive heart attack. None of us were prepared for his loss.
Don was introduced to Tyler's Hope by my brother Ken
at a bar (big surprise) after a golf tournament in Miami a few years ago. After
hearing the details, and seeing pictures on the website, Don broke down into
tears and made a vow to be a part of the solution. He had no connections to the
disorder, just a huge heart and the recognition that his kids were healthy and
his life pretty damn good. He quickly became a large donor and one of our most
active recruiters. He accepted the role of Ambassador of Hope, and had laid
plans with my brother to target the larger foundations and businesses that they
both knew were capable of adding significantly to our efforts.
Although it came without any warning, I take great
comfort in the timing of recent events in Don's life. In early 2014, he sold
his company to a major player, then spent the next several months focusing on
"the real things" as he would say. He spent most of his time with his
amazing wife Sue and his kids, attended every ball game and social event that
they allowed him to attend, worked on his "honey do" list from hell,
and visited with friends and partners on a level that we all hope for, but
rarely allocate the time.
I am very fortunate to have a lot of great people
around me, and Don was one of the brightest. His energy was kinetic, and he had
a unique way of weaving his morals into action while making everything he
touched fun and memorable. He adored and was every proud of his kids and wanted
to help others be able to have the exact same opportunities in their lives.
Don defined noble, and his unselfish approach to our
mission at Tyler's Hope ignited a contagious sense of passion and goodness in
everyone he touched. The Ambassador program will grow into something huge, and
Don's role in the genesis of that momentum will never fade. I am certain
that we have at least four spirits in heaven smiling down (Ed Staab, Rick
Steenbruggen, Teddy Seagroves and Don Beardsley) because they know the cure is coming,
will help us be patient with bureaucracies, and will give us the strength to do
the things that change our world while enjoying what we do.