Sunday, August 29, 2010

A Torch Passed

I write this post with a heavy heart tonight.

Craig Brandmeier, the young man featured on MTV's True Life: I Need a Transplant, passed away yesterday.

Craig was a young man of only 26 years, a young man of great strength of mind and spirit and of great inspiration to many, myself included. Craig fought valiantly, relentlessly as he would say, against this end. He publicly shared his battle and was a strong supporter and promoter of Be the Match. There are undoubtedly many patients out there who will receive donor cells due to the drives that Craig and his family and friends put together, as well as thanks to those who were inspired to join the registry when hearing his story. His episode of True Life aired only weeks after the news of my own required transplant came. It was both impossible to watch and hugely healing to my heart. I will be selfish here and say that he represented hope and strength in a package that I couldn't find elsewhere. Though our diseases were different, our lives were very similar, and that was hard to ignore. Craig often broadcasted live, both in his home and the hospital, on and I had the pleasure of interacting with him there. He allowed me to ask questions and offered frank answers. He was funny, frank and raw with his emotions in a way that few could muster.

Craig, if I may address you through the universe for a moment, thank you for your gifts. Thank you for sharing your story and your spirit and your purpose. You did more on this earth in your 26 years than many ever will. You provided comfort and inspiration. These words to you seem so hollow, but they are all that I have to offer someone who gave so much. You held the torch high, that many may see that donors are badly needed. Though I will spend the rest of my life carrying this torch as well, for my own obvious reasons, I will do so now for you also. Thank you, Craig. May you rest in peaceful comfort and your wife and family find solace in these days.

Please visit to become a donor. For me, for my family, for the Brandmeiers.


  1. Nicely written, Laura. I've been so heavy hearted since hearing of his passing, thanks for writing about him. Keep your chin up, hon.


  2. Thanks for sharing this about Craig. I haven't seen the episode, but I HATE that leukemia has taken another young person.

  3. Laura, Your words are comforting to many and I am so sorry about Craig's passing. Please know that I along with many others love you dearly and are here if you need anything at all. As Karen said keep your chin up! Continue to be a strong in mind and soul and your body will follow:-) Luv ya! Miss ya!

  4. Laura: I was saddened to hear of the passing of Craig. You have been given the gift of a long life, just don't forget that. Stay strong and, although your hospital stay may seem long, it's nothing compared to the future days and years to come. Love you, Nan

  5. Laura, you share your gifts as openly as Craig. Thank you for letting your light shine so brightly. All Love and Peace to Craig's family, and to yours :)

  6. Laura, what can i say. You are truly blessed and your donor is a hero. I am so sorry to read this post about Craig's passing. It is a powerful call that more living donors are needed; to donate life is the most wonderful thing i can think of. I only became aware of your blog today; as a kidney donor - i was so moved. You will always be in my prayers and always an inspiration. It is such a coincidence that this morning I chose to wear my "Git of Life" t-shirt. That has to be a good omen. All the best to you and your family, and here's to a speedy recovery. :)

  7. Laura -
    We are all pure energy, and energy is never lost. While you may not see your friend as you did before, know that his spirit and energy are forever. Sending you softness to cushion your loss - hugs