David Waldron was just like any one of us. He was a son, a brother, a husband, and a friend. He was devoted, passionate, and he gave his all in whatever he set out to do.
“Everyone wanted him around,” says April Waldron, David’s wife. “He was respected by many; he always kept a smile on his face.”
He stood 6’4” and weighed 250 pounds; the only thing that surpassed his stature was the size of his heart. He loved to hang out with friends and family, and he was on a constant mission to better himself. In the process of doing so, he earned a bachelor’s degree in geology with a minor in geography from Valdosta State University (Valdosta, Ga.), and he was a mere one paper away from completion of his master’s program at Florida State University, which would have given him a postgraduate degree in geology.
“He was very intelligent,” April says. “He was a leader, but he also knew how to follow. He was just very witty; he was just an all-around good person.”
In life, we all have obstacles. Some might be seen as greater or less than others, but there is no bigger obstacle than having to fight for your life. On April 23, 2013, David suffered a seizure; while receiving medical treatment, a cancerous brain tumor was discovered. David’s fight had begun.
The first round of treatment appeared to be easy, and David was able to continue doing the things he loved to do. He was a very active man; he enjoyed running, camping, fishing, canoeing, and kayaking. But perhaps the most enjoyable task that he was able to focus on was marrying the love of his life, April.
It appeared that things were looking up for David and his family. In March 2014, they received the terrific news that his cancer was in remission. Unfortunately, the cancer later took and unexpected turn. It returned, stronger, and although he fought back with the strength that his family knew and loved him for, David sadly passed away on November 9, 2014.
In his honor and memory, April, along with family and friends, started The David Waldron Foundation (also known as “Be Dave Brave”). Through the foundation, the family strives to support individuals that are fighting brain cancer. The foundation reaches out to patients and their families in order to promote awareness, education, and encouragement.
“Our focus is brain cancer,” April says. “But we also make it a point to educate people on other forms. What many don’t realize is that brain cancer often comes from other parts of the body.”
The foundation strives to promote education and awareness of cancer through various fundraisers and conferences. On Saturday, May 2, 2015, the foundation hosted the Super Dave 5K. Admired and loved for his strength during his fight, Dave was remembered as runners traveled along Millpond Road in Thomasville, Ga. with capes flying in the wind.
On Saturday, August 29, the foundation hosted a conference at the Rainwater Conference Center in Valdosta. Aptly named “Cancer…What Now?”, the event was a tremendous success, as seven doctors spoke to those in attendance about a wide range of topics regarding the disease.
“A conference of this kind is not common for this area,” April says. “We wanted to provide a guide for people that are either going through the fight or simply trying to learn about prevention techniques. It’s important that we take care of our bodies.”
De Dave Brave is planning to, in the future, use funds raised to go towards cancer research, as well as reaching out to families that are affected by the struggles, both financial and emotional, that cancer brings.
David Waldron always was, and will always be remember as, a fighter. And what’s more important is that, in true “Super Dave” fashion, his family is doing a tremendous job carrying his legacy forward. His heart and courage will live forever, as the Waldron family inspires us to “Be Dave Brave”.
“Dave had a huge sense of humor,” April says. “And no matter what he was going through, his attitude was always positive. That is what we want to express through our foundation. Always keep laughter in your life. Your situation may be less than desirable, but it’s all about positivity. You don’t have to go through it alone.”
“We want to help individuals suffering from cancer figure out what to do when they feel like there’s nothing else to do.”
~ April Palmer Waldron
Founder of The Dave Waldron Foundation
Mission (via BeDaveBrave.com): To support individuals and families’ fight against brain cancer and other various forms of cancers through promoting awareness, providing education, offering encouragement, and sharing laughter.
Key achievements (via BeDaveBrave.com):
- Created a forum for those affected by brain cancer and their loved ones
- Fundraising events to bring people together to raise brain cancer awareness
- Informational sessions and conferences with doctors and industry professionals
- Weekly prayer network to pray for strength, courage, and healing for all those fighting cancer
The David Waldron Foundation
By James Washington
Photography by Micki K Photography