December of 1993, after a year of diagnostic testing for various
ailments, my husband, Nathan Arenson, was finally diagnosed as
having pancreatic cancer. The surgeon, at that time, gave Nathan
three months to live. Despite the universal knowledge that death
is the ultimate outcome of life, acceptance on a personal level
comes with great difficulty. Nathan was the kind of person who
would never resign himself to the inevitable; not without a fight.
He shrugged off the debilitating effects of chemotherapy and radiation
and lived his remaining time to the fullest his body would allow.
Nathan’s pride in his children’s success and the joy
his grandchildren brought him would not allow him to quit. They
adored him. And why not? The three month prognosis given became
eighteen months during which he spent as much time with his family
as possible. Despite his deteriorating health, Nathan, just by
his strength of will, joined his two sons in Baltimore for the
Major League Baseball All-Star Game. The following April, he traveled
to California to see our newest grandson, Bryce. In May, he walked
our daughter, Gwen, down the aisle and gave her away at her wedding.
In October, one of his proudest moments was to watch our oldest
grandson, David, be Bar Mitzvah. In January, the whole family
gathered together in Miami for the Super Bowl XXIX and all the
activities connected with it. We went out to dinner, visited friends
and even to the racetrack there. When asked how he felt, he would
always respond, “Great!” His love of life would not
allow him to say otherwise.
passed away on May 31, 1995, a victim of a disease that for now
spares no one. But his passion for life inspired his family and
gave us all a new realization how precious life really is. This
led to the creation of the Nathan S. Arenson Fund for Pancreatic
Cancer Research. It is hoped that continuing research will find
the way to diagnose and conquer this dreaded disease. We hope
that all funds we are able to raise will bring this day a little
closer so other families will not have to sustain the loss that
said of Macbeth, “Nothing is his life became him like the
leaving of it.” The same might be said of Nathan Arenson.