To The Amazing Mayor of Ahwatukee

In the past couple of days we have all had the opportunity to see how one family copes with tragedy. By now, almost all of you know that the Eddie Irvin Family lost their middle son, Christiaan, over the weekend while he was visiting family in Las Vegas. This is my tribute to an amazing family; Eddie Irvin, Pamela Harper, Julliaan Irvin, Jazmiaan Irvin, Caitliaan Irvin, and Birttini King.

Dear Eddie:
 
Now I know why your friends and neighbors affectionately call you the Mayor of Ahwatukee.  The outpouring of love, concern, and respect that I have seen for you and your family is nothing short of amazing.  We have talked a lot in the past two days and I have talked to a lot of people who have talked to you.  We all think the same thing.  We don't know how you are doing this.  Every time I talk with you, you are concerned about me and how I am doing.  Well, let me tell you, I am having a hard time with this, I am amazed, amazed that you can take the time to talk with me, much less be concerned about me, your friends and your neighbors.    
 
 I first learned about Christiaan's illness on Friday before our first ASU Camp game.  At that time we knew that Christiaan had bacterial meningitis and that he was being treated in Las Vegas.  Expectedly, Julliaan was upset but, he played a great game, showing that, "Julliaan Irvin Is Back."  Later that night Julliaan played two more great games and we all shared the updates on Christiaan's improving condition.  By the end of play, Friday, we felt pretty good about Christiaan and how well the games were going.  Then, Saturday morning, we learned that Christiaan hadn't made as much progress as expected during the night.  Still, Julliaan played great and we all thought a lot about Christiaan and you.  Later, Saturday evening, Julliaan left us to fly to Las Vegas to be with you and Christiaan.  During our last game Saturday night I noticed that one of your friends had received a phone call and that everyone was upset.  Thats when I knew.  I just knew.  I knew that you had had to make that call that no one wants to make.  You made that call, and even then you were concerned about the welfare of your friends at a stupid basketball game.  Amazing!
 
You honor me by inviting me to be a part of your kid's lives.  Even though you kept telling me how much better Christiaan was at football I had plans to fight to keep him for basketball.  There is no way I was going to miss the opportunity of the "Irvin Brothers Backcourt, 2005."  I knew he was special from my, too brief, time with him.  Any one who can be a top, and I do mean top, athlete in two sports is special.  But, it goes beyond that.  I have leaned that Christiaan was a great student, a special friend, son, and brother. People should know that this kid's memory was celebrated Sunday night by more than 400 friends walking up the street to your house to pay their respects.  That you and your family were concerned about those friends and how they were doing is ... well, amazing!
 
People should know that you and your family have expressed concern for anyone exposed and have even given thought to starting a campaign to educate about meningitis.  Here is a start, www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dbmd/diseaseinfo/meningococcal.  This link will help with some general information.  People should also know that you have started a memorial scholarship in Christiaan's name.  The account is at Bank of America and the account number is 0046 5900 3632.  People should know that there are two services:

Friday: July 2. 2004  6 - 8pm
The Viewing....


Location:
Resthaven Mortuary
602-437-0436
4310 East Southern Avenue.
Phoenix, Az 85042
 
 
Saturday: July 3. 2004 11:00am

Services will be held at
Mountain Park Community Church
2408 E. Pecos Road.
Phoenix, Az 85048
 
Finally, people should know that this is a story about you, Eddie.  Yes, we are talking about Christiaan's tragedy but you and your family are responsible for turning the last couple of days into a celebration of Chirstiaan's life.  Amazing...I love you like a brother, man.

Gary


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