Brian Riley, 33, was laid to rest today, August 9th, 2012, after a 2 yr, battle with a rare, incurable form of brain cancer, Glioblastoma Multiform Grade 4. He was diagnosed and went through various treatments and surgeries to attempt and keep the cancer at bay, until the cancer was beyond controlling. He passed away, Saturday afternoon, August 4th, 2012, with family and friends by his side. For Brian, that was only most appropriate! :) Right, WORM??? ;)
He leaves behind a daughter, Sophia Alexa Riley, and her mother, Dorothy Stergiou--longtime partner and parent, together. He is also survived by Mom and Dad, Brenda and Don Riley, also of Morris, IL. And, last but, not least of four sisters, Stacy Ward...my "sister" and dear friend in this life, cared for him and family, being the rock, that God enabled her to be, throughout this tragedy. Brian was placed on hospice a few short weeks ago, and passed, having left many family members and friends, and a precious little girl, Sophia Alexa Riley, at the tender age of 5, depsite every kicking and fighting effort. His wish was live, but to ensure that little girl was taken care of.
Brian (WORM) ;) was a "social butterfly", to say the least. He touched many, many people, and loved sports, poker, pool and his family and friends. He battled like a soldier, needing to be told to let go... his pain was of no description. But, as a die-hard Cub's fan ( i know....), as well as Chicago Bears...you never stop cheering.
Brian loved and played competitve baseball earning high accolades, during high school and after, until an injury sidelined any "scouting" efforts. He still, as hard as it was to accept, plowed foward, as he did in his final "game"
He went to bat...and, hit it out of the park. Otherwise, we wouldn't be so saddened and touched by this wonderful, funny...V.I.P., in life. He won the playoffs, but, God has a higher calling for him. The WORLD SERIES, and he is the victor!
Although the wounds are fresh, and we will NEVER forget him, as we miss him as much as he loved life, he is at peace, and a piece of him resides in an angel here on earth -- Sophia Alexa Riley.
She is beautiful. And, I ask to open your hearts and do what Brian desperately tried to do , but was unable---look after, Daddy's Little Girl.
As I write this, I struggle to be onjective, as I weep hysterically. But, I don't need to emphasize, what EVERYONE who knew him, ALREADY DOES...We all need to take Brian's example and apply it in our life, if we do nothing else. Life is full of adversity, but one thing I know is he is and was a fighter, and lover of life with passion. As much as he was counseled, and accepted it, he didn't want to let go...I cannot blame him. A little girl, family, friends, a whole life, unwritten...
Let's finish this chapter, for Brian, and write a happy ending, the best we can for someone whose love, zest, and fight, was unwavering, even in the darkest days--even comforting others, in the midst of his pain. He didn't want to let go, and I won't let go of him, or that little "Princess" either.
I will be driving this cause, on Twitter @JulesK24, email, Facebook, and here on Crowdrise. As a journalist for Turner Motorsports, I am grateful for the platform and support, as well,BUT, welcome ANY and ALL support and efforts to again do what Brian was unable to---See Daddy's Little Girl, continue to dance...where Brian left off.
God Bless and Thank You!