At the ripe age of 35, he was one of Duchenne’s senior citizens, and arguably one of the most vocal. Sometimes ornery but always caring, Ricky was honest, loving, and compassionate with a heart of gold. He was equally a romantic smooth talker and crotchety straight-shooter. He was quick-witted, strong-willed, and skilled with the written and spoken word. Sometimes sensitive to a fault, he put himself out there for all to see, hear, and read.
Our community’s love and admiration for Ricky was bountiful. Just read any of the hundreds of posts from his Facebook friends. They are ALL beautiful and reflective of his gentle soul. We loved Ricky and he loved us more. He cared passionately for everyone (especially women) and offered his counsel, wisdom, and perspective about life with Duchenne to anyone who asked. He was a trailblazer in the grips of constant pain. He was a torchbearer in the face of approaching darkness.
Still, I can’t seem to wrap my mind around his death. It's a strange feeling – here one day, gone the next. I still hear his voice. I still feel his determination to live. I still expect to read his daily advice on how to understand women, live with Duchenne, and never give up. I still expect to hear about a secret visit from Taylor Swift. I still expect to watch his videos about life, his wonderful family, and his heartfelt love letter to his future wife. Despite this odd feeling, I know Ricky will never fade from my memory. His voice will stay with me for years to come.
Ricky was special to so many because he spoke not only for himself...
...but FOR us.
The least we can do for Ricky is listen to his voice and never give up our fight against Duchenne.
He'd want it no other way.