Daniel Harper (class of 2004) did a lot of living in his brief 25 years. Once he was diagnosed with brain cancer in the summer of 2007 his passion for life only intensified. He continued to live life at breakneck speed; snowboarding, wakeboarding, mountain boarding, traveling, pouring himself into the “Ignite Ministry” at his church, loving and working with everything he had. With the love of his life (Logan Ehlert, class of 2005) Dan by his side and his praying, supportive family and friends cheering him on, Daniel took on cancer like he tackled every other challenge in his life – with courage, energy, and passion. When his life ended on August 9, 2011, he was saved. As was mentioned at his memorial service, Daniel was simply “tucked in for the night.” Now he is waiting for his friend, Jesus, to come wake him up on the resurrection morning.
Sixteen months prior to Daniel's death he began an online blog that chronicled his journey through life with brain cancer and addressed issues of faith, suffering, relationships, priorities, and much more. His edgy, humorous writing began to attract a following and his impact grew as time went on. In the year following Daniel’s death, the alumni and development office at GCA coordinated the project of putting some of Daniel’s best blogs into book form.
Daniel’s Blog contains 41 of the 72 blogs he wrote from April 2010 to August 2011. The book is highly visual, as was Daniel’s online blog. Following are excerpts from the book:
- I wouldn’t say that I’ve been burned by brain cancer or the trials associated with it. If I could go back 3.5 years to my first diagnosis/surgery, when the docs said I had about a 2% chance of making it 3 years, I wouldn’t change anything. I wouldn’t wish it away or somehow undo what has taken place in my life. It has totally changed me, and each step in the journey is a lesson to learn.
- It’s been a wake-up call to how short life is, regardless of whether or not you have brain cancer. A wake-up call to get my priorities straight, and figure out what I’m really living for. A wake-up call to realize whose hands I’m really in. (From “Whose Hand is Your Brain In?” September 14, 2010).
- ...But mainly, my tears were a wellspring of thankfulness for the undeserved LOVE that I finally understood my Savior has for me…. I have no idea how this whole journey with cancer will all play out. But when I look back on what’s already happened, it’s mind-boggling to recognize all the things God has done to get me this far. Mind-boggling how He could use this nasty disease to totally re-shape my life: to alter my apathetic attitude towards Him and His son’s sacrifice made SPECIFICALLY for me, to renew my vigor for life, and to awaken a thirst for knowledge and other interests I didn’t even know I had... (From “Tears, Fears and Seizures,” November 29, 2010)
If you are interested in purchasing a copy of the book, please contact Nancy Gerard.