My name is LaVonne and my 46-year-old son who died was named Darin. Darin’s father died 30 years ago. Darin had two brothers, one older and one younger than him. Darin was born with Prader-Willi Syndrome. He had no will to thrive when he was born. It was a 24 hour job to give him enough nourishment to keep him alive. He had brain damage so his milestones were delayed. We stimulated him however we could to help him progress. Darin’s story is too long to put on paper but Darin developed into a delightful young man with qualities most of us wished we had. He always almost had a cheerful smile on his face. He was a very friendly social person who loved people! That is why it became important to us to donate Darin’s tissues so he could continue to be a friend to others even after his death.
If Darin met you once, he would hold out his hand and ask you for your name. When he met you again he would remember your name using both your first and last names. Darin was a wizard at putting puzzles together. His photogenic memory came in handy at home. If something was misplaced, we’d just ask Darin and he would go right to it. Darin’s favorite past time was shredding paper by hand. When he went to visit local farmers, he’d spread it out in their calf pens for bedding. Darin also had a pet pig named Chewy. Darin collected John Deere toys and enjoyed getting rides on tractors. He participated in the Special Olympics and won many medals and ribbons. Each summer Darin would attend camp. Darin graduated from high school. Darin loved to ride bicycles, roller skate, bowl, snowmobile, motorcycles, horseback rides, picnic, visit zoos, hayrides, swim, camp, fish, go to movies, stock car races, theme parks, and go cruising in the convertible with his brothers. Darin went out to eat with his family and friends on a regular basis. Darin was fortunate enough to have many wonderful people from all walks of life who helped support and advocate for him throughout his life.
Despite the many challenges Darin’s disability presented, he was one of my life’s greatest joys! Darin was loved and will never be forgotten.