The Colon Cancer Alliance’s family is deeply saddened as we mourn the death of our volunteer and dear friend, Harry Gorlick, who died October 5, 2015. Harry felt that being with his fellow chatters in our chat room, and being a Buddy to newly diagnosed patients, and supporting our members on our Blue Hope Nation Facebook page, is what helped him cope with his disease. It was important to Harry that anyone he met along this journey would find support through our programs and not feel alone. His ability to make “newbies” feel comfortable was his legacy.
He'd break the ice, using humor to make people laugh and feel at ease because he knew that this is what united those with the disease and how strangers quickly became friends. Harry was so kind, so caring, so funny and a special friend to all who knew him. There are no words to adequately express our sadness, but his fellow chat moderators wanted to try. In their own words:
"When I think of Harry I think of having fun. We had a lot of that at the last conference. Harry made a great joke with Laura about having HER COFFEE. I am remembering "something should be happening right now," and when Harry looked at some stranger in the hall and told them they better go in their room cause he and I were going to make out now. This was a funny guy. I know his sense of humor raised a lot of people up. I also know how sensitive he was and how much he cared for others. When I think of him, I will always laugh a little giggle, and I will always feel warmth in my heart." - Sue K.
"When joining the Colon Cancer Alliance chat room for our daily chats, seeing Harry's name in the room always made me feel like I was at home. I knew I was with friends today. Harry was always a smiling welcome to visitors. He kept a healthy balance between work and play. He was serious when the situation called for it but even more comfortable having a laugh. We shared a room at the Colon Cancer Alliance's National Conference, but rarely saw the inside of it as we were always out visiting our buddies in the rooms down the hall. Without the advances in treatment made over the past 20 years, I might never have had the chance to become friends with Harry. I hope we continue to make strides in treatment and prevention to stop the great sadness left by this disease." - John L.
"I sat down several times this week to write a special memory about Harry; each time was harder than the last. Tears would flow, my thoughts would fly all over the place. You'd think it would be easy to write about such a special soul. Harry was a Colon Cancer Alliance community rock, seemingly unflappable. He was always there to offer a laugh and encouragement even though he was dealing with his own disease. I think we all were touched by Harry's presence....if not directly, then by the knowledge he passed on to the many seeking answers. Harry, you are missed... your legacy lives on." - Dale T.
"I cannot begin to express the intense loss I am feeling regarding the death of my dear friend Harry; however, I want to celebrate his life and our friendship. Harry was caring, kind, and compassionate. He had an amazing sense of humor. He was quite witty and extremely funny. We would often find ourselves hurling “one liners” back and forth in the chat room as we sat alone, in our respective homes, hysterically laughing out loud. More than a moderator, Harry was a friend to everyone who came into the chat room. Harry touched my life in a profound way. I am so grateful that I got to spend time with him at the Colon Cancer Alliance National Conference. We spent a great deal of our time together laughing. I will always cherish my memories of him. Harry and I made a pact to have weekly telephone conversations. During our “phone visits,” he would often tell me that it was like having a conversation with himself, meaning that we had such similar experiences and feelings about this common journey that we were on. I felt the same way.
"I believe that Harry is flying high, soaring with the angels, completely free from all pain and sorrow, and truly at peace. Our loss is Heaven’s gain. Harry made the world a better place and I am a better person for having known him. So I will celebrate the life of my dear friend Harry, but rest assured, it is an understatement to say that I will miss him more than words can say. It has been an honor and a privilege to know and love Harry Gorlick." - Laura C.
You will never be forgotten, Harry. Our hearts go out to your family and friends. We will carry on helping every patient who arrives in our community in your memory.
The Colon Cancer Alliance serves as a source of information and support. If you have additional questions about colon cancer or are in need of support, please contact our free Helpline at (877) 422-2030. We’re here to help.