Daniel Connell died December 14, and if you never met the 35-year-old Minneapolis man, you should feel unfortunate. He sounds like a very cool guy.
There's lots of evidence to support this. First, this Star Tribune obituary, which covers the rich life Connell packed into his 35 years: marathons, a career in the beer industry in a groundbreaking role for Target Corp., death metal, Stephen King books, a teacher labeling him "larger-than-life," clever insights into commerce and regionalism, bravery and renewed energy in the face of a terrifying cancer diagnosis, kind words from a pastor and a mother in mourning, a funeral, and a party at a brewery in honor of a man about whom no one, it seems, dared say an unkind word.
What a life. Short, sure, but full, and the kind that hearing about can make you feel happy, even through tears.
Here's more evidence Dan was a really good dude. When a GoFundMe page was built to inform friends of Dan's condition, money poured in, some $21,000 in total.
"Because he is a badass," the GoFundMe states, "Dan is still currently exercising, even during his chemo!"
Know what? That is badass.
They're raising money for Dan's friends, Target coworkers who were close to him -- sounds like anyone who even met Dan felt close to him -- who ran marathons in his honor, and ... here comes the bad part: to help pay "Dan & Mandy for medical bills."
We've covered such efforts in the past -- Tessie Thompson-Sylvester, a widowed mom who also had cancer, and Aaron Lee, drummer and popular friend who was mugged and shot, to name two -- and frankly, we're getting sick of it. The only thing these people have done wrong is live a good life, make people happy, and get sick. If there's an enemy in this plot, it's not the person with an illness.
What kind of country is it where a person's medical well being depends upon who their friends are, and how much money their friends have to donate to keeping someone alive?
This kind of country, at least so far. It sure sounds like this city, and its most notable corporation, and its beer drinkers, and anyone who met this guy, Dan, were well-served by his presence on earth. It'd be better if he was still alive.
That said, maybe it's a good idea for people in this state, and this country, to take steps to ensure that we write fewer and fewer stories about dying or wounded people who can't afford treatment. We'd rather write stories about how great those people are, how many people love them, and how they love back.
We'd tell you to pour one out for Dan Connell, victim of cancer and the American medical system. But based on these write-ups, there's no way he'd ever encourage to waste even a drop of beer or a second of your life.