Opinion » Note

Taking Our Time

Of holidays and human livers.


Like folks everywhere, this time of year we Boise Weekly-ers are in a frenzy of loose ends as we skid sideways into the holidays. Between meeting early deadlines, navigating vacations and trying to keep up with the avalanche of events, it's a frantic beehive here at BWHQ. Which is why stories like the one on Page 9 are so important.

We tracked down the story of Pat Casey--a local man in need of a live liver transplant--almost in spite of ourselves. Our publisher, Sally Freeman, heard about Pat's need and mentioned it to me in the early fall. I wrote down his name, not exactly sure where or if his story would fit in the paper, and (I confess) forgot about it. A month or so went by and a friend of Pat's stopped by the office and dropped off some information about his up-to-that-point-unsuccessful attempts to find a donor. Again, I took the information and sort of forgot about it.

It wasn't until I was having coffee with freelance writer Jessica Murri, and we started talking about the importance of human-interest stories, that Pat's plight returned to me. We can become so distracted by big controversies or events or feeding the Web with the news of the instant that the hard work of delving into someone's life gets deferred. But those stories are often the best.

Jessica agreed and spent the following month or so getting to know Pat--a chiropractor, father and active outdoor enthusiast who suffers from a rare liver disease that had him planning his own end-of-life transition. With a shortage of donors and a slim chance of topping the list for a transplant, Pat had no other choice but to appeal to friends and family--even strangers--via email.

That story would have been interesting enough (following the process a person goes through when they're facing the very real possibility that they won't see another year), but because Jessica stayed with it--and through Pat's gracious willingness to invite her into his life--the story got better and better, with amazing twists that have to be read to be believed.

I won't spoil any of the details; suffice to say, it was well worth the time to research and write and, I hope you'll agree, well worth the time to read.

And speaking of time, because this year's holidays fall on Wednesdays--our typical print date--the next two editions of Boise Weekly will be delivered Tuesday, Dec. 24, and Tuesday, Dec. 31.