The Summer of Dave

As told by Sara J. Levy, one of the best friends & bridemaids.

When it finally stopped snowing back in May and summer appeared to be on the horizon, it looked like it was going to be a good one.   There were lots of weddings, showers, and parties ahead, and to top it off, one of my best friends Katie Hennemuth got engaged in the beginning of June.  I crashed the impromptu family celebration at Katie’s parents’ house, because being one of the few friends living “at home” always gives me the right to do that.  Over the next few weeks, lots of things changed in ways I could not imagine.  Unfortunately, in early June my grandmother passed away.  This wasn’t a tragedy by any means, just a sad season of life and it made me very sad.   Being the supportive friend she has always been, Katie made plans to come home for the funeral. They were ultimately thwarted by the cancer we refer to today as Dave.  I recall her texting me that she was on the bus coming home, but she was going to have to miss the funeral because she needed to go back to New York and see a surgeon immediately:  she had a mass on her sinuses and possibly on her brain as well- oh and, “by the way, I’m calling it Dave.”  There is no doubt that from that moment forward, I hated Dave.   I think I even hated anyone else I encountered who, by no fault of their own, had been named Dave. (Shout out to the good Daves!)


First time seeing the patient

However, now that the summer is over and I, as any good Jesuit-educated individual would do, am able to reflect on the past three months, I feel more inclined to thank Dave.  To be clear, I do not wish him well and I do not want him to survive or thrive.  I want him to know that his existence resulted in amazing events and moments, and has forced many to grow and evolve tremendously in a short period of time.  It’s funny:  when you’re 30(ish) years old in 2014 and your best friends are spread all over the East Coast, you forget you don’t actually talk to them every day.  You communicate with them every day, via text messaging and g-chatting and social media, but you go these really long stretches of time not actually talking.  Well thank you, Dave, because that all changed really quickly.  Thank you for forcing me to be okay with not working every single day, and instead getting in the car with my #1 co-pilot Rachel Sweeney, and driving to NYC on a random weekday afternoon.   This sometimes proved more productive than being in the office anyway, since I usually talked on the phone the whole way while Rachel responded to my emails.   Thank you, Dave, for making Vonna spend more time in town than she has since college.  As Sarah Kranick said at one point, “I just want us all to be together.”  Vonna was home so she could be close to Katie if she needed anything, and there was just an immediate comfort in being together with best friends.  (I think more the latter for Vonna, since she is notorious for being afraid of vomit and germs and dirty pillow cases.) I felt the same way, even though I am admittedly not the most attentive caregiver either.  I am happy to be most supportive during naptime!

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The attentive babysitter.


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Celebrating being released from Sloan and America on 4th  of July!

And Dave, even when you were really wreaking havoc and it seemed like every test result came back worse than before, you were making us all that much stronger.  I was actually talking to my best friends, every day.  In the midst of one of the worst updates we got, Katie Perry (not that one) called me.  She seemed to be kind of whispering and crying at the same time.  I asked her where she was, and she told me she was on the floor in the “pumping room” at her office.  It was perfect timing because it made us both start laughing out loud.  This was also around the time the ‘God Squad’ was formed.  This little Jewish girl learned AND participated in the rosary on several occasions and almost got caught on camera attending Novena.  And, Dave, DOZENS of family, friends, and extensions thereof gathered one Sunday in July when a mass and Novena were offered in Katie’s intention.

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Some of Team Kate at the Novena

Even though this summer never should have been about you, it was.  In summary, everything has a silver lining, even a jerk like you.  You brought a family, a group of friends, and a community together in support of one of my best friends.  And this time next year, I will be proud to stand by Katie and Kyle as they get married- an event 10 years in the making.   And guess what Dave- YOU’RE NOT INVITED!



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Some of the Maids with the Bride

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                                                                                                  TEAM KATE!

Dear Dave, From Rachel

Hey Dave.


My name is Rachel.  I’m Kate’s sister-in-law and so lucky to be married into an incredible family whose love and support for Kate blows me away on a daily basis.  I love Kate like a sister.  A little over a year from now Kate will be preparing for a very big day.  She’s going to marry the man of her dreams and love of her life.  She will also, by then, have put the final nails in your coffin.  I can’t wait for this party.  It’s going to be freaking awesome.  I plan on dancing my face off.  There’s going to be a boatload of happy things to celebrate.


Kate wakes up every day with the mission to destroy you.  She’s facing challenges that no one should ever have to face.  And as hard as it all is on her, she doesn’t whine or complain. She focuses on decking you. How are you going to deal with that??


Many people have told me that our daughter, Libby looks a lot like Kate did as a little girl.  With her blonde hair and blue eyes, she certainly doesn’t look like her mama.  Whenever someone tells me this, I take it as a giant complement.  Kate is so beautiful and strong, inside and out, I love when I hear this.  I’m in really good shape if Libby turns out anything like her Aunt Kate because… well… she’s amazing.


Love you Kate!

See Ya Later Dave – Love, Kate Legg

Dear Dave,

I don’t want to talk to you or even pay you any mind because you’re soon to be gone, but I thought that you should know a few other things about the force that is going to shut you down, Katie Hennemuth.  Katie simply does not mess about – when she sets her mind to something, she does it, and she is going to annihilate you.

Katie is the type of person that let me stay in her apartment for a month when I first moved to New York.  She’s the type of friend that will come up with the most ridiculous jokes that you still laugh about years later.  She’s warm and kind and an inspiration to all that know her.  Katie is the type of friend that makes you feel welcome and like you have known her for years instantly.  Except for you Dave.  She’s got no time for you.

See ya later, Dave.




beat rhabdomyosarcoma

Peace Out Dave, Love Nina

Dear Dave,

We’ve got a lot to talk about. First of all, let me be clear that I hate you. I hate you a lot. But I want to offer a different perspective on why you rudely invited yourself into our Katie’s life….

I’ve known Katie since grade school. And when all of my friends went to the same high school and I had to reluctantly attend a different one, Katie was always there for me. She is without a doubt one of the most welcoming, loving, and accepting people I know. She always made me feel included, and that meant so much. And as the years have gone by and lots of things have changed in our lives, Katie still possesses all of those amazing qualities.

So, I do understand why you wanted to be close to her. She is hilarious, beautiful, kind, and smart – the list truly goes on and on. But, you totally weren’t invited into her life. No one likes you, and by “no one” I mean a huge army of #teamkate supporters.

So, sorry I am not sorry that you are currently reading a lot of eviction notices. I can’t wait until you are gone for good, and in the meantime you are going to be catching a lot of heat from all of us who love Katie. She is so much stronger than you will ever be.

Peace out Dave. Hope to never see you again.





Nina Mc Master

Dear Dave, Love Sarah

Dear Dave,

I don’t know who you think you are but shame on you for trying to come in and harm one of the best people I know. Allow me to officially introduce you to this person. Only seems right for you to get acquainted before the fine folks at Sloan officially pulverize your ass, Kill Bill style. I suggest you get acquainted now because your days are numbered. Dave, meet Katie.

Kaitlin Hennemuth is the youngest of three children, daughter to two of the kindest people in the great state of Pennsylvania and a best friend to many. She is a loving aunt to seven beautiful nieces and nephews, a graduate of Pennsylvania State University and a beloved nurse at NYU. She is a sister, and a brother, a loving fiancé, and a mother to a brand new pup. She is a half marathoner, a caring cousin and a sister-in-law. She is a tough New Yorker, a dedicated student and the owner of a beautiful crop of hair. She is a Maid of Honor, a world traveler and a Rubia. She is a skilled nick-namer, an Aries and a true triple threat- beautiful, smart and kind. She is a survivor.

Now this list is only a fraction of what Katie is and what she’s going to be. It’s only going to grow. So start counting your days, Dave, because WE COMIN FOR YOU!

Yours truly,

A Poem for Dave…

Good Luck to You Dave 

Love: Julie

Good luck to you Dave, as you wither away…

Quickly losing your battle with Katie each day.

In fact, her skin looks amazing, her new wig is great.

Your presence has filled her with power and love…a force of strength you must hate!

Let’s be clear – you’re a loser

Lower than low.

Worse than the Grinch, the Hamburglar, or any famous foe.

There are many ‘Good’ Daves in Katie’s life,

with a new one on the way…

Who is set to be born on her September wedding day!

You should see this as a warning, we see it as a sign,

that all is in our favor, for Katie to be just fine!

We look forward to your eviction,

If you were a person, I’d help you pack your stuff.

Hold on tight Dave…because YOUR battle is going to be rough!

shut down rhabdo