'It's over.' Minnesota man who inspired so many dies of cancer


Aaron Purmort, the young Minneapolis man whose journey with brain cancer was an inspiration to many who followed his story on his wife's blog, has died.

"It's over," Nora Purmort wrote late Tuesday evening, letting the couple's many friends, family and followers know of Aaron's death.

"It ended today at 2:43 pm, in the middle of a run-on sentence, my head on his heart and my arms around him in a hospital bed built for one, but perfect for the two of us."

Aaron, 34, was diagnosed with brain cancer in 2011. Nora has been tracing her husband’s journey on her blog, My Husband’s Tumor. The young couple's love story, and the inspiration they have shown in the face of Aaron's illness, have touched many.

“It’s not a cancer story,” Nora calls her blog. “It’s a love story. With some cancer.”

Just last week she posted the news that Aaron was nearing the end of his life, and reassured all that "Aaron is not afraid."

Now, only a few days later, she writes about her last hours with Aaron with the same eloquence and grace that has characterized their story from the start.

"Yesterday I spent hours in bed with him, playing songs we loved and remembering stories from our relationship, thanking him for everything he brought to my life and letting him know it was okay to go and chill in the other world with our baby and my father.

Today we took our last nap in our last hospital bed, in our home, under a blanket that Megan sewed for our wedding. .... 

He breathed out, and I readied for the sharp inhale that would follow 8-10 seconds later, rattling through his body. It never came. 

That’s how it ends. One quiet second.

He was here, and then he was gone. It was tangible, this sudden hole that appeared in the center of the universe when he left his body to become everything all around me, just as he promised to do."

The Purmorts's story first became public in February, when Aaron suffered a seizure while behind the wheel, blacked out and got into a car accident. He and Nora later found an unsigned note in his jacket pocket that said, “Your car is parked in the tobacco shop parking lot at 18th Av NE and Stinson.”

That kind gesture made national headlines. Nora posted a thank you note online, not knowing who moved the car or why, and it drew thousands of likes and comments.

Later, Minneapolis police officer Kyle Severson came forward, saying he drove Aaron's car away from the accident scene so it would not get towed – then slipped the note into Aaron’s jacket pocket.

Many people are showing their support for the Permort family by buying specially designed t-shirts, which are replicas of the shirt Aaron was wearing during his seizure. It carries the slogan “Still Kickin,’ ” and is on sale at Cottonbureau.com.

More than 1,400 shirts have been purchased so far -- 1,000 of them just in the past week.

A YouCaring.com page is also accepting donations for the Purmorts, to help pay for Aaron’s medical bills and to support Nora and their young child in the months to come.

Aaron will be cremated wearing some of his favorite clothes -- dressed head to toe in J. Crew, Nora wrote -- who noted that "the finer things were very important to this man."

And then she said goodbye.

"It’s okay. It’s okay. Thank you. We had so many good years. Not enough, but really good years. You were so good. You were so good to me. I love you. I’ll keep you in my heart, forever."

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