Skip to main content

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

  • Author:
  • Updated:
    Original:

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."

Next Up

Screen Shot 2022-05-21 at 5.46.37 PM

Video shows officers ended pursuit before fatal crash in Anoka

The crash occurred when the driver fled police during an attempted traffic stop in Coon Rapids.

Eli Hart

6-year-old Eli Hart identified as boy found dead in car trunk

The kindergartner's father was trying to get full custody of his son.

IMG_3509

Boy found dead in trunk of car in Mound was kindergartner

"It is horrifying and difficult to process a tragedy of this magnitude, especially in our close-knit community," the superintendent wrote.

Minneapolis police

Man found yelling for help after being shot in Minneapolis

The shooting occurred on the 800 block of Elwood Avenue North at around 9:15 p.m.

Screen Shot 2022-05-21 at 9.56.21 AM

Minneapolis North principal says she was fired, district says otherwise

“MPS requires schools to follow protocols in times like that and I did not,” Friestleben said.

Kris Richard Severin

Inmate who escaped Minnesota prison is captured

The inmate escaped Wednesday morning.

Brave New Comedy Workshop in downtown Minneapolis.

Brave New Workshop cancels shows due to COVID-19 cases

The shows were scheduled for Friday and Saturday at the Brave New Workshop Comedy Theatre.

Austin Retterath

Body of missing U of M student found in Mississippi River

Austin Retterath was last seen alive in the morning hours of May 8.

"Love" mural seen in St. Paul.

Summer mural events to bring together community, shine light on MN artists

The 2022 Chroma Zone Mural & Art Festival will take place this weekend in St. Paul's Creative Enterprise Zone, with ensuing events happening this summer.

14869-Manitou-Road-NE-Prior-Lake-MN-55372-6110268-image37

Gallery: Remodeled lakeside home in Prior Lake on market for $2.8M

It offers privacy at the end of a dead-end road fronting onto Lower Prior Lake.

golden valley police department

Carjacking outside ice arena in Golden Valley under investigation

Golden Valley PD confirmed it received a report of a carjacking Monday evening.

Related

Minnesota woman who inspired breast cancer survivors succumbs to disease

Jen Anderson was a motivational speaker who raised tens of thousands of dollars to help find a cure for cancer. An annual fundraising bike ride in the Twin Cities area was started in her honor. Anderson's fight with cancer lasted six years. She once said "Giving up is so easy. It's the choosing to fight every day that is the real challenge."