Monday, September 7, 2009


Our amazing Steve took his final breath at 3:05 a.m.

We were holding hands.

Now he is rid of the Damm Spot. And his spirit -- his playful, creative, loving, warm and generous spirit -- is at peace.


Anonymous said...

Tyra, I'm crying at the moment in sadness. I've prayed for your family all night. But, it is a comfort knowing that Steve is no longer hurting and is in a joyous place now! I'll be praying specifically for Cooper and Katie too.

May the Lord bring you strength and comfort in the moments and days ahead.

In Prayer,
Kelly Cox

Cyndi said...

May our Lord and Savior also cover you with peace in your days ahead, Tyra. Your amazing faith, love and strength is truly inspiring. Please, let me know if I can do anything for you. Anytime. I love you. My heart shatters for you.

Chitnis and Chahal said...

I am here if you need anything at all. Our dear Steve is finally at peace and no longer in pain. I take solace in that. I will miss him dearly. Love you guys so much. Shilpa

Amy said...

Tyra, i'm so sorry. You, Cooper, and Katie are in my prayers.

Anonymous said...

I am a friend of Natalie Willis and I have been praying for your family since she spoke of you.
So sorry for your loss. I hope with time your hearts will heal.

Paula Petelle

Jess said...

I have been reading your site for a while and I wanted you to know my thoughts and prayers are with you and your children. I am so happy that Steve has made his journey home but I know you have a long journey ahead of you. Your family will be in prayers for days to come. May you continue to feel Steve's love surrounding you each and everyday!

Cheryl said...

Steve was an exceptional human being and together you were an amazing, loving family. I will miss him dearly. It was a priviledge to know him. We love you Tyra and pray that God brings comfort to you, Cooper and Katie
love you,
Uncle Tim & Aunt Cheryl, Trevor and Sarah

Cindy said...

I have been blessed to follow your blog about Steve all the way here in Virginia. I have prayed daily for your dear one and hope that he is finally at peace. Lots of prayers and hugs to you and know that he has touched lives through your writings across the nation.

Anonymous said...

Tyra, you have been a blessing to many of us, by sharing this and letting us in, to experience it with you. I hope it gives you comfort to think that Steve is resting in Jesus' arms.
Love always,
Cherl Hoskins and Rick Harrell

Anonymous said...


May the Lord be with you and your children during this difficult time. I will pray for you all.

Melinda Wheeley.

Zena Horton said...

Tyra, you and the kids are in my thoughts and prayers. I can't stop crying because I can't imagine your loss. Your strength and grace continue to amaze me. Steve fought so hard and has finally found peace. I feel blessed to have met him and your family. May God continue to give you strength to cope with your great loss. Love, Zena

Brad Sizelove said...

Tyra, Katie, and Cooper,
We are all thinking of you very much, be strong and remember the great times that have been shared with a truely amazing Superman, or as we knew him in college as the larger than life CHEESE!

Rest in peace Brother Steve. You will be greatly missed by all that your life has touched.

ATO Fraternity Brother

Anonymous said...

What a blessing Steve was to all of us. Please know that you and your family are in my prayers constantly. Love you!
- Georgia Harrison

noelgross said...

I hesitate to "post a comment," but so much of Steve's journey was shared online, so I guess it's only appropriate.

Steve, your fight has been an inspiration. Your humor and perseverance through every day (often hours and minutes) of struggle defy words.

Thank you for blessing us with Cooper and Katie and for being such a wonderful husband to our dear friend Tyra.

We love you. We miss you.

Anonymous said...

Steve has been and will continue to be an inspiring example for us all. Thanks for sharing his beautiful spirit and courageous battle with us through this blog, Tyra. Peace be with you and your family.

Mary G

Shawn P said...

I knew Steve in college, we were in the MMB. Laura Ambrook just alerted me to what was happening. I am so sorry! He was an exceptional person, the kind of person that everyone knew even if they didn't know him well. I will keep your family in my prayers.
Shawn Saffer Peek

Marci said...

Tyra, you and your sweet children are in our prayers today and for the difficult days to come.

Tim and Marci Diehl

Kimberly (Kotwicki) Lesinski said...

Tyra, I will continue to pray for you, your children, and the rest of your family - that you will find peace and strength with the loss of dearest Steve. He will be missed by so many. Thanks for sharing yor family's journey with all of us. You and Steve are truly inspiring. God Bless.
Kim Lesinski
Fellow Michigan Marching Band member

Joyce Saenz Harris said...

Steve Harris and I send our love, prayers and thoughts your way.

DogBlogger said...

Tyra, offering up prayers of thanksgiving for a life so well-lived, and prayers for you, Cooper, and Katie in the journey ahead. Love to you all.

Anonymous said...


I'm so sorry to hear the news. May God be with you, Cooper, and Katie in the days and weeks ahead. Both you and Steve have been such an inspiration and I am personally very grateful that you shared your journey with us. You and Steve showed a whole lot of people how to stand in the face of such a daunting challenge. Steve fought so hard, and I know that you will feel his presence even though he is no longer here physically. He will watch over his wonderful little family always.

In deepest sympathy,
Terry (Heichelheim) Altshuler

Dave said...

I can't say anything any better than Noel did. I continue to pray for you and sweet Tooper and KT, but I know Steve will be here with all of you too.
With love,
The Wilsons

Jenny said...

You are all in my prayers. May you continue to show the world how to celebrate the life that Steve lived.

Cathy Frye said...

Know that I will be praying for you, Cooper and Katie in the weeks to come.

Doris T. said...

Agreed that a tribute in the comments section seems only appropriate given how much of Steve's fight was chronicled online.

Much love to you, Tyra, and the kids. You and Steve showed them what strength -- and love -- is.

--Doris Truong

Anonymous said...

Tyra, I am so sorry for your loss. We will keep continue to keep your family in our prayers. I can't say that I knew Steve personally, but from all I have learned through your blog, he was truly amazing! He will continue to be amazing with the angels.

Bless you all,
Sean and Conia Sell

Laura Ambrook Redmond former member of the Michigan Marching Band said...

Tyra, Cooper, and Katie-
I can only imagine the saddness you feel at this time. All of us that knew Steve are heartbroken for you and know the world will be an emptier place today. Please know our prayers are with you all. We from far away send you an enormous thank you for including us in Steve's journey in the most beautiful, insightful, and eloquent way. Your love for him and each other has been present throughout and I know he felt enveloped in it to the very end. Although God has taken back His faithful servant, He will send you His peace and comfort to endure the days ahead.
God bless you all,

Anonymous said...

Tyra-He fought an amazing fight. Your love for Steve is beautiful. Peace be with you and you family.
Shannon Scott

Brad Kosley said...

I am thankful for the friendship that we had in high school, though regretful it didn't continue longer. I pray for Tyra, Cooper and Katie.

Anonymous said...

I've been following Steve's journey since the blog first began and I can't even express the sadness I feel. Thank you for sharing your difficult and incredibly inspiring journey of love, strength and family. My heart and prayers for peace go out to you, Cooper, Katie and the extended family and friends who so evidently loved and admired Steve. He has made a difference in this world and has touched the lives of many from coast to coast.

Jennifer T.

jhuckaby said...

Tyra, dear sweet Damm family, my heart is breaking for all of you today. You are such a beautiful testent to love and faith on a scale rarely known. Steve's laughter, wit and kindness has blessed so many -- and I want to thank him so dearly. All my love and prayers are with you. Always.

Anonymous said...

Tyra, as you enter this new phase of your journey, be ever so kind and gentle to yourself and your children, grieve in whatever way feels appropriate, and allow the support around you to continue. One of the most important and sustaining lessons when I lost my Phillip was simply this: Love never dies. Kim

liz said...

Tyra, I wish for you and your children to find peace in the wonderful memories you made together. May you find comfort in the love you shared. God bless you all.

-- Liz Zavala

Anonymous said...

Tyra, Suzy Matheson called this morning to tell me the news. I am so sorry for your precious loss. My family will pray for your family.

Michelle Stevens

Jenni Pascacio said...

I am deeply saddened... My prayers are with you and the family. I know how hard this is... I hope you can find peace in knowing his suffering has ended and that he is in a better place. Reflect on all the joy and love you both shared, it was very special. If you need anything, please call.
Jenni Pascacio

Raven Patrick said...


Steve and I went to high school together at W T White. He was an amazingly strong and brave soul. You have been a strong fixture in his life, and a true partner in his battle.

I will never forget Steve and his strength. Thank you for making us a part of his life and his journey. The fight he had in him was truly an inspiration of the power of the human spirit.

You, Cooper, and Katie are in my thoughts and prayers.

drlizardw said...

Dear Tyra,

Steve has been such a gift to us all. Eric and I are so sad to know he is no longer with us, but are comforted to know he is now at peace. He must have been so comforted to have you with him in his last hours. Please know you, Katie and Cooper are in our thoughts -- don't hesitate to ask if we can help in any way.

Much love,

Anonymous said...

Your sweet family is in my thoughts and prayers. Steve's strength, your love, and unwavering faith have truly been an inspiration to all of us. I will prayer for Peace and comfort for all three of you in the days ahead.

Traci Hoxsey

tallgirl said...

I am sorry for your loss.

Diane said...

Tyra, may God hold you and your children close in His loving arms today and in the coming weeks and months and years. Steve's and your valiant fight has been and will continue to be an inspiration for me and countless others. Rest in God's arms, and know that Steve will be with us always, and we will be with him for eternity one day. Much love flows to you, Cooper and Katie, from all over heaven and earth. Love, Diane

Anonymous said...

Dear Tyra, Cooper and Katie,
Our love and prayers are with you.

Jody and Jim Vidrine

Anonymous said...

Tyra, my heart is heavy today for you and your children. Thank you for sharing your journey with so many. Steve's strength was inspiring, and his story has taught me to always keep fighting despite the odds. I hope this is something your children will one day treasure and find comfort in. I will keep you all in my prayers for days, months, and years to come. God's grace be with you. Natalie Yancey

deidre said...

Tyra, my heart mourns with you and your family. Steve never gave up. He fought to the end and along the way he embraced his family with love, humor and many intimate moments. What a blessing to have the memories of such a wonderful man, husband and father to cherish.

So with you; Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy. John 16:20 (NIV)

Deidre Melanese

Meredith said...

I think I speak for many when I say, "Our extended hand does not end here." In the days, weeks, and months to come, please let us know how we can help you and Cooper and Katie, by means of this blog, by email or through Pray for Steve Facebook. We are and will continue to be here for you.

Anonymous said...


I am so, so sorry for your loss. You and your family will be in my prayers.

AriknMia said...

We are so sorry Tyra. Much love to you and the kiddos.

Kelly said...

I'm so sorry. Can't think of anything else to say but please know that there are MANY people thinking about you and praying for your family right now.

The McCormicks said...

Dear Sweet Damm Family,

What a bittersweet day. Much sadness for the loss of an incredible husband, friend, and father but so glad his suffering has ended and that he has been called Home. We will continue to keep you in our thoughts and prayers. We have been blessed to have known Steve for even such a short time. Thank you for sharing your heart-wrenching journey in such a touching, inspiring blog. God Bless You.

Daria said...

My thoughts are with you and your family ...

A.C. said...

Bless you all, and Steve, today. You have touched more lives than you know. Thank you for sharing so unselfishly. Much love.

Anonymous said...


I'm so glad that Steve could be at home, with you, in his final hours. He loved ALL of you so, so, so much.

I had to go back in the blog to December 2008, to the video of Katie dancing in a tutu and her cowboy boots on your front porch. It is 16 seconds of joy. Steve always got so tickled when he watched it, and watching him laugh always made me laugh, too.

And I'll always remember how he would look at the picture of you (pregnant with Cooper) on his shelf. He loved that picture.

And how he loved to read with Cooper - that private time for just them.

And how he loved the calendars that you made him each year with pictures of the kids. I'd always look ahead to see the pics, but he wouldn't. He wanted to save them as a surprise.

And how he was, for a good while, my coffee drinking buddy. Hot, cold, weak, strong, new, old. Didn't matter. We'd drink it.

Oh, so many things about Steve that I will remember and smile!

But mostly, Tyra, I'll remember how much he loved helping people. And how PFC was a great place for him to do just that.

Thanks for sharing him with all of us. We'll miss him terribly.

My thoughts and prayers are with you and the kids, and Betty and Jim. May God hold all of you in his hand, now and always.

Love, Lori

Chitnis and Chahal said...

I can't help but think of Steve all day today. I didn't come with the expectation to necessarily see you but came just for Steve and hoping I could see his parents. I was blessed that I got to see you as well and a glimpse of sweet Cooper through the door. I am happy to see pictures of our old Steve on the blog again and I am going to choose to remember him as the young sweet man I met in Dec of 2007 but in spirit, I will remember more the man I came to love as a friend due to what he endured and how he endured it. I am heart broken for you and the kids and for all of us but like your friend said this morning to me, "Steve is now back to jogging again and he is jogging with God". Like Dr. Maher said, everything I do from this point on will be a tribute to Steve. I will hold myself up for a higher bar in patient care and caring for people because I want to be good in Steve's eyes. His spirit will be by my side but I will miss his physical presence dearly.
Lots of hugs.

tlundt said...


Knowing Steve is in heaven now and smiling down on us doesnt make this any easier....I know.....but he is painfree now....and that we can rejoice in.

Both you and Steve have been an inspiration to so many of us....and we pray that God will continue to guide you and the kids through this difficult time of transition.

Praying for you,

Trey Lundt & Family

Anonymous said...


We've never met, and likely never will, but as many others have, I've followed this amazing tribute to Steve and your family that you've created. I hope that when you're ready, reading the old posts and the comments will bring peace and joy. I am truly sorry for the pain that I know you are enduring but am inspired by the love you two shared, and how loved you are by so many. May you find comfort in that.


Anonymous said...

Very sorry for the loss, and I'm sure you know he'll spirit will remain with you. Death is not a goodbye.

-- Reese Dunklin

Anonymous said...


You and Steve are a true testament to the truth that God puts people in our lives. Your time together was a gift for both of you, but through this journey, you both have been a gift to so many of us. I pray that time and the world will be kind to you and your babies until you can be with him again.

With so much love and admiration,
Cheryl Brown

Anonymous said...

Tyra, Cooper, and Katie,

I share in your sadness and pray that you will be comforted in the happy memories of Steve. I know he was a great husband and father by the characteristics he demonstrated during his work every day for Children's and Physcians for Children. While showing his commitment to the care of children by working right up though this past week, he was also doing what he believed to be best for his family.

Karen Meador

Anonymous said...

Tyra, Cooper & Katie,

I found your blog through Sugar Photography. From the first night I started reading, I have been just amazed at the strenth and love your family has for each other. Thank you for sharing your lives with all of us. Your stories have touched many people. Like many others, I will probably never meet you, but you, Steve, Cooper & Katie have made a huge impact on my life.

Please know your family, immediate and extended will be in my thoughts for a very long time.

Bella, in MN

LisaMarie said...

Tyra, I'm so very sorry. You and Cooper and Katie will continue to be in our prayers.

Lisa Wynne

Bob B. said...

We have never met even though we probably should have. I went to high school with Steve and was good friends with Will P. and Stuart C. Stuart was at my house this last weekend and I had asked him about Steve and how he was doing. After that conversation, I told myself I needed to come visit Steve and share some of my memories of him from the time we had with one another. I am crying now because he is gone but I would still like to share my memories. Reading through your blog here has been amazing - I am grateful that Steve has found peace and that your journey together has served as inspiration for so many. I will pray for you and your family, God has blessed you with amazing strength.

Anonymous said...

Thankful that Steve is at peace...but sad for the family he leaves behind. Prayers for you, Tyra, and for your children, Cooper and Katie. May you feel the love, peace and comfort of so many prayers being lifted up.


Beverly said...

I'm so sorry for you and the're an amazing woman.

I'm so glad that Steve is now free of this beast.

Dusty said...

My thoughts and prayers are with you. I heard today that when you love someone and when that person dies, he takes a piece of your heart with him, so you and your family are always with him as he is within your heart.


Anonymous said...

We are deeply saddened by Steve's passing. He was a loving, fun, funny father and husband whose family always came first. We are touched by the steadfast love each of you have shown throughout this ordeal. May your love, faith and memories of Steve give you strength, now and always.

Please let us know if there is anything we can do for you in the days, weeks and months ahead.

Love, Frank, Kay, Will and Lindsay Christlieb

tracy said...

I am so sorry for your loss. I lost my boyfriend to gliomatosis cerebri last October. Two wonderful people taken way before their time by this terrible disease. My heart goes out to your family.


Anonymous said...

my love and many prayers for you and your family. I've never met any of you, but I feel as though I know you all so well - I started following this blog shortly after it began. I can't for the life of me remember how I got here, but All of you have become a daily part of our lives out here in Ohio... many of us have been praying for you constantly... just as we will cont. to pray for you and your family. Hug your sweet children... let Connor know it's ok to cry.... as long as he needs to. I still do.
I can hardly wait for the day when we all get together... singing and dancing... at home.

Jennifer Arend said...

Our deepest condolences, Tyra. We'll keep you in our prayers.
Jennifer Arend & Stephen Becker

Christie said...

:( I don't have words, just sadness. Thinking about all of you right now and want to wrap you in hugs. May the Lord hold him tight and send comfort and peace your way.

Christie Ramos and Family

Anonymous said...

Tyra and Family,

Matthew, aka Scott, has shared your struggle and journey with us since Steve's diagnosis. Our prayers have been with you and your family. You have all been a blessing to our son. Heaven has a new angel tonight. Prayers, peace and blessings to you, Katie and Cooper.

Marilyn & Ken Henry

Suzanne from Maryland said...

A Mighty Fortress Is Our God
Listen [ Real Audio | Mp3 ]
Read [ Hymn Details | Sheet Music ]
A mighty fortress is our God, a bulwark never failing;
Our helper He, amid the flood of mortal ills prevailing:
For still our ancient foe doth seek to work us woe;
His craft and power are great, and, armed with cruel hate,
On earth is not his equal.

Did we in our own strength confide, our striving would be losing;
Were not the right Man on our side, the Man of God’s own choosing:
Dost ask who that may be? Christ Jesus, it is He;
Lord Sabaoth, His Name, from age to age the same,
And He must win the battle.

And though this world, with devils filled, should threaten to undo us,
We will not fear, for God hath willed His truth to triumph through us:
The Prince of Darkness grim, we tremble not for him;
His rage we can endure, for lo, his doom is sure,
One little word shall fell him.

That Word above all earthly powers, no thanks to them, abideth;
The Spirit and the gifts are ours through Him Who with us sideth:
Let goods and kindred go, this mortal life also;
The body they may kill: God’s truth abideth still,
His kingdom is forever.

mama2one said...

Prayers from Canada.

Melissa said...

Praying for you and your kids. I'm so, so sorry.

Anonymous said...

I've heard it said that "death is not extinguishing the light; it is putting out the lamp because dawn has come." May Steve rest in peace, and may the arms of God surround you and your precious children, as well as Steve's family and friends, during this time of great loss.

Jennifer said...

You and your children are in my thoughts and prayers. I'm so very sorry.

Cory Robertson said...

Steve will always mean so much to so many people. I am hugging you hard as he would. I was just thinking about Steve's voice, but what came to mind and wouldn't go away was an inappropriate "Yee haw!" I am crying, but that made me smile, just like Cheese would've liked.

Bless you for your sharing and may you feel strength in God and in Steve's cherished memory.

Love from all of the Robertsons and all of the ATOs-

Cory Robertson

Mary Kay said...

Tyra, I'm so very sorry for your loss ... You're in my prayers.

Anonymous said...

I am so sorry for your loss. Your family's faith shines on in your words. I will continue to pray for you and your family through this diffucult time and beyond. Your children are blessed to have to two wonderful parents in their lives.

D said...

We are praying for you, Cooper, and Katie. I hope that God brings you the peace that you so deserve ~ He is there holding your hand and walking with you!

Donna and Mike

Anonymous said...

Tyra, Cooper, and Katie,

We are so very sorry for your loss. You all will be in our thoughts and prayers.

Suzanne, Brock, Reid, and Nicholas Jordan

Rev_DeanL said...

"The Lord bless and keep you;
the Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you;
the Lord lift up his countenance upon you, and give you peace."
~ Numbers 6:24-26

Tyra, Cooper, and Katie - you are all in my thoughts and prayers. I have no words to give you in this moment other than to say I am praying for peace in your hearts as there is now peace in Steve's body.

In the name of our loving and gracious God,

Windy said...

Tyra, May there be some comfort in knowing that Steve is with his maker and tumor free. May the Lord be with you and provide you peace during this difficult time.

You, Cooper and Katie are always in our prayers,
Corey, Windy, Madison and MacKenzie Mills

Sue Ambrose said...

Tyra, I am so sorry. My prayers are with you and Steve, Katie and Cooper.

Sue Ambrose

Nikki Snell said...

You posts from the last few days mirrored those memories of my own mother's passing in December from cancer. I do hope God brings you to a peaceful place and you can, through your sadness and pain, find many fond memories and happy times that can't be taken away with Steve's passing. God bless!

mnavrot said...

I'm so sorry to read this, Tyra.

Sincerest condolences for you and the family.


Sharon said...

Through every day -- right up to the end of his time here with us -- Steve displayed an overwhelming abundance of love, patience, curiosity and (even) witty charm.

It has been an awesome thing to watch Steve and Tyra do everything they could -- and then a whole lot more -- to courageously and unceasingly battle the damm spot for many, many months. And all the while, they continued to be the very best Mom and Daddy to their sweet Cooper and Katie.

Today, it is a blessing for warrior Steve to be released from his suffering. And while Tyra, Cooper and Katie have new tough times to walk through, they too are blessed -- with good friends and family to stand by their side.

No one could come away from "experiencing Steve" without having his or her life changed for the better.

In friendship,

Sharon, Clay, Matthew and Pierce

Anonymous said...

Angels protected Lot and his daughters in Sodom (Genesis 19), the Hebrews from Egyptian armies (Exodus 14:19-20), and the Israelites from their enemies in Canaan (Exodus 23:20-23; 33:2-3). An angel saved Hezekiah and his people from annihilation by the Assyrians (2 Kings 19:32-36). Across the history of Israel, "the angel of his presence saved him" (Isaiah 63:9). Angels rescued the apostles from prison (Acts 5:17-19) and Peter from death (Acts 12:6-11).
Angels do awesome things. Steve was an incredible human being and is now a special, wonderful, watch-over-you angel.

Anonymous said...

with dignity, strength, determination, compassion, hope, faith, joy, anger, sorrow, and love.. always with love.. you have shared your life's trials..
thank you for allowing me into your life.
my prayers as you continue your journey.


Anonymous said...

Tyra, I am so so very sorry for all of you. I am praying for you, Cooper and Katie.
Chris Calandro

Lorrie Irby Jackson said...

He fought bravely and without fail---my condolences are with you and your family at this trying time, be blessed and stay encouraged Tyra.

Becca said...

Tyra, Cooper, and Katie...

Y'all and Steve have been a blessing in my life. I am so sorry for your loss. You will be in my prayers. If there is anything you need call me or email me.

Blessings of Peace,
Becca Jones

Tracy said...

Tyra, Your strength, your courage and your love is truly amazing. I will continue to pray for you and your family. God bless you all.
Tracy Brown

Scott Shober said...

Tyra, I'm so sorry for your loss. May you find the peace and courage to carry you through this difficult time. Steve will be greatly missed. He was the very first friend I ever met as a student at Michigan. Steve is always smiling in my memories of that time, and he so enjoyed making those around him laugh and be happy. I'm sure his spirit continues to do so. You, Steve, and the children will be in my prayers.

Bruny Papp said...

Dear Tyra,

You are a brave, strong, loving wife/mother. My heart goes out for you and your children.

Just 9 years ago I too experienced the loss of my godfather to a "spot". I too was able to be next to him holding his hand. Letting him know how beautiful was his daughters weeding just 24 hours prior. Like Steve, he wanted everyone to continue living live fully.

May God Bless you and your family. Should there be ANYTHING I can do to help please let us know.

The Papp Family
Bruny, Dave, and Erica Michelle