Real Life | Relationships

Facing Cancer (And Death) With Humour And Love

Aaron and wife Nora wrote obituary together that reveals he was a web-slinging superhero, battling a nefarious arch-enemy

Nora McIlerny and Aaron Purmort

Today, serendipitously, after getting a call from a NY PR agency about something beauty industry related, we checked our records and remembered a wonderful PR rep we dealt with named Nora, who used to work there. A quick followup web search brought up very sad news, that had in fact gone national. Nora’s husband Aaron, had just died. Brain cancer.

Shocked and saddened, we read on. Between Nora’s blog and both their Twitter accounts (Nora | Aaron), an ongoing courageous, playful and joyous dialogue was revealed, and most powerfully, a beautiful love story.

Both Aaron (an ad industry art director) and Nora (a PR star and blogger) clearly brought their wit and sense of fun to their difficult journey (Aaron had been battling cancer for years.) Obviously, there is a lot of heartbreak here, but Aaron and Nora helped to inject as much living and smiling into the final months as one could imagine, and leave an inspiring example for all.

Here’s the obituary Aaron and Nora wrote together, as Nora writes:

“Before purmort died, we had time to sit down and write his obituary. I’ve never laughed and cried more in one sitting, but I’m so glad we got to do this. I love this man so damn much.”

Aaron Purmort Obit

Aaron and Nora had only met in 2010, after connecting through Facebook and Twitter. Only a year later in October 2011 Aaron suffered a seizure that turned out to be a brain tumour, and it was removed surgically. They quickly got married, Nora became pregnant, giving birth to son Ralph in 2013. Shortly before Ralph’s birth however, the tumour reappeared, and grew.

Aaron promoted an empowering Twitter campaign with the hashtag #StillKickinThis combined with a custom T-Shirt line that supported brain tumour research, and reached thousands of people, as he battled for his life with his partner, soulmate Nora by his side the entire way. He died November 25, 2014. Theirs is a story of cancer, but mostly of love.

Nora’s tweet says it all:

Nora's Tweet about Aaron Purmont

Capturing their highs and lows, and love, together they helped put together a moving documentary of their journey that had just reached the end of a long chapter, as the next begins for Nora and their infant son, Ralph.

Here’s a trailer:

Also read:

All Things Shall Pass: A Faze Writer’s Battle With Breast Cancer at 24

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