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Please send in any memories of times with Elan you would like to share with his friends and family.

 

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As read at Elan's Memorial on 7/9/2023:
Today we celebrate the life of Elan. Because Elan wanted so much more than to be alive. He wanted to LIVE life with passion. To kayak. To go to the beach. To play baseball. To cook. To play with Tucker. To fall in love. And to tell his story. I first met Elan when he was 8 years old at little league tryouts. I was coaching and watching some of the kids and I noticed this cute little blonde haired boy with an outsized glove on his tiny little hand. I tossed the ball to him and he caught it and threw it back. Hard. So I kept throwing it and making him dive and jump for balls. He caught everything. I met Lisa and she told me Elan’s father was dying of brain cancer and like a lot of us here today, we adopted Elan into our family, not out of sympathy but because he was such a sweet kid with an ever present smile on his face. I later had the fortune to coach Elan in baseball and basketball, and he was always a joy to have on my teams. Elan was exactly the type of player I want on my team — Elan wanted to win, but more importantly, he always wanted to have fun. Coach, he called me. That’s all he ever called me. Two years ago, on one of those Facebook holidays called ‘Coach Appreciation Day’ Elan surprised me with a letter out of the blue: Dear Coach, I just wanted to say thank you for all the help with baseball. I don’t think my baseball career would be where it is today without you. from pitching to fielding a simple ground ball, or keeping my head on my chin while swinging. I remember at duck pond when we played their and i was always stepping outside the box you said you would nail my feet in the box. Now i step into the pitch and half the time I take the hit haha (“we got ice”) is my chant on most my baseball teams. Love you coach. Elan and my son Cody were classmates and became best friends over the next few years. Elan came to visit us in Texas, and whenever I would come back to New York on business, I would always make a point to see Elan, even if Cody wasn’t around. He was just that kinda kid. Elan loved to laugh and as he grew older, I made adjustments in how I was able to joke with him, slowly bringing in the fart jokes and talking to him about girls. He also became really sarcastic. I hope that wasn’t because of me! I mean SUPER SARCASTIC. As many who know me know, I like to wear hoodies. And in my pouch I’m always carrying two phones and a water bottle and maybe a protein bar or two. I mean you need a hoodie and kangaroo pouch for that right? So last year Cody and I flew up to visit Elan in the hospital after his surgery and Elan came down in a wheelchair to meet us in the lobby. And despite being connected to his tubes and machines and looking miserable, Elan somehow found the energy and the humor to start making fun of the phones and cords hanging out of my kangaroo pouch. I immediately got up and walked to the hospital food kiosk and bought about 12 items — drinks, snacks, candy, cookies, you name it…and I stuffed my hoodie so much that it looked like I was pregnant with triplets and I came back to him and stood up on the bench and slowly revealed all of the things I had stuffed in my hoodie. You have never seen someone so sick laugh so much. We were so happy when Elan finally came home from the hospital but the painful irony was that Elan’s body couldn’t support the world’s biggest heart of gold. I know Elan right now is going ‘Coach, don’t make them cry — make them laugh’ so I will leave you with this: A few weeks ago, Elan drove Cody and I to the airport and he planned to pick us up when we returned the following week. The day before our flight back, as I’m packing up, I get a call from Elan. “Coach, the craziest thing just happened! I was on the toilet taking huge poop and just as the poop is coming out, I start feeling nauseous and I start throwing at the same time that I’m pooping! And then I passed out! Anyway Coach, I’m on my way to the hospital now but long story short, I can’t pick you up from the airport tomorrow.” And that was Elan. Whether he was in pain or feeling disappointment or fear or sadness, Elan could always make you smile or laugh. And to honor Elan, today and forever, we must always remember his smile and his laughter and for us to continue to smile and laugh along with him.

Name: Jason Stern

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From Yolan in France:
I will always remember the fun times I had playing video games with Elan and his friends online. He never stopped laughing and making me laugh. Despite living pretty far away, all of this really affected me and I wish I could have met him in person.

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