Steven and Sean on the Polar Bear Cam
Steven and Sean on the Polar Bear Cam

Monday, January 10, 2005

Our Friend, Josh Ingledue

Josh Ingledue, a great kid from Iowa. Josh and his dad Dave were at Ronald McDonald House and Target House at the same time we were there.

Doug and the kids spent lots of time playing pool with Josh and his dad. Josh was diagnosed with Ewing's sarcoma at the age of 9 and he fought hard for 4 1/2 years for the right to grow up.

Josh joined the angels early in the morning on Wednesday, January 5.

This is from the January 11 issue of the Des Moines Register.

It was the only item on 13-year-old Josh Ingledue's Christmas list: a blue casket.

Josh, who would have been an eighth-grade student at Brody Middle School this year, died Wednesday after a four-year battle with cancer. Friends described him as a fighter, a charmer and "one of those kids that can talk you into anything."

He once talked Memphis Grizzlies basketball star Mike Miller into giving up an autographed pair of tennies, just by asking. Josh, a baseball player for South Des Moines Little League and a North Carolina Tar Heel fan, was buried in his blue casket Saturday.

During his illness, Josh relapsed several times, underwent multiple surgeries and endured stem cell and bone marrow transplants. In November, after spending 15 months at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Tennessee, Josh asked to come home to Des Moines to live out the remainder of his life.

"He knew there was no turning back if he came home," his father, Dave Chubb, said. "He was ready to call it quits."

It was almost as if he had it planned.

"He said, 'Dad, you have to promise me two things. I want to be buried on a Saturday so my friends can come. . . . and I want to die the first time it snows,' " Chubb said as he choked back tears.

By the early hours of Wednesday morning, Des Moines was blanketed by nearly six inches of snow.

"I know he knew it was snowing," Chubb said. "He loved it. He missed it when we were in Tennessee."

Josh was brave, strong-willed and kept a positive attitude throughout his sickness, those close to him said. He even talked to other groups of children at St. Jude about cancer.

"He was full of spirit," Chubb said. "He lived his whole life that way and he died that way."

Josh also loved practical jokes. Relatives and friends told stories about him initiating syringe water fights with nurses during chemotherapy, challenging NBA stars to video games at St. Jude and playing baseball with his brother Brian Ingledue.

Hundreds of friends showed up at a party for Josh when he came home in November. Now they are helping the family raise money to pay for a casket, mounting medical bills and the funeral.

Because Chubb spent so much time away from home caring for Josh, he had to leave his job as a youth service worker. Josh's mother, Michelle Ingledue, also spent much of her time away from her job to be with Josh.

"I promised I'd start this with him and I'd finish this with him," Chubb said.

Bob Egr, Josh's former Little League coach, organized a free-throw contest this weekend to raise money for the family. Spending much of the last two weeks with Josh "has been the most wonderful time in my life, seeing how strong he was," Egr said. "He's touched me so deeply, I can't even explain it."

Others, like family friend Ron Choate, owner of Small World in Valley Junction, felt compelled to help, too.

Choate will donate 20 percent of all sales this weekend to the family.

Van Ginkel Athletic Manufacturing donated the jacket Josh was buried in, a black Iowa Arsenal windbreaker representing the AAU baseball team Brian Ingledue played on and Chubb coached.

Most who knew Josh, who is also survived by brother Brandon Ingledue, say he was the kind of kid who left a lasting impression on those who knew him well and those who barely knew him at all.

"He just touched so many people," Chubb said. "He's amazing. He truly lived life to the fullest."

There's a really sweet video of Josh and his dad Dave here (Windows Media or Real Player).

Godspeed, sweet Josh.

- Kathleen

p.s. Cancer really, really, does suck.



Blogger Cav said...

Sweet Kathey, Thank you for your sweet comment and telling me of your Steven.

I have sat here for awhile reading your history and last posts. You can go your whole life knowing people go through tremendous feats, but until you have gone through them yourself or been a part of it, you have no idea. Such a precious boy, I am sorry that you have had to go through this.

I have heard that song in my life, but not until now has it effected me the way it has. Like your Steven, even at 24, I am my parents child.

No need to search for Grace. It is yours to be had!

January 15, 2005 1:18 AM  

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