Guys Like Us Aren't Supposed to Die

Dead at 56.

Kevin Leonard lived with Crohn's for over 40 years and died July 18 from complications of pneumonia.

That's code for an immune system unable to cope with an infection. And besides, everyone knows Crohn's doesn't kill.

Right. Its all the other stuff we get that can and does.

Kevin Leonard was a powerful patient advocate, educator, comedian and life enthusiast. He got more done while ill than many people can when healthy.

But what's got me so angry is the notion that guys like us aren't supposed to die. He was 6 years younger than me. He took meds I'm familiar with and have taken myself. I'm not suggesting the meds killed him - that's not it at all.

What killed him was his body's inability to defend itself. After decades of fighting, the defences just wore out, broke down, leaving him vulnerable and powerless to resist.

Anybody who doesn't think that this disease can take a toll that can lead to death is living a fantasy. Yes, I'm angry that Kevin died so prematurely. In fact I'm downright pissed.

Kevin isn't the first person I've known who's died of "complications of .....". Somehow Crohn's never gets blamed. Never gets credit. Is overlooked and hush-hushed. It’s time for the lie to be shattered. Once and for all this invisible reality needs to be exposed. The real murderer needs to be revealed.

I accuse Crohn's for Kevin's death.

He was one of us guys who aren't supposed to die.

Zal Press
Toronto, Canada
Tuesday, Jul 30, 2013