An open letter to: Mayor (John) Lazar, Turlock City Councilmembers Amy Bublak, Bill DeHart, Jr., Forrest White and Mary Jackson; Turlock Parks and Recreation manager Allison Van Guilder and Eric Schultz; Turlock Journal editor and staff; business owners, citizens and friends and family of my nephew, Brandon Koch.
As you all know, we lost someone very special recently. Adrenocortical cancer is very rare and although studied, no one has found a cure or even a chemical or process to impede its growth. It’s an insidious disease that signs your death warrant the instant the first cells divide. Brandon didn’t survive a year from the removal of the first tumor to his last breath.
Brandon contributed to this community in a selfless manner; he was there for the underdog, for those who needed a shoulder or just a helping hand, never expecting or wanting anything in return. His mother is to be commended for raising him to be such a considerate, loving and giving person.
I am writing to thank each and every one of you who signed the petitions and stood behind us while we pursued having the name of the Turlock Skate Park changed to Brandon Koch Memorial Skate Park. Special thanks to Eric Schultz of the Department of Parks and Recreation for his unwavering guidance, to Mayor Lazar and the City Council members who enthusiastically approved our request. To the Turlock Journal, a heartfelt thanks for getting the word out by picking up our story. Thank you to the local businesses who signed the petition, knowing it was a just cause.
A grateful thank you to all of Brandon’s friends who were able to attend the meetings and give a glimpse of the Brandon they knew to all of us. Those who couldn’t attend have our thanks, because I know they would have been there if they could.
I am immeasurably grateful for all your help, for being there for us, for helping me fulfill a promise I made to a dying young man.
— Judith Suliman