Dave Whitcher

Dave is one of those guys. His spirit is genuine and true. He’s enthusiastic, humble and articulate. Full of good things. His life is a testament to that and his friends are eager to share their experience of him and the impact he’s had. Dave works as a math teacher at Hazelbrook Middle School in Tualatin, OR. November 2017 while teaching, he collapsed in class, having a grand mal seizure. When Dave tells the story, not surprisingly given his character, he talks about the kids and the impact it had on them to witness a teacher in distress and being loaded into an ambulance. He subsequently learned there was a 4x6 cm tumor above his right ear that caused swelling on the brain and thus the seizure. There were no other symptoms to indicate the tumor that had been present for years. On Nov 8, 2017 he was diagnosed with Oligodendroglioma (brain cancer). He says that while the event was traumatic he’s thankful for the seizure, which led to the diagnosis and a treatment plan. In December of 2017 a majority of the tumor was removed. 29 staples were used. Radiation and chemo followed.

Dave headed into treatment with dedication to all parts of himself. His health and his family, he’s married with two daughters, (7 and 20 years old), his job, making music… He scheduled the one month of radiation treatments for 2:30 in the afternoon, 5 days a week. This enabled him to work most of a school day before heading into appointments. After radiation he’d go to the gym many days, then home to hang with family. After radiation, chemotherapy started and will continue in cycles for one year.

The new motto of Dave and his community, which has also been printed on t-shirts is “SEIZE THE DAVE” and it embodies him perfectly. His friend Amy, who also attends CrossFit SW Beaverton says Dave spent about 20 minutes feeling sorry for himself and then started doing what he had to, to stay healthy. Amy and Dave partnered up for the CrossFit Open this year. They’d go in at 4:00 pm, after radiation and workout. One of them would do the Open WOD while the other acted as judge recording scores, then vice versa each week. Amy remarked that with all he was taking on, his commitment and determination has been stronger than ever. During the Open he didn’t stop, kept moving forward. CrossFit happens to be a whole family activity. Dave’s wife, Becky (also a teacher, who he notes has taught him a lot) and his in-laws are all in on the action together! Amy says “Dave inspires us all daily without realizing it. Handling it all with grace and a positive attitude”.

Dave manages to consistently overlap the things he enjoys most in life. His family CrossFits together. Becky and Dave are both educators and share an enthusiasm for the profession within their marriage. As a math teacher Dave incorporates his love of music by teaching his students songs that help them learn mathematical lessons and concepts. Who wouldn’t want a math teacher like that?! In relationships, work and now as he receives treatment for cancer he applies the same method of thought, believe in the best possible outcome because our beliefs are what inform our reality each day. All in all Dave says that he feels really good. The community around him have been eager to support him and he responds “thank you. With everything I have, thank you.” The give and take, the generosity, it’s so reciprocal it’s palpable and transformative.

Everyday Warrior