My earliest memories of Leo include him teasing me because he did better in math than I did. My most recent is sitting in the Uvic residence cafeteria with him, and feeling like the outsiders who decided to go away for college. He also taught me that they had a bangin’ grilled ham and cheese sandwich. I’d known Leo since I was 12, and we weren’t just university friends in the way that people who went to the same high school were, holding onto each other for dear life in foreign waters.
We had generally been competitive in middle school, until we learned that we worked together a lot better, and found common interest in our work. I was 19 when Leo passed away from meningitis, and was in hospital, struggling with health problems of my own. Leo’s death became a huge inspiration for me to get better, and to pursue a dream I hadn’t previously thought was within my reach; Leo never believed something wasn’t within his reach.
A year ago, a friend of mine asked me to check on her roommate. He had been diagnosed with viral meningitis and had been sent home from the hospital. When I got there, he was asleep, but soon woke up and projectile vomited, so I called an ambulance. Maybe he would have been fine if I hadn’t brought him to the hospital that day, but I couldn’t get the image of Leo out of my head, and I knew I couldn’t let that happen to someone else. Jacob is fine, by the way, and he bought me a beer for saving his life afterwards. But I don’t know if I would have been so concerned if it weren’t for my education due to Leo’s passing, and I am proud that I was able to save someone in Leo’s name.
– Carolyn Moon