Monday, February 23, 2009


I work at the Monarch School of New England, a private nonprofit school for children with severe disabilities -- children who are medically fragile.

Every child there is special -- special in that they are loved fully and without reserve by their families and the staff at the school.

Perhaps one shouldn't have 'favorites' in such an environment. But there are some children who touch your hearts in unexpected ways. One child, Brandon, was one of my special favorites. Well, truth to tell, Brandon was everyone's favorite.

When he was born, doctors said he may not live long, maybe just a few years. But he was strong and loved. And had a will to live that gave him 8 years of love and life.

His mother said of him that "when he smiles, the whole world smiles".

ROCHESTER ; Brandon Michael McKeown, 8, passed away Thursday, Feb. 19, 2009 at Frisbie Memorial Hospital following a challenging yet full life with Lissencephaly. Born Sept. 12, 2000 in Exeter, N.H., he was the son of Brian and Billie-Jo (Haycock) McKeown. Brandon attended the Monarch School of New England in Rochester. He enjoyed spending time with his friends at school, taking long walks with his family, cuddling, and weekends at Nonna's. Members of his family include his parents, Brian and Billie-Jo Mckeown of Rochester; brother, Brett McKeown of Rochester; paternal grandparents, Joanne "Nonna" Riggio of Rochester, and Raymond McKeown Jr. of Dover; maternal grandmother, Dinah "Nunny" Haycock of Epsom; aunts and uncles, Raymond and Amanda McKeown of Rochester, Grace Cromleholme, of Rochester, Tina Haycock of Epsom, and David Haycock of Farmington; cousins, Jaiden Hayes of Dover, Sasha and Ana Bounchanh and Maxi Velasquez all of Northwood. Family and friends may call Monday, Feb. 23 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the R. M. Edgerly and Son Funeral Home. 86 S. Main St. Rochester. Brandon's family encourages everyone to come in casual and comfortable attire. A funeral service will be held Tuesday at 11 a.m. in the chapel of the funeral home. Burial will take place in the spring. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Brandon's memory to the Monarch School of New England, PO Box 1921, Rochester, NH, 03866.

No comments: