Honoring Victor Halley

It would be easy, even understandable, to feel anger and sorrow after the loss of an amazing and unique 16-year-old boy. But Victor Halley was so full of light and joy that every memory of him has brought a smile to my face, and hopefully that will be his legacy - his joy can live on painlessly, long after he had a peaceful end to his brave battle with a lifetime of illnesses.

So many people have been inspired not only by his strength, but the strength of his mother, Virginia. She raised him alone, without complaint, but with pride and inhuman amounts of energy. There is a reason that her classmates and coworkers rarely see her without a cup of coffee - caffeine has been a necessity. Virginia would finish a late night shift, work on her master's degree, push Victor's wheelchair in a school parade, cook his favorite dinner, and start all over again. We shared in the fun, too! Maybe Virginia was a great coworker and mentor, and Victor would join the team at meetings. As a classmate, she had all the answers, and always had a good psychology joke. It was fun to study with Victor, or relax on the weekends with a movie and Denny's. As a parent, Virginia was involved with Victor's school, sending in goodies for Halloween and birthdays, and attending events. Of course, Victor was often a star - he soaked up attention and loved the crowds applauding him at graduations, parades, and Make-A-Wish. Virginia didn't talk about changing diapers, hooking up G-tubes, lubricating catheters - that was daily life, and kept her son alive, comfortable, and healthy.

Victor got his positive attitude and strength from his mother, and she plans to honor his memory by being the person that he would expect her to be. But Virginia is, in fact, human, and has taken some time off of work for healing. Of course, there are final expenses that need to be taken care of, including a memorial service in April to celebrate Victor's life. Virginia has her own daily expenses to consider, and also wants to be able to make donations to Johns Hopkins and Kennedy Krieger Institute in gratitude for the care they gave Victor in his final 4 1/2 months. 

Thank you in advance for any donation. You will help Virginia continue to share the spirit of her son with those of us who loved him, and Victor can become the legend that he deserves.


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Organizer and beneficiary

Meghan Pennington 
Bethesda, MD
Virginia Halley 
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