Community mourns loss of Konar Davenport

Heather Nyberg-Schlotzhauer

Beacon Correspondent

It is with the heaviest of heart that I along with thousands of others say goodbye to our cancer warrior Konar Davenport. Ten-year-old Konar passed away last week with his loving family by his side after a heroic battle with anaplastic astrocytoma glioma.

Konar's cancer was considered a high-grade cancer which infiltrated his brain tissue and could not be surgically treated.

For days the social media networks have been filled with high emotions over the loss of this amazing young cancer warrior who was known for his continued strength and neverending smile. It was that smile that gave strength to the community, his friends, and most importantly his family.

Konar's mother Stephanie Pitzer said, "I would like to invite all of you, my warrior's friends and followers, to join us in celebrating his beautiful time here on earth. Konar's public celebration of life will be on Tuesday, Feb. 4 at 6 p.m. at the Elks Lodge in Eureka."

Konar had received his wish from Make-A-Wish Foundation and was flown to New York to be an extra in "Spider-Man 2." He had also recently received a bench in his honor at the Sequoia Park Zoo where many have already visited sporting "Konar the Cancer Warrior" shirts that now read "We will never forget you."

For Pitzer and her family this whole journey has been a roller coaster of emotions. When Pitzer first learned of Konar's cancer, she remembers, "I was scared beyond words and then devastated asking how could this happen. I wanted more than anything to have this cancer in my body for him. To take it away from him and protect him. I am his mother, it is what I do and what I have always done. How can I fix this?"

Pitzer did not waste any time being consumed, but rather went into momma bear mode with her warrior. Konar did not waste a moment of his time here on earth before he was called to watch over his loved one. The lifelong impact he has had on this community will carry on for generations.

Other local cancer patients reached out to Konar to support him and in turn learned so much from his strength, positive attitude and infectious smile.

Pitzer, who also has two other sons said, "We start each day out by remembering Konar's words. We try not to cry and we try to be happy. We spend our days talking about him or a funny memory like he is still by our side."

No parent should have to bury their child. No parent should have to watch cancer ravish their child as they sit by helplessly. That is the 'roar' over the social media networks about Konar's loss and many others locally lost or still battling.

Ana Vainuku-Johnson said, "Our family has been so moved and touched with Konar's journey and his passing affected our family tremendously. We'll never forget his beautiful smile, spirit and life! Konar was truly an angel from the day he was born and his impact on so many lives in our community can't be put into words."

"Stephanie Pitzer is such an inspiration of what a mother is willing to do for her child and the strength she continues to display through this very difficult time," Vainuku-Johnson said.

Now with Konar's passing there are more bills and Vainuku-Johnson and her family wanted to do something to help with that hardship. They will be selling barbecue plates on Friday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. with all the proceeds going to PrayforKonar. The plates will have barbecue chicken, rice, potato salad, sapasui (noodle dish), and a dinner roll. Plates will be $10 and can be delivered within the Eureka area.

Vainuku-Johnson said, "Plates can be picked up from my parents' house located at 3125 E Street in Eureka where we will display green balloons. Plates will be ready from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. or until they run out. You can leave order info on PrayforKonar Pray Facebook page as late as 8 p.m. on Thursday. Please include your address. Also, if you are picking up please let us know your amount of plates and possible pickup time. You can also call 616-2608 to place an order."

Konar will never be forgotten and Pitzer in her own time will talk about keeping the Konar the Cancer Warrior fight alive, but right now is a time of remembering, mourning, and moving forward.

"We are all just keeping close and trying to keep a forward motion. Even if it is at a very slow speed. That's all we can do for now," Pitzer said.

No one knows what they will need when tragedy strikes. A time of sharing, laughter, and memories may help guide the broken hearts of many in the community while putting an umbrella of love over Konar's family at this public service. A young boy with so much love and life to give had his dreams cut short, but that did not stop him from making the most of each day even when he found it hard to do:

"Sometimes I want to cry and sometimes I do," Konar Davenport had said. "I try really hard not to though, because when I get too sad I miss out on all the good things around me."

The remembrance service will take place at the Elks Lodge in Eureka on Tuesday, Feb. 4 at 6 p.m. with the whole family there to honor Konar with the community. In lieu of flowers Pitzer would ask that a donation be made in Konar's honor to PrayforKonar. That donation will be forwarded to a childhood cancer fund in the near future. Pitzer will address the future of PrayforKonar and keeping her son's name and spirit alive after the family has taken some time to heal and remember the smiling warrior.

Photo by Heather Nyberg-Schlotzhauer/Beacon

Konar Davenport shares his infectious smile and a loving moment with his mother Stephanie Pitzer.