Wife Finds Gratitude In Every Last Moment As Husband Dies Of Cancer at Age 35

Wife Finds Gratitude In Every Last Moment As Husband Dies Of Cancer at Age 35

Aaron and Nora Purmort dance with their son at a friend’s wedding. “Thank you Aaron for spending the past four years making me dance,” Nora recently wrote. (Photo courtesy of Nora Purmort/My Husband’s Tumor)

Aaron Purmort, father, husband, and protagonist of the popular blog My Husband’s Tumor passed away Tuesday, November, 26, his wife Nora Purmort told Yahoo Health.

“It ended today at 2:43pm, in the middle of a run-on sentence, my head on his heart and my arms around him in a hospital bed built for one, but perfect for the two of us,” she wrote late that evening on her blog.

Aaron, 35 and from Minneapolis, was diagnosed with brain cancer in 2011 after suffering a seizure at work. He and Nora married the same year. Treatment for the stubborn form of cancer included chemotherapy and two surgeries — one only a month before his son was born.

Over the past three years, the Nora’s blog, My Husband’s Tumor, has drawn a substantial and supportive following. The posts on the couple’s blog are thoughtful, honest, raw, and witty, with a refreshingly genuine positivity. As Nora writes on the home page, “It’s not a cancer story, it’s a love story. With some cancer.” Recent essays discuss the death of Nora’s father, her miscarriage, and the outpouring of support received from the online community and local Minneapolis residents.

Related: How My Miscarriage Changed My Next Pregnancy

“He’s the light, I’m a prism,” Nora told Yahoo Health. “All I have done is bring his light to more people in our world.”


“These are photos of three people with nothing to fear. We knew this was coming, and we didn’t care. Not really,” Nora wrote on the blog. (Photo courtesy of Nora Purmort/My Husband’s Tumor)

When Nora’s sister created a fundraising page to help pay for hospice care, funeral costs, and childcare, friends and followers barreled past the original fundraising goal in less than 24 hours. The page has now raised over $90,000 from more than 1,000 donors.


Aaron and Nora created shirts with the saying “Still Kickin” to benefit Musella Center for Brain Tumor Research, available for purchase online at cottonbureau.com(Photo courtesy of Nora Purmort/cottonbureau.com)

The couple received national media attention in March when Nora posted a note from an anonymous good samaritan online. While Aaron was in the emergency room after suffering a seizure while driving, Nora found a note with their vehicle’s location tucked in her husband’s jacket pocket. The good samaritan was later identified as Minnesota police officer Kyle Severson, who responded to the scene and parked the car in a safe location instead of impounding it when he noticed Aaron’s brain surgery scar, Today.com reported


The note Nora found in Aaron’s jacket after he had a seizure while driving and awoke in the emergency room. (Photo courtesy of Nora Purmort)

The blog also provides a glimpse into Aaron’s lighthearted sense of humor, and how he used it to navigate life’s struggles. “Before [his first brain] surgery, Aaron made a lot of boner jokes. Two days after brain surgery, he beat me in Wii bowling,” Nora writes. In another entry, she recounts a conversation during a rare lucid moment in Aaron’s last days:

I’ll always be with you. He says.


Unless you’re peeing. That’s gross.





A recent post on the couple’s blog features the above collection of photos showing the family during happy times. (Photos courtesy of Nora Purmort/My Husband’s Tumor)

Just after Aaron entered hospice care and before he passed away, Nina wrote, “These are photos of three people with nothing to fear. We knew this was coming, and we didn’t care. Not really.”

In her last post, Nora shares the intimate details of Aaron’s passing.

“He breathed out, and I readied for the sharp inhale that would follow 8-10 seconds later, rattling through his body. It never came.

“That’s how it ends. One quiet second.

“…I laid with his body and soaked in his warmth. We dressed him in head to toe J.Crew and his best Nike Dunks. I didn’t even know they cremated you with your clothes, but he’ll be all mixed together with some of his favorite things and the finer things were very important to this man.”

Nora ends her beautiful ode to Aaron with a heart-wrenchingly touching story. 

“Before his first surgery, I stole a marking pen from the surgeon and drew a small heart on his hand. Not so much to reassure him, but to reassure myself.

“Tonight, I found the same one deep in an old makeup case and at the urging of his mother, left the same small heart for him with the same stolen marker.

“I know what Aaron always knew: it might not be true right this second, but it’s going to be okay.”

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