It's been a rough week, for sure. The untimely deaths of Michael, Farrah, Ed, Sky, and Billy were all pretty jarring in their own way. The news, however, that Pablo Castelaz, son of Dangerbird Records co-owner Jeff Castelaz and his wife Jo Ann, had died on Saturday after a long, heart-wrenching and very public battle with Wilm's Tumor, a form of cancer that most often strikes children, put us in a whole other realm of grief.
Pablo's fight against cancer over the past year has been documented on Pablog, a site created to keep people up to speed on the treatment.
On Pablog, the days and months of the six-year-old's battle has been relayed to a public often eager to turn away from the horrifying reality of cancer in children. The Castelaz family's resolve to keep the fight out in the open rather than follow a common reflex of turning inward and remaining secretive resulted in Pablo becoming a (charming, charismatic, adorable) face of the fight.
Over the past year, the Pablove Foundation, which the family founded to generate income for the Children's Hospital of Los Angeles, has organized countless benefits and fundraisers, the most visible being the amazing compilation, Give, Listen, Help, a double-CD which featured contributions from, among others, Radiohead, Garbage, Silversun Pickups, Rilo Kiley, Oasis, and the entire Dangerbird roster. Pablove also held fundraisers at various clubs around town. Combined, the efforts shined light on Pablo's fight.
Unfortunately, the physical fight ended on Saturday, when Jeff announced via Pablog that his son had died:
Pablo Thrailkill Castelaz passed from this life at 1:30 p.m.
He left this life in the same way he entered it: beautifully, gracefully and in the loving arms of his Mommy and Papa and dear big brother Grady.
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He left this life in the middle of his parents' bed - the bed he's grown up in, from day one until today, his final day.
A memorial service will be held Tuesday night to celebrate Pablo's life, though the venue has yet to be determined. We'll let you know when we know. For now, though, check out Lance Armstrong's dedication to Pablo, which he delivered while training for the Tour de France in the French Alps.
reconandpablo.MP4 -- powered by http://www.livestrong.com
LA Weekly sent photographer Timothy Norris to a Pablove benefit at the Echoplex earlier this year. Take a look at it here.