I wanted to have a thread in tribute to and in remembrance of Damon. Through his father's Twitter account twitter.com/happy2badad we came to know Damon - and to know Damon is to love him. We followed his progress through its ups and downs sharing the good times and sending love in the bad times.
Damon was diagnosed with osteosarcoma in 2014 and had to have one of his arms amputated in 2015. He underwent several long and unpleasant treatments. During all this time he remained stronger than you could ever expect from a boy of his age - or any age. He was positive, brave and full of love and concern for others.
He was a huge Captain America fan and loved Chris who reached out to him publicly but more importantly privately out of the public gaze.
Sadly, Damon passed away on 3rd April 2018 leaving a huge hole in the lives of his loved ones but leaving us all feeling privileged to have known him.
Say not in grief: "He is no more", but live in thankfulness that he was.
Inspired by Captain America, Damon E. Billeck fought cancer, helped others
By J. Del Valle, Staff Writer Published 8:16 pm, Sunday, April 8, 2018
Marvel Universe characters inspire many children, but one character in particular motivated Damon E. Billeck to be a hero in his battle with bone cancer. Even as he was fighting his own illness, Damon advocated for other children who have cancer. To help others, he helped create a comic book that was based on him and his family called “Understanding Osteosarcoma.” His character, called “American Boy,” was related to his favorite Marvel hero Captain America. “That was his crowning achievement,” his father Brian Billeck said. “He loved carrying out his story and helping others get through it.” Billeck died April 3. He was 13.
Born in Austin, Damon was diagnosed with osteosarcoma when he was 9. By age 11, the cancer led to the amputation of his left arm. Not afraid or shocked by the illness, Billeck maintained his positive energy and attitude.
“Happy, selfless and passionate,” Lisa Billeck said describing her son. “He never complained and overcame challenges that he faced.” Among his achievements, Damon helped install a victory bell in University Hospital for pediatric patients to ring when they completed chemotherapy. “Damon noticed that the University Hospital didn’t have a bell like MD Anderson did in Houston,” his father, Brian Billeck, said. “Damon and I got in touch with San Antonio Fire Department fire station number 11 to try to get one installed and made it happen.”
Damon also got the attention of Chris Evans, the actor who currently plays Captain American.
“It was late 2016 that I tweeted Chris about Damon, and he reached out and kept in contact with us to check up on Damon and how his progress was.” his father said. “We were able to get his address to mail him a copy of Damon’s comic book because Damon wanted his hero to see him as a hero.”
Evans autographed Damon’s comic book and mailed it to him.
Damon’s two brothers and twin sister Dara and other family were his greatest strength, his father said.
“My daughter tells me not to worry, because as long as she’s around Damon is always here.” his father said.
In Damon’s honor, the American Childhood Cancer Organization is going to start a foundation that will be called “Happy Heroes.” “Damon created a legacy and his used this opportunity to help people understand osteosarcoma,” his father said. “Damon will always be my hero.”
Damon Enrico Billeck
Born: May 7, 2004, Austin
Died: April 3, 2018, San Antonio
Survived by: Parents Brian and Lisa Billeck; sister Dara; brothers Brandon and Stephen; grandparents, Eugene and Bernice Murto and Henry and SuNell Billeck.
Services: Visitation from 3-7 p.m. Monday at Schertz Funeral Home Chapel, 2217 FM 3009. Rosary 7 p.m.; Mass 11 a.m. Tuesday at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Church, 16075 North Evans Road, Selma; burial 12:30 p.m. to Holy Cross Catholic Cemetery, 17501 Nacogdoches Road.
Community says goodbye to young hero A special tribute was held to remember an honorary 13-year-old firefighter whose battle with cancer inspired first responders all across the country.
Author: Andrea Martinez Published: 5:30 PM CDT April 10, 2018 Updated: 8:16 PM CDT April 10, 2018
A special tribute was held Tuesday to remember an honorary firefighter whose battle with cancer inspired first responders all across the country.
Thirteen-year-old Damon Billeck lost his 4-year battle with cancer last week.
Tuesday afternoon, he was honored with dozens of fire trucks lining the street from our lady of perpetual help in Selma to his final resting place.
Damon wanted to fight fires someday. Instead, he fought a different battle. A battle with Osteosarcoma -- a form of bone cancer.
Damon’s parents say throughout that battle, their son’s spirit was unstoppable.
“People like you [Damon] don’t exist,” said Brian Billeck of his son.
“People are supposed to get upset when they lose an arm… they are supposed to get upset when they find out they have cancer for the third time but you’ve [Damon] never done that,” he said. “That’s why I call him my hero.”
Lisa Billeck also had kind words about her son. “I’m proud to be his mom, I’m proud that he was my son… in the small time he was here, he made such an impact on the community and so many other children,” she said.
Damon’s courage and strength earned him the nickname, “Super D.”
He often dressed up as Captain America visiting children in the hospital just like him.
He even teamed up with the San Antonio Fire Department to help build the Cancer Bell at University Hospital. The bell is meant for children to ring once they’ve finished their cancer treatment.
Throughout his journey, Damon became close friends with SAFD’s Chief Charles Hood.
“Damon leaves a legacy that very few 13-year-old boys will leave,” said Hood.
The Billeck family has plans to continue Damon’s legacy by starting a foundation in their son’s name.