While recovering from my initial surgery to remove a carcinoid tumor in December 2010, I had a great view from my recovery room at Marin General Hospital of the river, the mountains and the makings of a nice park space across the street. There was also a lot of activity involving bulldozers and such at the park.
Fifteen months later, there are more baby strollers than earth movers in the park. And the best thing about the park, the man for whom it was named, former Marin County Supervisor Hal Brown, was able to see how important it's become to local families.
The former Supervisor, who served 29 years and seven terms, to focus on his health. Reports were at that time that he was feeling tired from the cancer treatments — a difficult situation for many of us undergoing treatments.
When Brown lost his own 15-month battle with cancer on March 2 at age 66, it was a loss for all of us. He leaves behind, however, much for us to enjoy and appreciate.
The park is perfectly located near the hospital campus so as to be an inspiration and place of rest for patients, doctors and the rest of the community.
I'm visiting the Marin Cancer Institute today, like I do every month when I get my Octreotide injection. Just across Bon Air Drive is a great place to walk off the soreness: Hal Brown Park. Nestled under Mt. Tam and on the banks of the river, the park is a fine tribute to a man who helped preserve thousands of acres of open space.
One of the most wonderful things in life is to know you'll be remembered when you're gone. Hal Brown certainly left his mark on the community and it would be nice if we — the residents of Marin — could repay him for all he did.
The Brown family will be holding a private service and has requested privacy during this time. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Marin Valentine’s Ball Foundation at P.O. Box 1612, San Anselmo, CA 94979.
A public ceremony to commemorate and honor is life and service to the County is being planned for late March at the Marin Veteran’s Memorial Auditorium. Check back for more information.
— Kelly Dunleavy O'Mara contributed to this article