Every year since his passing No Limits Diabetes continues Dave's mission to help raising money for various programs, includinig our Russian Program. Dave's Dream Walk is held in NW Indiana, where Dave lived, while commuting to Chicago where he worked as a 1st Grade Teacher.
Marshall had turned 36 just days before he died of a heart attack. He was in Michigan on an 850-mile bike ride to raise money for a cure for diabetes, a disease he had since he was 10. Below is the article that was published in Chicago Tribune on August 19, 2002. It is written by a father whose daughter happened to be attending a class where Dave worked.
Dawn Turner Trice, Columnist, Chicago Tribune
Published August 19, 2002
Caring teacher left lasting mark on 1st graders
I often get requests from readers suggesting I write a column about some worthy topic.
Until recently, I had never received such a request from my daughter.
Earlier this month, her teacher died and she asked, "Could you write a column about Mr. Marshall?"
Dave Marshall had been her kindergarten and 1st grade teacher.
Because her school has a "looping" policy, which means students have the same teachers for several grades, he was scheduled to be one of her 2nd grade teachers.
Marshall had turned 36 just days before he died of a heart attack. He was in Michigan on an 850-mile bike ride to raise money for a cure for diabetes, a disease he had since he was 10.
When my daughter first asked me to write a column about him, I paused, wondering, "What would I write?" I told myself I really didn't know him very well.
I had volunteered in his class a few early mornings before work. I had watched the way he listened intently to enthusiastic and wide-eyed students who always had something important to say or ask, like: "Tell me again, when is `Y' a vowel?" and "Do you know what the `Q' in Q-Tip stands for?"
Their words were lassos that pulled him in many different directions simultaneously and he never seemed to mind.
Often, he would nod and smile. And at a time when some teachers are loath to show affection--and understandably so--he would hug them or pat them on their shoulders.
My daughter's class had 24 students. Mr. Marshall was one of two full-time teachers and a teacher's aide. When I volunteered, I was the fourth and unsteady wheel, a last-minute attachment to an able tricycle.
After about an hour of being pulled and prodded from table to table, I sometimes would bolt for the door. I meant well and I enjoyed the children, but I wasn't built for the job.
Dave Marshall, however, was. His patience seemed endless, and it didn't matter whether he was instructing his class, signing papers with "You're a superstar," or plucking splinters from fingers and bandaging knees.
And yet, whatever expertise he had with handling children--though he never married or had any children of his own--it was put even more to the test when he was handling us parents.
Some mornings I would corner him for an impromptu parent-teacher conference: "How do you think she's coming along with X?" I'd ask. "Is she concentrating? What can we do to improve Y and Z?"
These were questions from (I must confess) a mildly (yeah, right) pushy parent.
From time to time he would give me pointers and then look me squarely in the eyes and say, "Don't worry. She's doing just fine."
And, of course, I would walk away down the hall reciting, "OK, I won't worry. She's doing just fine."
In Marshall, my daughter saw someone who was nurturing and fun. What I liked about him was that he believed in her.
For those of us who want to instill a love of learning in our children, we send them off to school and hope that the teachers and administrators don't mess them up. He was the type who sent his students home hoping we parents wouldn't mess them up.
He understood that the early years are crucial. That's old news by now. And he worked with us to lay that foundation for a love of learning.
Even with his kindergartners, he wanted them to start thinking for themselves early. They weren't merely budding regurgitators of information. He encouraged them to ask questions, test those things we took for granted. Work hard but have fun. Explore.
I may not have known him very well, but I do know that he represented a lot of what is good in teaching. And he cared for his students, for my kid. Every morning when I kissed her goodbye and walked away, I knew I was leaving her in good hands.
When my daughter returns to school in a couple of weeks, Dave Marshall won't be there to greet her. But his presence is undeniable in her life and the lives of many other children.
I told my daughter that I still can name all of my elementary teachers and I remember them fondly. I'm grateful her list will begin with Dave Marshall.
by Maxim Azarov
There are only a few people in this life we can call our friends... There are even fewer we can call our teachers... I am not talking about the school type of teachers (although David was one), but rather those who can teach us how to live life to its fullest, how to enjoy life and how to help others, in short, how to Live...
Most of us live, but only some of us LIVE (in capital letters), as in grasping each day to its fullest, where "looking out for number one" means looking out for someone other than yourself. LIVING with Diabetes was a big part of David's life. LIVING, as in making other people's lives better simply by being there.
First time I met Dave in 1994 when he was helping Dr.Sam Wentworth with his incredible Russian-American March of Friendship. Ever since that day, every single time we met, he was everywhere help was needed. Helping to set-up a tent, to make pancakes for everyone for breakfast, to raise money, to fix your bike when it broke on a trip, to cheer you up when he saw you tired, to loan you insulin; whether you needed a smile or a lift to some 20 teens from Chicago O'Hare to Indy and back... Those who were much closer to Dave know that this is merely a tip of the iceberg...
LIVING, not just existing with Diabetes is what Dave's Life was about. LIVING, not just getting by with Daibetes is what Dave's Dream Walk is about. To the penny the money raised will go to support LIVING with Diabetes, specifically, teen programs for No Limits Diabetes.
Please come and be part of the walk that will help LIVES of those who have Diabetes. The date for this year will be established later in the year.