Xavier Magazine

MyHusbandsTumor.Com: Love Goes Viral

When her husband, Aaron, was diagnosed with a brain tumor, Nora McInerny Purmort, a 2005 Xavier graduate, started recording their story on a blog. She later used it to update friends and family. By the time Aaron Purmort died last November, thousands were following their love story online, and his obituary was featured on NPR, Huffington Post and other sites.

The blog,, is a raw, charming, painful and often hilarious look at a marriage honed by tragedy. Her husband’s chemotherapy and surgeries, the birth of their child, a miscarriage and eventually her husband’s death—Nora Purmort shared it all, and people from around the world responded with love—on the Internet.

“The Internet is a fickle place. It usually brings out the worst in people, but by and large it has shown me what I’ve always known about people, which is that they want to be a force for good,” says Purmort. “It felt like the whole world was there for us.”

Purmort still hears from people who find themselves in the same situation she was in three and a half years ago, when their ordeal began after he suffered a seizure at work. She helps by posting stories about their fundraisers and sometimes texting total strangers.

Their son, Ralph, will grow up knowing of his parents’ love for each other, and for him, through her writings. Purmort is working on a book. “If even one woman can have something besides statistics to read, it’s worth it.”

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