It saddens me deeply to be reminded of the transcience of life; now in the form imminent demise of my friend and business partner of seven years, Wendel R. Wendel, from Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease.
The disease is a human version of mad-cow, killing brain cells with an infectious protein that catalyzes healthy proteins into copies of itself at an exponential rate. Because it's not water-soluble like the healthy form, it builds up and ends up disrupting cell functions. It's called a spongiform disease, since the brain ends up looking like a sponge in the microscope - it's as if millions of tiny pockets have been eaten away.
The tragedy is that a once-vital person is gone, replaced with a man suffering from dementia who will soon die. Wendel was an entrepreneur and businessman who pushed the ordinary aside and since the 1960's created geodesic and spaceframe structures renowned for their simplicity and elegance. He was someone who tried to make the world better by pushing the envelope of architectural design. Now he waits in an unknowing limbo while his friends and family grieve for a life about to be lost.
He lived his life to the fullest. I am sorry for us all to see him pass.