Mercyhurst Magazine Fall 2014

LIFE LESSONS Kevin spent the frst 13 y ears of his career with Marriott International before joining Concord Hospitality Enterprises, a fast-growing company that manages hotels throughout North America, in 2003. His next promotion took the McAteers to Raleigh, North Carolina, late in 2005. Feeling run-down, Pamela headed to a walk-in medical clinic one day the following April, expecting to be sent home with a simple prescription. By nightfall, though, she’d been diagnosed with leukemia and admitted to Rex Hospital. After a grueling cycle of chemotherapy, her leukemia went into remission and the couple glimpsed light at the end of the tunnel. Then the cancer reappeared in November, triggering even more intense treatment and plans for a bone marrow transplant. “We were still confden t that she would make it,” Kevin recalls. “She was a completely healthy 36-year-old woman – other than the leukemia.” But she wasn’t able to fgh t of an infection that overwhelmed her fragile immune system a few weeks later, killing her less than a year after her frst sympt oms appeared.

Kevin subtitles his book “The True Story of a Young Mother’s Battle Against Cancer and Her Husband’s Journey to Bring Healing to Their Family.” He recounts Pamela’s illness and death as well as how he and the kids coped with the loss and worked to create a new normal. He doesn’t gloss over the tough times, but there’s humor (and plenty of “clueless dad” tales), too. One reviewer on called the book “a real laughing tear jerker!” “Each story of grief, although unique, also has similarities,” Kevin says. “The experiences that my family went through will, hopefully, be ‘takeaways’ for others to learn from. My hope for this book is that it of ers support to and strengthens other families going through difcult times .” Another reviewer summed up the book like this: “Kevin’s motivation for breaking open his only-recently mended heart in order to write this memoir is evident: Partly to honor Pamela’s memory, partly to provide a keepsake for his children, perhaps a little catharsis, and partly as an ef ort to share hope with those who are going through similar pain.”

STRENGTH TO CONTINUE There may be more books in Kevin’s future. He’s already started a children’s book – the kind of resource he wishes he’d had to help his own kids understand cancer and loss. Or he might tackle a volume he laughingly calls “Six kids, a six-pack and step-parenting.” In a development straight out of a TV sitcom, Kevin in 2012 met Shayna, a single mother of Madison, Mia and Mason. Their youngest sons were kindergarten buddies, and Kevin and Shayna met on a YMCA soccer feld . Play dates for the kids led to adult dates for their parents and the couple married on Christmas Eve 2012. Their “real-life Brady Bunch” today includes two 14-year-olds, two 12-year-olds and two 10-year-olds. (Kevin says he’s still waiting for Alice to appear to help with the family’s mountains of laundry.) “I’ve chronicled some things that have happened through our lives together, blending a family, my continued responsibility of raising the kids as best I can in the spirit of how Mom would have, or learning about the hard time Shayna and her family went through with divorce. There might be a book in there,” Kevin says. Becoming a published author wasn’t Kevin’s only recent accomplishment. In July, he was named senior vice president of marketing and sales for Concord Hospitality, where he’s responsible for direct sales, e-commerce and revenue management endeavors for the fr m’s 90 owned and managed hotels.


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