As parents, we are devastated by the loss of our son Wade. Our grief is profound as the reality of his loss sweeps over us. Yet he was a boundless joy for us as his parents. We are comforted by the fact that Wade lived and died doing the things that he loved. It has been transformative to experience the out pouring of support and love from literally all corners of the world. Every request for assistance from friends, colleagues, business associates, and government officials from both the U.S. and Chinese was granted. We are amazed by the number of people Wade touched in his too short life. But the reciprocal is true – many wonderful people touched and formed him into the summit-seeker that he was. Key among those who shaped Wade was his older sister, Kara, who influenced him in countless ways to become the well rounded man he was. Wade’s life may have been short, but it was a life that was lived to the fullest. It was filled with fun, adventure, excitement and love. Some say that the loss of a child is the worst thing that can happen to parents. But Wade’s death was not the worst thing that could happen. The worst thing would have been if he died because of anger or hurt. He died as all should live – with joy, purpose and meaning. Our hearts go out to the friends and families of Micah Dash and Jonny Copp. We want to specially thank Senator Amy Klobuchar and her staff, Terry Carlson, Robb Shurr and the wonderful people at Sender Films. As Wade’s parents, we were already prepared to pass Wade on to the people who were to be foremost in his future, his best friend Greg Larsen and his soul-mate and true love, Erin Addison. Their loss is the greatest.For the media in general: As a family, we would prefer not to meet with or be interviewed by reporters at this time. We are sure that you can understand that this is an unusually challenging time for us given the complicated nature of the circumstances surrounding Wade’s death.
—Bruce and Susan Johnson