Don the Domer
Featuring Don the Domer, these socks were designed for comfort. Made from a blend of cotton and polyester, Don's socks are soft to the touch while maintaining moisture wicking technology for your everyday activities.
Proceeds assist current patients with medical expenses, benefit the Philadelphia Leukemia Lymphoma Society, and help patients create socks of their own
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When I think of Don and what made him unique and special, many things come to mind, but a few stand out the most; The Fighting Irish of Notre Dame, mathematics, baseball and chocolate chip cookies. These four favorites are all represented on the sock we designed in memory of Don.
Shamrocks - Don loved the University of Notre Dame. He loved everything about the school – the beautiful campus, its well respected academic reputation, the awesome sports teams and the treasured traditions based in the Catholic faith. It was his home for 4 years while he earned his degree in mathematics. When Don was hospitalized and going through very tough chemo treatments, he still watched every ND football game. It helped take his mind off the pain and all the nurses knew that when ND was playing, you did not disturb Don. The shamrock on the sock is a duplicate of the tattoo that Don’s daughter, Mallory and his wife, Donna got after he passed away
Numbers and math formulas - Math was another of Don’s favorite things. He studied math most of his life, and in his career as an actuary, he used math every day. Before getting sick, Don also earned a teaching degree so that he could pass on this love of mathematics to a new generation. The numbers that are featured on the sock include the month and day of birth and death.
Baseball stitching - The game of baseball was a favorite pastime Don’s. He played as a young boy in Little League and as a young man on the company softball team. He cheered on his favorite team, the LA Dodgers all his life and for several years he participated in a fantasy league with friends where he drafted players and reveled in the stats and strategy of the game. Even in the hospital, Don continued to “coach” his team, using his laptop to follow their numbers and watch the games.
Chocolate chip cookies - were Don’s favorite treat especially when they were homemade; warm and fresh from the oven. His mother made him cookies all the time and once our daughter, Mallory was old enough, she made them for him too. If you look on the bottom of the sock, you can see a cookie with a great big bite out of it!
-Donna Michalko, Don's wife
Don was one of the strongest and most humble people I knew. His fight with Acute Myeloid Leukemia did not define his life, although it did end it far too soon. I think the best way to tell you about Don would be to let the words of his friends and family speak to you.
“In his 52 years on this earth, he lived a wonderful life. And the story of that life could be entitled “The Extraordinary Life of an Ordinary Man.” Somewhere along the line, Don was given the nickname “Sweetness”. For many years, that is what we called him and it made perfect sense. No one ever had a bad word to say of Don. No one. Classmates, co-workers, and clients all talk of a man who was kind, humble and honest. A man who treasured faith, family and friends.”
“Today heaven gained a new angel, the most amazing man I've ever met. Now my biggest fan and my best friend gets to watch over me in peace. People always tell us that we’re exactly alike, and that’s the biggest compliment anyone could say. You’re always my hero dad and everything I do is for you. I can’t wait to make you chocolate chip cookies and watch baseball when I see you again. I am reminded every day of what it truly means to be the “Fighting Irish”, knowing I have my guardian angel by my side. Until we meet again, may God hold you in the palm of His hand.”
“Don’s diagnosis came on our 24th wedding anniversary and we were lucky enough to celebrate our 25th anniversary in Bermuda while he was in his short remission. He always loved a good adventure and traveling to new places. Shortly after that trip, his leukemia returned, but Don always remained positive, strong and gracious. Even though he spent most of his last year with us in the hospital, he still carried an “attitude of gratitude” and each day he would personally thank every doctor, nurse and therapist who took care of him. He was a shining example of strength and humility.”
“’He was more than just a father - a teacher, my best friend, and he’ll still be heard in the tunes we shared when I play them on my own. I never will forget him, for he made me what I am. Though he may be gone, memories linger on and I miss him, my old man’"
“Never have I known a more joyful and caring man. He fought with everything he had and I'm proud I can call him my uncle.”