Trav's Cheese Blog


Let me first state the obvious and say that Dave Hahn is a fan of Big Cheese 107.9!  Almost all of us at the radio station have gotten to know Dave over the last few months on social media, but it wasn’t until Friday that we were able to meet Dave for the first time in person.  We knew we were making his day when he came in for a tour, but what we didn't know was the awesome impact he and his family would have on us.  We were furthermore suprised when we recieved this letter from Dave's Mom Kari a few days later.


From Struggle to Superfan

By Dave’s Mom

 From the moment I knew about Dave’s diagnosis, I knew that he was special. I knew that life would be a struggle. After reading every article I could find, I learned that autism would change my life. At that moment, I felt that his struggle would also be a struggle for everyone.

 After grieving the loss of what you thought your parenting experience would be, I accepted the challenge and embraced his unique abilities. I found humor to be the most rewarding tool knowing if you cannot laugh through your struggles, then it would feel so much more like a burden. Dave was not a burden! He was an active, excited, little boy. Someone once described him as “high octane” and that continues to be proven to be true as a teenager as well.

 This past year was not only a struggle for myself, but for Dave as well. His world was turned upside-down when he learned that his mom was to undergo major surgery. His rock, his guide through this confusing world would be away from his side for endless number of days. Although his Dad was supporting him every single day of my recovery, Dave transitioned into high school unsure of what his future would be and if his mom would be the same. He continued to search through the confusion of the social world unsure of if he was liked or disliked. During this time of self-reflection, Dave reached out to social media. Yes, the one place parents fear for any teen to visit where kids try to be “social”. Because Dave is a concrete, visual person, he thrived on social media. He accepted guidance from his family and understood that not everyone was his “friend”. He continued to reach out to those he admired. That was when Dave’s life changed forever.

 Although Dave did not quite understand that tagging those he admired in every post was not the norm, he continued to include a few individuals when sharing what was on his mind. Everyone in our family knew about Dave’s autism, but his mentors, Travis Place and Casey Zempel, were unaware. After reassuring them that Dave was a good friend, Travis and Casey embraced Dave’s unique talents.

 As much as I thought that it was very nice of these radio personalities to be kind to my son, I did not realize how much of a superhero they were for this superfan. One day Dave raced towards me showing me a message from Travis. The message was an invitation for Dave to visit the radio station. This was the moment when the change occurred. He was proud to be considered for this visit and unsure about what to expect; Dave began the countdown to the visit.

 A week prior to the visit, Dave’s worrisome mother made a call to the radio station to be sure that this was really going to happen. In a day where so many people are being taken advantage of online, my emotionally fragile son would not fall victim to someone. Travis reassured me that the invitation was real and that they were looking forward to the visit. We arrived at the station filled with anxiety and tension. Dave entered the station and his life changed forever.

 It is now called “The Best Day of My Life”. Travis and Casey showed Dave how to love your life, your work, and the world in which he lives in everyday. Dave learned that it is okay to feel what you feel and love what you love.   For that one day, Dave forgot about his autism and his social struggles as he was the celebrity at the station. Dave walked tall all weekend. He woke up every morning with his quirky persona, ready to take on the day. Travis and Casey may be a voice in the background of your life, but to Dave they are the voice that keeps him happy knowing that this little “struggle” will make life a little more special to those who need it the most. I cannot say “Thank You” enough as Travis and Casey are truly superheroes to one very happy superfan.

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  1. TaraP posted on 07/18/2017 04:53 PM
    Amazing!!!! Love seeing this, brought a tear to my eye and smile to my face! Great work guys
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