David Craig Welch, 42, recipient of the Falls Church Chamber of Commerce’s special James Elkin Humanitarian Award last spring for his Web site work to provide better information, awareness and communication among brain tumor victims, died Jan. 7 at the home of his mother in Annandale.
Since first being diagnosed with a brain tumor in December 2004, he subsequently established an online blog, www.38lemon.com, to document his experiences coping with the disease. It included daily journals, treatment overviews and brain tumor art, and became a guide for brain cancer patients and their caretakers.
Welch died peacefully in the company of his family at the home of his mother, Susan Miller. He also leaves his father, Jim Welch of Whitestone, Va., his older brother, Michael Welch of Catlett, Va., and younger sister, Melissa Welch of Alexandria, Va.
Born on Aug. 3, 1966 in Daytona Beach, Fl., David’s family moved to Virginia in 1976. He graduated from Lake Braddock High School in 1987. In 1991, he graduated magna cum laude from Virginia Tech.
From 1984 to 1987, he played the mellophone wilth the Garfield Cadets Drum and Bugle Corps and was selected to their 2008 Hall of Fame. In 1989 at Virginia Tech, he established a professional brass quintet, the Quintissential Brass Repertoire.
From 1992 to 2001, Welch worked as a manager for Anderson Consulting and Accenture. In 2001, he co-founded Rivermine, a software company with an international client base. He learned of his brain tumor diagnosis while working at Rivermine in 2004.
Creating his online blog after retiring from Rivermine, he worked tirelessly to add volumes of material to it daily, making it a guide for brain cancer patients and their caretakers. In February 2008, INOVA Fairfax Hospital honored Welch with the “Survivor” award for his work as a patient advocate.
At its annual banquet last March 9, Welch was presented the James Elkin Humanitarian Award, named for former Chamber president and Falls Church business owner who succumbed himself to cancer, by Elkin’s surviving wife, Cindy Elkin.