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WOW, What a chill crawling up my spine and running through my arms this morning. She seemed loved by all, just reading these posts....... what a blow. Never met the two, but the impact of a build thread transcends just a forum. I loved the husband and wife spirit. I remember going through his thread and seeing them both enjoy some road race events, I was shocked to see her handling that integra! Sorry for the loss Mr.Steve, my condolences to you, and your family.

- Joel
 

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Stephen,

I can't comprhend such a loss to you and yours. But, if it is anything at all.. my condolences and my entire heart goes to you and your family plus the other woman's. I never got a chance to meet her or anyone from IT. Hell I have never met you either. But, from the posts I could tell she is a loving person who cares for anyone she meets. A woman with a massive heart.

And you. You are a good man and a excellent leader. Good things happen to good people and bad things happen even more. I know you are a man of great strength and I know that it will see you through. I only hope your pain can be eased sooner than later.

-Mike
 

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I just heard what happened from one of my teammates, last night. Never had the pleasure of meeting Diana, but I've known Stephen for a long time. I told Josh and R1zen Keith to send my condolences and prayers. Much love, MorningZ. If you ever need anything, please let me know.
 

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I'm still decompressing a bit from visiting Steve, seeing several T-I members and going to Diana's beautiful funeral service. It's hard to say much about Diana since I only knew her for a few days, but I'll say what I do know.

She was happy, strong and extremely friendly. She made jokes at my expense which made me like her immediately. She was tough, active and extremely easy to get along with. In the limited interactions I had with Diana, she only ever made me smile and it was clear from her friends and coworkers at the funeral that everyone around her received the same kind of energy.

Steve has been a great friend to me over the last several years and this site has connected me to people that I will happily call friends for the rest of my life. Diana saw that he had created a community, not just a website where people talk about cars. She got to experience that, first hand, and she fit in with that crowd seamlessly.

In an age where YouTube comments and the anonymity of the internet has turned people in to assholes-by-default, Steve sought out people that were generous with their time and knowledgable. People that provided support simply because they know it's valuable. As a result, this site fosters relationships through more than just a love of cars but friendship and selflessness -- Diana was as much a vessel for that energy and passion as Steve is.

She was an awesome person.
 

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I want to share a few things now that things have kind of started to settle down:

Here the obituary from the paper, which is really really nice: Diana Gilboy: Firefighter remembered for her vivacious spirit - Orlando Sentinel

But I wanted to also share how I met her, because it directly relates to this site and the Dragon Run.

Diana and I were seniors in High School together, did I know her? No... We had friends together but didn't know her one single bit

When the 10 yr class reunion was spinning up, I was approached by the committee about helping because of my web page skills and I got a forum and email system set up (this is pre-Facebook), the page was a significant part of making that a great turn out. At this reunion, I took this picture:




Diana is there second from the left... at the time, and 10+ years after I had still NO IDEA who she was.. no idea on name, no clue who she was


10 years later, now in the world of Facebook, the 20 yr reunion is spinning up, it was just easy to network and "friend" people and it was smooth. One of these added friends was her.. She noticed right away pics from the Dragon Run, so she started talking about her and her bikes and the Dragon Run.. it was just light, lined-up hobby talk, it wasn't like I was hitting on her or anything.

At the 20 yr reunion she came to one of the events with her friend Robin (who is the other girl in the pic right above) and she came up to me talking about the Dragon. It was a great talk, but again, this was talk about our hobbies, talk died down after the reunion. Just talking to her then made me feel good as she had a great way of making people feeling comfortable (this is what made her a great paramedic), I remember leaving there thinking "now why can't I get a woman like that?"

Year and a half later (now Jan 2012), we started talking again, this time it kind of turned flirty... we had our first date/hangout at her friend/co-working Firefighters house and it was true love from there... I lived in South FL, she lived up here in Central FL, so up started a long distance gig

Few weeks later was my 40th birthday and I had a huge gathering flying in for it... HS friends, TI friends, coworkers and all that... I asked to keep it "guys weekend out" because I wanted to keep the group (20 peeps) manage-able.. she mentioned she was off that day/weekend which pretty much meant "can I go?", so my friend Chris picked her up from her station and drove her down... they didn't know each other AT ALL but had a great time on the 4 hours down... by the end of day 2 of this event, this picture was who Diana was... seriously, she let everyone know her height or gender was no obstacle for her




Things moved fast after that, I was spending half the week up here in Central FL here at the house and the other half down in South FL, working from home made this easy/possible. Just a few months later and just leading up to the 2012 Dragon Run I knew I wanted to marry this amazing woman and i DEFINITELY wanted to do it at the Tail of the Dragon, I wasn't going to be able to wait a year so I decided to get a ring and do it then, which was only 7 months from when we really started talking. I bought the ring, told some close friends and family my plans (including her two children, whose father at the time had custody of them), and we headed up north for the trip. I remember arriving at the Village and meeting up with Ramzi and Jeremy and Brandi right away and let them know my intentions, it took a LOT of convincing to get Diana to leave the motorcycle behind on this first "run", she was pretty upset I was holding her back, but I held her, looked her in the eyes, and said "trust me, it'll be worth it"... I think I even let her drive the Teg on the way to the top if I recall. At the top Ramzi, Jeremy and Brandi were walking around the lookout on top of the Dragon waiting for my signal, when they got it, BAM !

I had this super strong woman bawling her eyes out, Mission = Accomplished !!





Few weeks after the Dragon, I moved up here full time, it was only a short few months later that we actually got married. It was a nice small 25 person ceremony where my best friend did the service and one of my longest Integra friends did the photos for us (girlracerphoto), it was a nice day for an outside wedding. After the wedding and lunch, my long time friend threw the after party at his house where almost 80 people attended, including a good amount from this website.

She was a tomboy at heart, so it was nice to see her all dolled up.










Once married, I did my absolute best to get Diana dialed back a bit from her "firefighting" and "motorcycle" dominated life, so I dragged it her all over the place including New York City, a Cruise, New England a few times, and lots of little get away trips in between.




After a while her two children moved in full time, we both did our best to put them on the right path. They'll both be OK, they have a lot of their mother's spirit and drive in them ready to be unleashed.

As I type this it has been just about exactly two weeks since the fatality happened, I've still been having a really tough time even believing that all this is real.... I'm so grateful for all the support both online, on the phone, and in person (there were a TON of people around during the past weeks).

I'm also very very grateful that the last time I talked to Diana (as she was getting ready to go out on the ride) it was a great conversation as we were talking about where to go to dinner the next night for our 3 year anniversary (which was two days later), and I got to say bye and kiss her twice right before she rolled out, I'm so grateful for that. I also got to say hello and hug her best friend Sarah right before she got on the bike, I'm also very grateful for that.

Thanks for all the support from my Integra family during this time (and anyone else who reads this as I'll be linking to this post from FB so people can get "our story")

If curious, my plan is to spread Diana's ashes at the top of the Dragon Tail at next year's Dragon Run (weekend of July 30th, this put together ceremony for her will be Thurs morning, the 28th of July), I figured that was a great spot since that's where it all began for her and I, it's such a very special to me, to us.

Thanks to TI friends who came in person for support and to pay their respects: Brian, Jen, Travis, Trish, Dave, Paul V, Garrett, Ramzi, Corey, Jesse, Josh, Mand, Ketu, Kim, Matt, Josh M, Jeff, Matt, David, Paul O, Quan, Armando, Heather, Anthony, Keith, Max, Evelina, Chris, Danielle, Savannah (damn I hope I didn't miss anyone, it took me 5 mins to think of that list)

Thanks for reading and may she and her best friend rest in peace.







 

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You guys have a beautiful story, Steve.
 

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Such a great love story! Better than Romeo and Juliet. I'm so glad I got to meet her, even if only short brief conversations,but she made our conversation feel special and indept. Steve I know I barely know you, meet you few times, but this site i big part of my life, I don't know who I would be without it. If you need anything just let me know.
 

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sorry for loss big man, but keep your head up.
 

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Got my sticker. Even tho it's not much, I still wanted to show my support. Such a beautiful, touching story and video!
 

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I am sorry for your loss. I know how it feels to lose someone special to you. We are here for you if you ever want to talk. I never knew Diana, but she sounds like a great person. May god protect her in the afterlife.
 

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Blown away by a random package I got today from @integratuner77 (and a super nice note in there as well)... bonus points because he did all this while preparing for a big personal event that went down over the weekend

 

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