Glen Allen dad with cancer makes sure daughter always has advice - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Glen Allen dad with cancer makes sure daughter always has advice

GLEN ALLEN, VA (WWBT) -

A Glen Allen dad living with cancer has found a simple way to make sure his daughter will never forget his fatherly advice.

Garth Callaghan has written his daughter a note everyday to go in her lunch. The simple act of love has inspired parents around the world.

Click here to read some of Garth's notes: http://bit.ly/1eXy1VV

The Callaghan family can't believe they're getting all this attention for something they've been doing for years. He says it only takes 15 minutes to pack his daughter's lunch. Counting since kindergarten, that's about 1,600 meals. Each time, he tried to make it special.

"Sometimes it was a cookie, or sometimes it was a piece of candy," said Callaghan, but most of the time, there was a note, written on a white napkin. "They said things like, 'I love you,' 'Have a great day,' 'Be a good friend."

"It's really important. It's nice to know he's thinking about me," said his daughter Emma Callaghan, now 14 years old. "It's nice to have a piece of him with me at school."

As Emma got older, the notes became more personal and creative, including quotes and codes.  Then Emma, went to sixth grade.

"That was the first time I was diagnosed with cancer," said Garth. 

And the notes took a deeper meaning.

"They could, in fact, be something that Emma would have that would be tangible, that she could hold onto in the event that things didn't work out well," said Garth.

Diagnosed with kidney cancer, Garth opted for surgery. He also noticed that Emma started ripping the quotes from the napkins and keeping them in a composition book. She says it was a way to keep a piece of her dad with her.

The recovery went well, until one year later.

"In August of 2012, I was diagnosed with prostate cancer," he said.

Doctors say it's slow-growing, but he must live with it and get it checked regularly.

Then, a third blow just last year, kidney cancer again.

"[The doctor] looked at me and he said, 'Mr. Callaghan, you are going to die from this," said Garth.

Then the sobering statistic: a patient with his health history has a ten percent survival rate of five years, which means there is a chance he may not see Emma graduate high school. It's a tough conversation for any family.

"I don't remember the actual conversation, but I know it started, 'I'm not going to die from this,'" Emma said.

Garth says he's determined to beat the odds, but he did calculate this: 826 school days until his daughter's graduation, so he made this promise.

"To write out 826 napkin notes ahead of time, so in the event that I wouldn't be around to hand them off to her in her lunch, they would still be available," said Garth.

It took a month, but he made it happen. In each note, he hopes Emma will hear his voice.

Garth say he has no symptoms from the cancer and he's not suffering, but the story of his promise has now become an inspiration to parents around the world. The family even made a trip to New York and appeared on several morning shows, inspiring others with this simple act.

"I won't be satisfied until every parent is writing a note to their child somehow, some way," said Garth.

It's a bond he wants other families to know.

Recently, it all came full circle when this note came from his daughter, written on a paper towel:

If all my friends really did jump off a cliff, it's because it was my idea. Your daughter is a leader not a follower.

PS I think you used all the napkins.

Garth says he plans on presenting Emma with all 826 notes on her high school graduation day. He also promised he won't embarrass her.

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/napkinnotes

Twitter: https://twitter.com/wgarth

Copyright 2014 WWBT NBC12. All rights reserved

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Man attacks woman at Henrico park

    Man attacks woman at Henrico park

    Saturday, June 24 2017 2:17 PM EDT2017-06-24 18:17:19 GMT
    Henrico Police say they're looking for a man, who tried to rape a woman at a park. The incident happened around 10:55 a.m. Saturday, at Cheswick Park on Forest Avenue. Officers say a man with a gun approached a woman, who was running on the trails in the back of the park. According to the woman, the man then tried rape her at gunpoint. Police say the woman fought back, as the man attacked her. She was eventually able to knock the gun out of his hand, and managed to run away. She...More >>
    Henrico Police say they're looking for a man, who tried to rape a woman at a park. The incident happened around 10:55 a.m. Saturday, at Cheswick Park on Forest Avenue. Officers say a man with a gun approached a woman, who was running on the trails in the back of the park. According to the woman, the man then tried rape her at gunpoint. Police say the woman fought back, as the man attacked her. She was eventually able to knock the gun out of his hand, and managed to run away. She...More >>
  • Man shot multiple times in South Richmond

    Man shot multiple times in South Richmond

    Sunday, June 25 2017 8:37 PM EDT2017-06-26 00:37:29 GMT

    Richmond Police say a man was shot multiple times Sunday night in the city's south side.

    More >>

    Richmond Police say a man was shot multiple times Sunday night in the city's south side.

    More >>
  • Chesterfield Police arrest 2 teens in connection to apartment shooting

    Chesterfield Police arrest 2 teens in connection to apartment shooting

    Sunday, June 25 2017 12:09 PM EDT2017-06-25 16:09:11 GMT

    Chesterfield Police are investigating, after a teen was shot at the Ivy Walk Apartments early Saturday morning. It happened around 4 a.m., in the 5000 block of Burnt Oak Circle. That's right past Chippenham Highway. When police got to the scene, they say they found a male in his teens, suffering from a gunshot wound. He was rushed to Chippenham Hospital with a non-life threatening injuries. Police are still investigating. Anyone with information should call Crime Sol...

    More >>

    Chesterfield Police are investigating, after a teen was shot at the Ivy Walk Apartments early Saturday morning. It happened around 4 a.m., in the 5000 block of Burnt Oak Circle. That's right past Chippenham Highway. When police got to the scene, they say they found a male in his teens, suffering from a gunshot wound. He was rushed to Chippenham Hospital with a non-life threatening injuries. Police are still investigating. Anyone with information should call Crime Sol...

    More >>
Powered by Frankly