Ill father plans to write daughter 826 notes

One Dad Turns Adversity Into a Plan to Connect With His Daughter
One Dad Turns Adversity Into a Plan to Connect With His Daughter

When 45-year-old Garth Callaghan was diagnosed with cancer three years ago, the husband and father was terrified by his grim prognosis. 'You don't want to ever have to sit down with your child and say, 'Things might not work out.''

Instead of diving into depression, Garth decided to put his energy towards finding a way to ensure he would always be in his now-14-year-old daughter's life.

The Glen Allen, Va. resident turned to his daughter's lunchbox and started writing inspirational notes on her napkins with comments like, 'The only disability in life is a bad attitude,' and
'Start before you're ready.'

Garth kept sticking them in her bags with a big goal in mind: 'I counted up the days until she graduated high school and that's when I set out to write a note for every day, so that she would have it whether I was here or not.' With about 826 days until then, he started stockpiling.

'I had hoped that at some point in time Emma would be able to look at this collection of notes and get a better understanding of who I am, as well as what I wanted her to become.'

With a few years to go until graduation, Emma, 14, considers her notes a special treasure as Garth continues to battle his illness. 'Emma started keeping some of the notes in a composition book after my first surgery, that's how this became really meaningful.'