A Tale of Love Amidst Tragedy
There’s nothing more challenging than experiencing a loved one grappling with cancer. Suffering from a disease as detrimental as cancer can induce pain not just to the victim but also to the family members. The sorrow of witnessing a family member fighting cancer, losing their vigor, and becoming an echo of their vibrant selves is indeed heartbreaking. What makes the situation more poignant is when this family member is a parent pushing against time to meet their newborn child. This is a tale that would cast a spell of emotion, and yes, it will make you teary-eyed. Recapping a heartwrenching and inspiring story that occurred in 2019, but still very significant today. 
The Battle of a Devoted Father
This story was given life on the Stand up to Cancer special episode of GoogleBox, showcasing the struggle of a family where a loving father named Brett battled with cancer. His fight was a testament to the terrible toll weakens both the victim and people close to their heart. Brett, a doting father to three, was suffering from a malignant brain tumor, on his deathbed, the doctors managed to help him meet his third daughter, Arya, for the first time before he drew his last breath. The airing of this episode evoked a wave of emotions around the world, as it relived the strenuous battle with cancer Brett fought until his passing in early 2019. The most inspiring part of this story was the willpower of the dying father that allowed him to hold on long enough to meet his cherished little girl. 
A Glimpse into A Life Changing Moment
Brett and Nicola, both teachers freshly incorporated into the profession, had a special bond. They transitioned from being best friends to falling in love and eventually starting a family. Nicola recalls Brett as an exceptional father. With time, Nicola began to notice subtle changes in Brett. Not knowing it was serious, she paid little heed until Brett was diagnosed with a brain tumor one visit to the doctor. They never imagined in their wildest dreams that their biggest nightmare would come true. Surgeons informed them that removing the tumor could potentially lead to Brett’s untimely death. 
“We sat down with his neurologist and they went through the extremes of what the surgery could lead to. We almost started to panic and they took as much of the tumor away as they could. When the tumor grew back, when I was pregnant with Arya, it was more aggressive. It couldn’t be operated on.”
Bittersweet Moment of Love and Loss
The unanticipated seizure Brett suffered, three short months after this terrifying prognosis, coincided with Nicola’s labor. Nicola recollects that all she wanted was for Brett to meet their baby girl. The hospital staff moved mountains to extend Brett’s life until their daughter was born. Nicola’s mother whisked her and the newborn to see Brett in the hospital. 
“It was like a race against time to make sure we were ok but could get going [to the hospital he was in]. I knew what was gonna happen and I wanted him to know that it was ok. I told him it’s ok, don’t hurt yourself anymore.”
As Nicola held their precious newborn daughter in Brett’s arms, she narrated what their little wonder looked like. Brett managed to hold onto life long enough to meet his newborn and spend a few precious hours. Their daughter was born at 5:07 am, and Brett passed away at 8:25 am on the same day, February 11, 2019.
Preserving a Tale of Courage and Love
The episode recounting Brett’s story- the stirring tale of a dying father and a race against time- shook many hearts. This is a tale that hits close to home for many individuals that have ever borne witness to the painful plight of a person battling with a terminal illness.
The Delicate Dance of Life
In the face of adversity, human beings can show incredible fortitude and love. Brett’s story stands as a testament that even in the most intimidating situations, there is room for significant and touching moments. Inspirational stories like these remind us of our mortality but at the same time encourage us to hold dear the moments we share with loved ones and the strength of human courage.
This Site Was Inspired By An Interest in Protecting the Environment:
We had the privilege and joy of learning from Dr. Charlie Stine who instilled a love for the natural world through incredible field trips with the Johns Hopkins Odyssey Certificate program in Environmental Studies. At the time, the program was endorsed by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources. Sadly, after Dr. Stine retired, the program was phased out. We hope that we honor his legacy by shining a bright light on environmental issues and sharing good news about the success of various conservation programs when possible.
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