A daffodil for dad
‘‘I’m going to live long enough to annoy that child’’ were comical but true words from Dan Strong while in the grips of lifethreatening cancer.
Megan Strong’s dad succumbed to bladder cancer in September 2014 just 18-months after his grandson Ashton was introduced to the world.
Strong said when she wore that bright yellow spring flower on Daffodil Day, she wore it for her dad.
‘‘He was a huge supporter of the Cancer Society, even doing volunteer work for them when he was going through treatment.’’
Strong’s dad was diagnosed with cancer several years ago.
‘‘He had an operation at the time to give him another five years and in February 2011 he was diagnosed with bladder cancer again. The cancer had spread. We were all really devastated.’’
She said at the time she was ‘‘unexpectedly’’ pregnant.
‘‘I’d been told we couldn’t have children.’’
When Strong told her parents she was expecting, her dad said, ‘‘I’m going to live long enough to annoy that child’’.
And he did.
‘‘They had a really really close relationship.
‘‘Everyone would say that he lived, not only for the rest of us but he lived to meet Ashton. Ashton was a real miracle in that regard. He’s just like my dad so we have him as a reminder.’’
Every Daffodil Day Strong takes Ashton to her fathers grave to lay flowers.
She said her dad had strong views about stress being a contributor to cancer.
‘‘He was an advocate of trying to make sure your life was as positive and happy and fruitful as it could be’’ and he wanted to share his positivity with others.
Strong said as well as wearing the daffodil in memory of her dad, she wore it for ‘‘future generations’’ so they didn’t have to ‘‘battle with the epidemic we have now’’.
‘‘The statistic is one in three affected but you’d be hard pushed to find somebody now that didn’t know someone whose life had been affected in some way.’’
For Strong and her family, seeing their love one affected by cancer was ‘‘horrendous’’.
‘‘It is horrible, and it’s sad, and it’s painful, and it’s heartbreaking because there’s so little at times you can do but ... as a family we treasured the really positive time that we got that we were lucky to get.
‘‘You get some amazing moments in time with those people to cherish that you might not have otherwise had.’’
A teacher at St Peter Chanel Primary School, Strong is also a Daffodil Day co-ordinator for the Cancer Society. She said it’s a busy, fun, exciting day ’’but you have these moments that really make you stop and go, ‘this is why we do it.’ ‘‘
Strong has taken on board something one of her students recently said to her about being involved in the day.
‘‘It feels good to know you’ve done some good for somebody else.’’