By Luke Kenton
This doting dad and adoring daughter shared a heartwarming duet on her wedding day, just weeks before a devastating cancer diagnosis.
On her special day, Amber Cornelius wanted to mark the occasion with a moment she’ll truly never forget, as she opted against the traditional dad and daughter dance for something more personal.
But this performance is likely to be the most special of all to Amber, as less than a month later, Dave, 55, was diagnosed with an incredibly aggressive form of cancer.
Amber, from Fresno, Ohio, USA, said: “Since we both have such a passion for music, I thought, Why not perform together rather than dance?
“Most of my dad’s music career was in his younger years, but he gave it all up to raise my sister and I.
“He always supported any musical ventures I wanted to try – when I said I wanted to play drum, he surprised me with a set.
“It was the same with the guitar.
“So, there was certainly no better time for him to dust off his old music equipment than on my wedding day.
“Looking back now, after everything that’s happened, that moment couldn’t be more special in my heart.
“It is a memory we will always cherish, and a reminder that we should always make time for those we love, no matter how busy life gets.”
Less than four weeks after his daughter’s wedding, Dave began experiencing a series of severe headaches and following consultation from a doctor, it was discovered he had several cancerous tumors growing on his brain, lungs and liver.
Soon after, Dave was diagnosed with Leptomeningeal disease, a rare complication affecting around five percent of cancer patients, which sees the cancer spread to the central nervous system, surrounding the brain and spinal cord.
His latest diagnosis has seen him lose the ability to walk, but Amber notes that he’s still yet to lose his smile.
Amber, 27, said: “I can’t even begin to explain how it feels to hear a doctor deliver this kind of news.
“It was such a shock for it all, it felt as though we were living someone else’s lives for a while, it just didn’t feel real.
“My dad looked at me the next day and said, ‘I gave fear about 10 minutes to sink in and I said no more. I will not fear this, I will fight it.’
“He’s undergone extensive brain surgery and radiation therapy, but continues to be the most cheerful and inspiring cancer patient you’re ever likely to see.
“He’s completely lost the control of his legs and hips, meaning everything he does now requires assistance.
“Yet he still manages to keep a smile on his face, day in and day out.
“He truly is something special, it’s safe to say his inspiring spirit has carried each one of us through this journey.
“We’re now hosting an open mic, rock and roll fundraiser for him in his honour, on November 4th, inviting any musicians to come and show off their talents and help raise money for handicap renovations in my parents’ home.
“I’ll plan to get up and perform a few songs for my dad as well.
“We aren’t sure what the future holds, but as a family we won’t discuss statistics or prognosis.
“He has such an inspiring willingness to live despite all obstacles.
“There’s so much to be learned from him – I truly believe he can be a light to others who are facing similar circumstances.”
To donate to Dave’s fundraising even, please visit: https://www.facebook.com/events/280168329144671/?active_tab=about