Tom Attwater knew that it was only going to be a matter of time before a brain tumor took his life, but he refused to die before he knew that things were taken care of for his 6-year-old stepdaughter, Kelli.
Kelli was diagnosed with neuroblastoma, an aggressive form of childhood cancer, when she was 3 months old. Attwater was determined to do everything he could to ensure she lived a long life before his own would come to an end, so he and his wife created the Kelli Smith Appeal in order to try to raise money for Kelli to receive treatments abroad.
Attwater managed to raise the £500,000 that his wife and Kelli needed just before passing on Sept. 29. But that wasn't the only thing he left for Kelli. Even more heartwarming than the money, Attwater left Kelli a meaningful letter filled with life advice — complete with a video of him reading it.
He hoped to teach Kelli about the importance of finding your soul mate, telling her, "You might remember seeing your mum and I laughing together and cuddling on the sofa, and once the love hearts and flowers fade that's what real love looks like. Have fun finding it, darling."
He also shared with Kelli that he'd often dreamed of her wedding day and imagined filling it with tears as he walked her down the aisle. "I won't be able to do that, Kelli," he said. "Sorry sweetheart. But I will be looking over your shoulder on that day, proud and happy you have found a special someone to love you and care for you."
Attwater wanted to ensure that Kelli did what makes her happy and always keeps trying: "You might remember that I taught you to say 'giving up is for losers.' I failed a number of times in my life but never gave up. Kelli, never give up. Enjoy your life. Don't rush through it. I will be waiting."