Unbeknownst to me, my daughter Melissa McGinnis wrote a letter to President Obama in regards to my struggles with throat cancer. I received an encourging letter from President Obama today. I am extremly honored by both my daughter for writting a letter to the President and also honored to recieve a letter from President Obama.
Letter from President Obama:
Letter my daughter wrote:
When my Dad found out that he had throat cancer back in May of this year, we were all shocked. I tried to be as supportive as I could be even though we live so far away. I tried to think of creative ways to put a smile on his face during the dark days of battling cancer. We sent him cards, texts, jokes, phone calls, and many prayers! One idea I had was to write President Barack Obama because my Dad is a big fan & supporter for him. And even though I did not vote for Obama, I know it would put a HUGE smile on my Dad's face if Obama wrote him a letter! And guess what......my Dad got a letter from the president today! My Dad didn't know that I had mailed out a letter and he called me today to let me know that he received a letter and wanted to see if I had anything to do with it. He is so excited that he got a letter from Obama and that put a smile on my face to know that he is happy! I am glad that my Dad and I have a mutual respect for each others political views, faith, and opinions (even though we have different views). Here is the letter that I sent to the president and also the letter that Obama sent to my Dad.
Dear Mr. President, June 23, 2011
It has been on my heart to write you for the past couple weeks now. I am writing you this letter because my Dad has stage 3 throat cancer (and he has never smoked cigarettes in his life). He found out that he had cancer on May 23rd of this year. He started his radiation and chemo treatments on June 13th. He has radiation 5 days a week for a total of 7 weeks (ending on July 29th) and he has 2 more chemo treatments (July 5th & July 25th). My Dad has a feeding tube in his stomach and the doctor said he will probably have to start using it by the third or fourth week of radiation. I am anxious about what the effects are going to be on him & his throat due to the radiation.
I talk to my Dad on the phone almost everyday and pretty soon his throat is going to hurt too much to eat or talk. That is going to be hard because my Dad lives in Clarkston, Washington and I live in Greensboro, North Carolina with my husband and son. I am trying to be as supportive as I can be even though we are thousands of miles apart. We send him cards, pictures, jokes, home videos of our 10 month old son (who he has never been able to meet yet), texts, Facebook messages, and phone calls. But, pretty soon I won't be able to talk to him over the phone because of the radiation treatments.
The first chemo treatment was rough on him. He doesn't like the idea of running poison throughout his body, but he knows that is what he has to do to kill the cancer. My Dad is a fighter and he is fighting for his life! He is trying to stay positive through all this, however it has been challenging because he lost his Dad to prostate cancer about 15 years ago.
My Dad is a great man! He served in the US Army over in Korea in the 70's, wore a police badge for many years, has been married to my Mom (the love of his life) for the past 33 years, has 4 sons & 1 daughter, and has 4 grandchildren. I thought to myself, "What else can I do to try to encourage my Dad and put a smile on his face?" And you, Mr. President, came to mind. You see, my Dad is a BIG Obama fan and supporter. It is kind of funny that I, the only Republican out of my whole family of Democrats, am writing you for a favor. I believe it would lift my Dad's spirits tremendously if you would send some words of encouragement his way during this difficult time in his life! I truly appreciate you taking time to read my letter. Thank you very much.
Melissa Hayward McGinnis