The Childhood Cancer Blog

This One’s for the Dads

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  • Raymond Bacon, Dad to childhood cancer hero Raymeer 
    Raymond Bacon, Dad to childhood cancer hero Raymeer 
  • Stewart Robertson, Dad to childhood cancer hero Cameron and SuperSibs Skye and Emma
    Stewart Robertson, Dad to childhood cancer hero Cameron and SuperSibs Skye and Emma
  • Ben Cartafalsa, Dad to childhood cancer hero Ryan and SuperSibs Emily and Meghan, husband to Trish 
    Ben Cartafalsa, Dad to childhood cancer hero Ryan and SuperSibs Emily and Meghan, husband to Trish 
  • Paul Matz, Dad to childhood cancer hero Ellie and SuperSibs Rebecca and Lillah, husband to Miriam
    Paul Matz, Dad to childhood cancer hero Ellie and SuperSibs Rebecca and Lillah, husband to Miriam
  • Tony Salerno, Dad to childhood cancer hero Tony and SuperSib Samantha
    Tony Salerno, Dad to childhood cancer hero Tony and SuperSib Samantha
  • Jay Scott, Dad to ALSF founder and childhood cancer hero Alex and SuperSibs Patrick, Eddie and Joey
    Jay Scott, Dad to ALSF founder and childhood cancer hero Alex and SuperSibs Patrick, Eddie and Joey
  • Cas Banaszek, Dad to childhood cancer hero C.J. and SuperSib Gabby
    Cas Banaszek, Dad to childhood cancer hero C.J. and SuperSib Gabby
  • Bill Roberts, Dad to childhood cancer hero Declan and SuperSibs Brendan and Tommy
    Bill Roberts, Dad to childhood cancer hero Declan and SuperSibs Brendan and Tommy
  • Scott Littlefield, Dad to childhood cancer hero Lucille and SuperSibs Estella, Mara, and Olive
    Scott Littlefield, Dad to childhood cancer hero Lucille and SuperSibs Estella, Mara, and Olive
  • Rod McKee, Dad to childhood cancer hero Jake and SuperSib Kiana
    Rod McKee, Dad to childhood cancer hero Jake and SuperSib Kiana
  • Steve Cassabria, Dad to childhood cancer hero Nico, SuperSibs Sophia, Ava and Nina, husband to Stephanie
    Steve Cassabria, Dad to childhood cancer hero Nico, SuperSibs Sophia, Ava and Nina, husband to Stephanie
  • Jim Butler, Dad to childhood cancer hero Jimmy and SuperSibs Cass and Chris
    Jim Butler, Dad to childhood cancer hero Jimmy and SuperSibs Cass and Chris
  • Nick Butkus, Dad to childhood cancer hero Jaxson and SuperSibs Domnick and Joey
    Nick Butkus, Dad to childhood cancer hero Jaxson and SuperSibs Domnick and Joey
  • Mike Adkins, Dad to childhood cancer hero Lily and SuperSibs Chloe and Nicholas
    Mike Adkins, Dad to childhood cancer hero Lily and SuperSibs Chloe and Nicholas
  • Mike Markham, Dad is childhood cancer hero Lakelynn
    Mike Markham, Dad is childhood cancer hero Lakelynn
  • Bill Fitzgerald. Dad to childhood cancer hero Cole and SuperSibs Maeve and Maggie, Husband to Keren
    Bill Fitzgerald. Dad to childhood cancer hero Cole and SuperSibs Maeve and Maggie, Husband to Keren
  • Rick Knowles, Dad to childhood cancer hero Frankie and SuperSib Brooklyn 
    Rick Knowles, Dad to childhood cancer hero Frankie and SuperSib Brooklyn 
  • Britt Talley, Dad to childhood cancer hero Elijah and SuperSib Hannah, Husband to Dawn
    Britt Talley, Dad to childhood cancer hero Elijah and SuperSib Hannah, Husband to Dawn

By: Trish Adkins

Sometimes, I think Dads don’t get the credit they deserve. You cannot ever discount the therapeutic power of Dad jokes or how it seems like they can lift absolutely anything, no matter how heavy. Childhood cancer Dads do a lot of heavy lifting. They show up at clinic appointments. They work endlessly to provide for their families. They advocate and show up at meetings at school. They build backyard forts and lemonade stands. 

My own husband is the one who worked endlessly to teach our daughter, Lily, to walk after she had a brain tumor when she was 14 months old. Mike took Lily and her therapy walker to the aquarium every single weekend to practice walking up and down all the ramps. Doctors told us she’d never walk without crutches or walker. Mike made sure Lily never believed that. Lily is 14 years old, and she has not touched a therapy walker for 11 years. 

I see those other Dads, too. The ones who build lemonade stands — like Alex Scott’s dad, Jay Scott. The ones who have been promoted from father to grandfather, like Cameron Robertson’s dad, Stewart. The ones who selflessly donated a kidney to their son, like Tony Salerno. 

These are the men who stand united every day not just for their children, but for each other’s children. 

I could go on and on, but really, their families say it best. Meet some of these superhero dads who do the heavy lifting for their families:

Raymond Bacon, Dad to childhood cancer hero Raymeer 

“My dad is my superhero because he protects me. He keeps me safe and loves me and teaches me things. My favorite thing about my dad is when we have daddy and son days.” -Raymeer

Stewart Robertson, Dad to childhood cancer hero Cameron and SuperSibs Skye and Emma

“Our Dad always goes above and beyond to make sure we have the biggest smiles on our faces. He always makes us laugh so hard. He loves us all unconditionally. -Cameron, Skye, Emma

Ben Cartafalsa, Dad to childhood cancer hero Ryan and SuperSibs Emily and Meghan, husband to Trish 

“My husband is a superhero because he has a calming presence when I am upset or stressed. I love how much he enjoys spending time with his kids.” -Trish

“Dad is my superhero because he is accepting and very supportive of me. My favorite thing about my dad is our range of shared interests. We never run out of things to watch or learn together.” -Meghan

My Dad is a superhero because you can always count on him to get the job done. He's a great mentor. Working in a similar field, it is nice to have someone to look up to and learn from.” -Emily

“Dad is a superhero because he makes me happy. My favorite thing about him is that he plays sports with me.” -Ryan

Paul Matz, Dad to childhood cancer hero Ellie and SuperSibs Rebecca and Lillah, husband to Miriam

“Paul is constantly looking for ways to make our lives easier and better! He is calm and easy going and good at everything he does!” -Miriam

“My favorite thing about my dad is that he tells stupid jokes and loves to build things with me.” -Ellie

“My dad is always caring.” -Lillah

Tony Salerno, Dad to childhood cancer hero Tony and SuperSib Samantha
“My Dad makes us laugh ALL the time. He can also fix anything! He comes to all of my doctor’s appointments. He just does so much for us. When I was sick, he even gave me one of his kidneys!” -Tony

“My favorite thing about my Dad is definitely his sense of humor. Even when things are bad, he can always find a way to make us laugh.” -Samantha

Jay Scott, Dad to ALSF founder and childhood cancer hero Alex and SuperSibs Patrick, Eddie and Joey

"My Dad is a great father. He has always made sure to instill in us the values of hard work, personal responsibility, and honesty. At the same time, he is honest with us and helps us to be the best versions of ourselves. My siblings and I are lucky to have him." -Patrick

Cas Banaszek, Dad to childhood cancer hero C.J. and SuperSib Gabby

“My dad is a superhero because of his ability to never give up. I have never met a man with the ability to keep his head held high through so many trials and tribulations. I am so lucky to have such a great role model. His willingness to help me succeed in all areas of my life is one of my favorite things about him. He will put his own life to the side to help me pursue my goals. Without him, I don’t know where I would be.” -Gabby

Bill Roberts, Dad to childhood cancer hero Declan and SuperSibs Brendan and Tommy

“My dad is my hero because he taught me most of the things I know.” -Brendan 

“My dad is my hero because he bakes great bagels. Aaaaaand he can fly.” -Tommy

Scott Littlefield, Dad to childhood cancer hero Lucille and SuperSibs Estella, Mara, and Olive

“Our dad is our superhero because he’s funny, likes fun stuff, is nice, the best and does lots of stuff for us.” - Lucille, Estella, Mara and Olive.

Rod McKee, Dad to childhood cancer hero Jake and SuperSib Kiana

“My Dad is our superhero because he is always there for me. He always puts his family first.” -Jake 

Steve Cassabria, Dad to childhood cancer hero Nico, SuperSibs Sophia, Ava and Nina, husband to Stephanie

“Steve is a superhero because for the seven years Nico battled neuroblastoma he would be whatever we needed him to be. He was the provider, caretaker, nurturer, and rock for Nico, the girls and I. Whatever hat we needed him to wear on a certain day, or several times a day, he would wear it. We all depended on him constantly and he never let us down.” -Stephanie

Jim Butler, Dad to childhood cancer hero Jimmy and SuperSibs Cass and Chris

“When my little brother was sick, we were separated so he could be close to the hospital. My dad solely took care of my other brother and myself while working full time and made the transition as seamless as he could.” -Cass 

Nick Butkus, Dad to childhood cancer hero Jaxson and SuperSibs Domnick and Joey

“He makes me laugh when he pretends to beat up my brother.” -Jaxson

“He’s the best dad.” -Domnick

“He pays me to mow the lawn.” -Joey 

Mike Adkins, Dad to childhood cancer hero Lily and SuperSibs Chloe and Nicholas

“My favorite things about him are that he goes on bike rides with us and helps us with our sports.” -Chloe

“I can’t pick one thing I love about my Dad. There are over a trillion million things.” -Nicholas

“My Dad is my superhero because he always knows how to make me feel better,” -Lily 

Mike Markham, Dad is childhood cancer hero Lakelynn

“Daddy is a superhero because he does good work on my toys when they break, he is very careful, and he is the best tickle monster.” -Lakelynn

Bill Fitzgerald. Dad to childhood cancer hero Cole and SuperSibs Maeve and Maggie, Husband to Keren

“What makes my husband a superhero is that he has endless patience and kindness in his heart. There isn’t anything he would not do for me or our kids. Behind every successful mom is the quiet and strong presence of a father and Bill fits that description. He is a trusted advisor, leads by example, is humble and loving. His best qualities include his gregarious nature, ability to laugh at himself and how he is emotionally available and not afraid to show it.” -Keren

Rick Knowles, Dad to childhood cancer hero Frankie and SuperSib Brooklyn 

“He is awesome. He plays Wii with me.” -Frankie

Britt Talley, Dad to childhood cancer hero Elijah and SuperSib Hannah, Husband to Dawn

"Sometimes heroism is quiet.  Britt is a superhero because he has always been the calm in the storm that was Elijah's 14 year journey through childhood cancer.  He is the steady force that has kept our family anchored.  To me, heroes are supposed to make you feel safe.  They make you feel like no matter the danger you are facing, they will be there to come to your rescue.  That's Britt.  No matter what Elijah faced, no matter how frazzled and anxious I became, Britt has always been the one to say "I'm here, we've got this" - and we believe him.  He somehow managed to make Elijah feel safe while being forced to battle the scariest of monsters.  He's done that for all of us - that's why he's a superhero." -Dawn

From everyone at Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation, we want to wish all dads out there a happy Father's Day!