Joe Kavaluskis loved being a dad and he loved surprising and delighting his sons whenever he could. Even after losing a devastating battle with cancer, that was the one thing that never changed that. During his nine-year battle, the dad from Michigan always made sure his sons would have amazing adventures and memories with him.

“He always had these cool things planned out and he would try to keep them secrets until we were there,” his son, Logan Kavaluskis, 13, told Inside Edition. “He turned everything into a good, happy thing.” 

He passed away just before his son’s birthday

Joe knew he was dying and he also knew that his son Logan had wanted a puppy since he was 3 years old. Joe made the decision to make sure his son will have one lasting gift, beyond his death.

It was something he and his wife, Melanie, had planned together.

He said, ‘Just promise me that when I do pass, you will get Logan a puppy as soon as you can, because I know that it will bring him a lot of comfort.’

Melanie Kavaluskis

Sadly, that day came all too soon. Joe passed away on Jan. 8th 2020, only five days before Logan’s 13th birthday. Melanie did not forget to honor her late husband’s wish.

She carried out the surprise, just as planned

When Logan’s birthday arrived, Melanie told him that they were going to help their cousin pick up his puppy. Logan was very excited. He asked if he could hold the little Boston terrier and French bulldog mix in the car. 

We stopped at a gas station so I could hold him for the rest of the way home and then my cousin hands the dog to me and says, ‘This is from your dad; this is yours.’

Logan Kavaluskis

Logan started to cry, and they took their new beloved family member home. That beautiful little puppy has since been named Indy, and he’s already become an important member of the family!

They will never forget their father’s lesson

Despite his diagnosis, and the long battle he had to fight, Joe never lost sight of what truly mattered to him–his family. Furthermore, his thoughtful present is also a lesson in perseverance to his sons.

I know he’s taught the boys: just keep pushing forward, don’t give up, and good things will come to you if you do good things for others.

Melanie Kavaluskis

His constant efforts to ensure that his sons will have memories they could cherish forever beyond his death are reminders that we can always find ways to make time for the people we love.

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