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Kevin Rupp | Why Hope is Worth Believing In
Kevin Rupp Speech
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Kevin Rupp | Why Hope is Worth Believing In

Kevin Rupp - Keep Hope Alive

This father’s heartfelt farewell to his dying daughter will make you believe in hope again. Kevin Rupp shares the life-changing lessons he learned while watching his daughter fight for her life.


Our daughter had fallen ill at school and apparently she was having a seizure. She was healthy, we had no inkling of anything going on. She was rushed to the local hospital. They told her that they found a lime sized tumor on the right side of her brain. He said they were gonna do brain surgery the next morning.

And that's when another doctor pulled us aside and said, your daughter probably won't live till morning. And then she went in for her nine hours of brain surgery but she made it.

And we thought we were done, this was over. Until two days later and they told us, your daughter has glioblastoma multiforme, brain cancer. Fatal nearly 100% of the time within one year. Once again a doctor pulled us aside and said make memories now.

Before we knew it we were at two years past diagnosis, Felicia kept on going, it was four years. Before we knew it we were at five years past diagnosis which is a benchmark in cancer treatment and it was a celebration. She was cancer free and for five years she had kicked brain cancer's butt. The little girl that could.

That summer of her fifth year, Felicia became ill. We thought it was the flu. So after a few weeks of dealing with this flu, we had to take her back to Hershey. And there they told us, Felicia has leukemia. So we were back at it. This was a struggle from the start. Something you don't ever want to hear. Talk about your child in the same sentences as ventilators, feeding tubes, do not resuscitate orders.

Felicia started to lose consciousness, sometimes 24 hours a day. And one night I couldn't sleep, and I went into the intensive care unit and I quietly sat by her bed and I looked at her sleeping, and I thought what an incredible child, how lucky I have been to be this child's father. I told her how much we loved her, I told her how proud we were of her battle, and I said to her, if the angels are here for you, then it's time to get going. And then she opened her eyes and she looked at me, and she said I love you daddy. That's the last thing, she ever said to me. She took two more breaths and she died in my arms.

You hear the stories of people that have had after death experiences and they say, they float above the bed and they can look down on the scene and see what's going on. So just in case I looked up at corner of the room and I waved, I hope she saw me.

Our daughter's been gone for 16 years and people say to us still, isn't it time to move on and let the past be the past? Grief is forever, it doesn't go away, it becomes a part of you.

American novelist Anne Lamott said, hope begins in the dark, the stubborn hope that if you just show up and try to do the right thing the dawn will come, you wait and watch and work you don't give up, all I can do is love her, love the world, emulate her by living with daring spirit and joy, grief and love are conjoined, you don't get one without the other.

The reason we never heal is because our love never dies and maybe the reason we never heal is to keep hope alive.

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