I'm sorry that I took so long to post an update. I have been taking my dad to see different oncologists to review treatment options. Looking at his results, they all agree that there is about a 90% chance that treatment will be effective. We raised a little more than needed and some donations were made in cash so the extra funds will be put towards treatment costs.
Here are some photos of when we presented the gift to him and he wrote a thank you note below as well. He was a little emotional to receive the gift and to know that so many people cared but trust me, he was very happy. Thank you all so much
This is the thank you note that he wanted me to post for everybody.
"When you reach my age, you have dreams which you finally accept will be beyond your reach for the rest of your days. I had one. My son, my daughters and my friends made it possible. We were a poor family and the only thing that would qualify as an heirloom was a violin that belonged first to my grandfather and then my dad. It was passed to me when my father passed on. By that time (from not being maintained and taken care of) it was coming apart. I tried once to restore it and was unsuccessful. I have been hanging on to it, hoping sometime some miracle I would be able to bring it back to the condition I remembered as a child. Life happens and it never did.
At least until my son, with his amazing talent made it happen. to those who took part in this miracle, I say thank you...thank you...thank you. In a time when I sometimes feel like I am in a dark room fumbling for a light switch, I am restored in my faith in people. I don't know what else to say accept you all have all helped me in such a way that I can not put to words. My children are truly a gift in my life and I love you all."
My dad, Earl, has fought his entire life. He grew up poor and worked hard to help support his family while in high school. He went to college and was forced to drop out of an electrical engineering program due to being overwhelmed by narcolepsy.
He married and had 3 children. Due to his narcolepsy, he can't drive and his mobility is limited further due to very bad knees. For 10 years he left the house at 4:45am to take 3 buses to get to work and got home at 6:30 pm. He was laid off a few years ago and went on disability due to his worsening knee problems and narcolepsy.
In 2008 he moved in with his mother to help care for her. She suffers from mobility issues and is showing signs of Alzheimer's disease. On top of his own health issues, he is taking care of his 86 year old mother.
This month, he was diagnosed with prostate cancer. He spends every moment he has with his 3 grandchildren and despite having his income limited to a disability check, he spoils them.
His cancer seems treatable but it's a difficult road and he is a bit of a nervous wreck. After all of his struggles in life, I've never really seen him scared before.
In an effort to put his mind at ease and show him that people care about him, I wanted to put together a special gift for his birthday (Sept 4). He has had an old violin in storage since his father died many decades ago. It's from Germany, made in 1909, and belonged to his grandfather.
The violin is in pieces but very fixable. I took it to a restoration specialist and they quoted $1,500 to restore it to a very nice playable condition and touch up the finish.
Here are a few pictures of him with his grandchildren, the violin, the repair quote, and one of him doing volunteer work for the disabled. http://imgur.com/a/aDCoH#0
If we don't raise enough money to fix the violin I will either make up the difference, or simply apply the balance to pay bills for the treatment of his cancer.
I really think that restoring his grandfather's violin from 1909 would mean the world to him. He doesn't know that I have it and he never thought that it could play again. He was going to use Elmer's glue and display it. This would mean the world to him