The heartbreak of losing a parent is indescribable –– and for children who lose their parents far too soon, the pain can be particularly devastating.
It’s something 13-year-old Logan Kavaluskis of Hudsonville, Michigan, is beginning to know the depths of losing his father to cancer. That is why a belated birthday gift from his dad, received after he died, brought the teen to tears. A video of the sweet moment is going viral online, where thousands of strangers have been reduced to puddles of tears themselves.
- At the time of his death, Joe Kavaluskis had been fighting multiple myeloma for almost a decade. Joe was diagnosed with the blood cancer around 2010, according to a GoFundMe page, which was organized by a family friend in 2018 but has been updated after Joe’s death.
- “That first year, we battled with chemotherapy and a stem cell transplant,” his wife Melanie also shared on the page. “That bought us almost three years of good health. This type of cancer really never achieves remission, but we were as close to that as possible.”
- After that, life became a roller coaster. When Joe’s cancer levels rose, “he would battle them back down with chemotherapy,” Michelle explained. “Up and down, for three years.” But it was a difficult and exhausting battle. At one point, his cancer became so aggressive that Joe was unable to work.
- Earlier this month, Joe lost his battle at the age of 47. That loss was felt deeply by his 13-year-old son. So, imagine Logan’s surprise January 13, when just five days after his father’s death, he received the one gift he’d always wanted: a puppy.
- The teen believed he was going to pick up a new dog for his cousin, WXMI reported. Little did he know that the Boston Terrier puppy was for him, instead. His father had arranged for Logan to receive the dog after his death. (Joe had serious animal allergies, and coupled with his cancer, that made it impossible to have a family dog while he was alive.) Luckily, the moment Logan met his new pal “Indy” was captured on camera.
- The video shows a surprised Logan, who looks shocked as his cousin Jon tells him, “That’s from your dad. That’s your dog.” “Really?” he asked, stunned.
“Yes, he is yours,” Jon replied before Logan broke down in tears. “Your dad wanted you to have a puppy. Do you love him? He is all yours.”
- Logan shared with WXMI that it was “the best gift I’ve ever gotten from my dad.”
As for his mom, Melanie? She thinks it’s an amazing gift to help her son heal.
Indy brings “so much love, and comfort, and distraction, because we can’t sit still,” she told the news station. But she also hopes her husband’s gift can be a great life lesson for her son about turning negative things into positive ones. “It’s really important to us,” she said, “to pay it forward.”