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Castle Point Court
Glen Allen, VA 23060


Garth Callaghan

Napkin Notes Dad




Two years ago


The Napkin Notes Blog

Two years ago

WGarth Callaghan

Two years ago today, my friend Alex Sheen, shared our story for the first time. He wrote: 

“What does high risk mean?” Garth asked. His oncologist looked him in the eyes and responded... “You are going to die of this.” Garth is 44 years old and has been diagnosed with cancer three times since November 2011. Prostate cancer once. Kidney cancer twice. Although he appears healthy today, statistics say he has an 8% chance of living past 5 years. 

Garth has one daughter named Emma. He has been writing napkin notes for Emma’s lunch box since she was in the second grade. They are just a few words of encouragement, but in the busyness of their separate days at work and school, it’s a moment when they can connect. It’s a moment when Garth knows she is thinking about him.

Garth may die, but he will not let Emma eat lunch without that note. This is his promise to write one napkin note for every day of class Emma has until she graduates from high school. To date, he has completed 740 notes. 86 to go. 

Here's a two-year update from Garth: 

Medical: I was diagnosed with cancer one more time, in Feb of 2014. That one was a doozy. I had 5-6 metastasis on my liver, and one growth on my remaining adrenal glad. I have been in treatment (think daily "chemo") since then. It's hard, but I will do what I have to do to fight another day! 

Napkin Notes: I finished the remaining 86 notes right after that post. It was easy. The notes are in a box for safekeeping. I take them out from time to time when a reporter wants to see them. Emma gets a new, fresh note every day. My goal is to present her with the Napkin Note box for her high school graduation in 2 1/2 years. 

Alex's post was the one which launched our story worldwide. I am incredibly thankful for the opportunity to talk to parents from around the world about the importance of writing notes to their children. 

Thank you for walking on this journey with us. 

Pack. Write. Connect.