3-Year-Old Gives 10 Concrete Examples Of Why She Likes Her Cancer-Survivor Dad

"I've been given a lot of birthday gifts in my 35 years and I can't think of one that compares to this."

How many times has your mother actually used that "Best Mom Ever" keychain you got her when you were six? Where's that plastic "Best Father" trophy you got your dad for Father's Day? Exactly. By now, we've all learned the best gifts for our parents come from the heart.

That's why we should all take a page out of this toddler's book. Musician Andrew McMahon, who is known for being the frontman in the bands Something Corporate and Jack's Mannequin, recently celebrated his 35th birthday. In a recent Instagram post, he shared a sweet birthday gift his 3-year-old daughter Cecilia gave him


With the help of her mom, who we imagine has much neater handwriting than the toddler, Cecilia gave her dad 10 solid examples of why she likes him. 

"He takes me to do things I like — going to Santa Barbara — just me and him," Cecilia listed. "He takes me to the coffee shop to get a chocolate muffin. He protects me when I am scared. He spins, runs, and dances with me." 

"Best dad ever?" That doesn't mean much, but telling your dad you really appreciate when he spends one-on-one time with you to do the things you like together? That's really something. 

When he was 22 years old, McMahon was diagnosed with acute lympohbastic leukemia, a rare type of cancer of the blood and bone marrow that affects a person's white blood cells. He went through two rounds of chemotherapy, radiation treatment, and a stem cell transplant from his sister, Kate. McMahon is now in remission, but he still working to help other people who are diagnosed with cancer during early adulthood. 

His battle with leukemia taught him that there were still shortfalls in cancer treatment, support, and research on behalf of the young adult demographic. So, he started the Dear Jack Foundation in an effort to make a difference for young adults who have been diagnosed with cancer. 

His cancer journey and his work to help others who go through it are two other things that made Cecilia's list. "People helped him get better when he was sick. He got special medicine from Aunt Kate," she wrote. "He helps other people not get sick." 

The list is such a simple gesture, but it's so sweet, honest, and personal that McMahon was blown away by it. 

"I've been given a lot of birthday gifts in my 35 years and I can't think of one that compares to this," he wrote on Instagram. 


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