Father with terminal brain cancer makes memories with family

CASEY COUNTY, Ky. (WKYT) -- "We got married three years ago and we just walked into the courthouse with our bread ties and got married," Alyssa Summers said. She and Zach Summers, high school sweethearts, just needed each other to lean on.

"Today was more emotional than it was the first time," she said.

​Sunday, they got a little more dressed up, renewing their vows and again promising each other forever.

"They [the doctors] warned me that one morning he may wake up and not have a clue who I am," Alyssa said of Zach. "Whether it is a short amount of time, or years, I will still be there no matter what happens or what he goes through. I'll be there."

​The pictures and the memories of Sunday are so both Alyssa and the couple's three-year-old daughter, Hadley, have something to remember their hero by. Zach has been battling brain cancer for years and in mid-June doctors gave him six weeks.

He isn't giving up the fight, but that doesn't mean there aren't things weighing on his mind.

"He wants to do everything. He's the man of the household and wants to make sure he takes care of everything," Alyssa said.

​Everything includes 15 years down the road, when Hadley is headed to college.

Ashley Hayes, a cousin of Zach's said, "Right now she'll [Hadley will] say, 'I want to be an ambulance girl, like my daddy,' is what she'll say, and he just wants her to have that option."

​So, after the vow renewal family and friends got together to make sure Hadley is taken care of.

"A lot of people just don't know that small town feel, that bond, that connection and outpouring of love," Hayes said.

​T-shirt sales, a drawing and a lantern launch raised money for Hadley's trust fund.

​A smile on Zach's face, and weight lifted off his shoulders, as he was surrounded by all the support. He's got Alyssa to lean on and she knows she's certainly not alone.

Alyssa said, "That's probably the most important thing. You know if something happens that there is someone there to catch you if you fall."

Family plans to make the lantern launch an annual event.

Read the original version of this article at wkyt.com.

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