Erin Kelly reflects on the inspirational story of Scott Nagy.
Life has a way of giving us scrapbook-worthy moments. Some make us reach for that tissue we didn’t think we needed. Others give us strength to move the mountain we thought couldn’t be moved.
Ohio native Scott Nagy proved that no one should be deprived of the opportunity to etch those moments in stone. According to this NBC News article, Nagy was able to “give his daughter away” at her wedding earlier this month, with the help of a volunteer caravan from a local hospital.
Diagnosed with metastatic urethral cancer last November, Nagy was escorted to the wedding in Strongsville on a gurney while connected to a portable ventilator and a heart monitor. The big day was originally scheduled for next year, but was bumped up due to his deteriorating health.
Jacky Uljanic, a nurse practitioner who accompanied Nagy, said, “When we walked in with him at the church, there were tissues to faces.”
I think there’s a lot of depth to that quote. It not only speaks to the love a man has for his daughter, but it also makes a statement about the power of inspiration and impact. Nagy’s mere presence at his daughter’s wedding—and his will to stop at nothing to be there—made this day that much more special. It was a celebration of the human spirit that took the very definition of love to another level. The article also reports that Nagy has been undergoing chemotherapy at University Hospitals Seidman Cancer Center in Cleveland since August.
As I continued reading this article I admittedly felt selfish. Here’s a man—a father—battling cancer just to get to his daughter’s wedding, when all I have is cerebral palsy.
On one hand, I can relate to this man in the sense that he has an iron will. I understand and respect the fact that he needs that ventilator and heart monitor to maintain quality of life—just like I need my wheelchair.
On the other hand, I don’t know what it’s like to be strapped to a gurney with wires and machines attached to me—fighting for my life.
It made me ask myself, “How selfish can I be?”
I think there’s a human quality to that question. It’s a question that we—as people—don’t ask ourselves enough. When we take the time to answer it, however, I think that’s when we find out more than we ever thought we knew about ourselves, we show the world what we’re truly made of. That’s exactly what Nagy did, and he did it the most human way possible. By the same token, I also think there’s something about the photo that accompanies this story. It shows Nagy lying on the gurney, dawning a tux and a smile on his face while holding his daughter’s hand.
Not only that, but several sources—including The Plain Dealer in Cleveland—have also quoted Nagy as saying, “It was a promise I made in March, to walk her down the aisle.”
It proves that Nagy was there for one reason and one reason only—his daughter. It’s apparent that he didn’t care what other guests at the wedding might have thought of him or the way he looked. I don’t even think it’s a stretch to say he never thought of himself as a cancer patient that day. He was a father giving his little girl away.
I think Mr. Nagy’s story tells a tale of self-confidence, but it also paint a picture of a much bigger story—there are no guarantees in life. In many ways, this story has the potential to change the way we think about and inspire others. It’s a subtle reminder that stories like this can—and quite possibly will—become the fairy tales the modern era.