OVERLAND PARK, Kan. — A Blue Valley Northwest father fighting cancer got quite the surprise Monday at his son’s school.
Rob Mullin has met President George W. Bush and even got a handwritten letter and lyrics from one of his musical heroes, Bono. But 13 years, 10 months, and 8 days after his diagnosis with a brain tumor, there’s still one thing the U2 fan hadn’t found he was looking for.
“As a parent you always dream of those milestones, of watching your kids graduate and get married and Rob has seen so many milestones, it` just unfortunate it won`t be Gavin`s graduation,” his wife Gail said.
The school arranged for Mullin’s 17-year-old son Gavin to perform a special recital with his instructor and a woodwind quartet. His one solo, his dad’s favorite song, “I still haven’t found what I’m looking for.” Bono would explain in the letter to Mullins the song is about faith.
“Being able to do one performance where it`s just me for him it meant the world to me,” his son Gavin said.
But the moving tribute to his dad didn’t end there.
“Put on your time travelers hats, we are escorting you to May of 2018,” Blue Valley Northwest Assistant Principal Katie Bonnema told a crowd of Mullin supporters.
Gavin emerged in his cap and gown and was handed the case to a diploma.
“Join me as we recognize Gavin as the first graduate of the class of 2018,” Bonnema proclaimed.
“It was always one of things I wanted him to see me graduate, so being able to have that happen was really spectacular,” Gavin said.
“In the midst of all the sad things that happen, there`s always something special to be thankful for, and today is proof of that,” Gail said.
The last few months of Mullin’s battle against the disease claimed his ability to speak. But you could tell by the smile on his face this was one of his proudest moments.
Even after his passing, the Mullin family’s fight against cancer will go on. They formed a charity more than a decade ago called “Be Headstrong” to support brain cancer patients and their caregivers in the area.