Robert C. Hornyak

My dad, Robert C. Hornyak, is my lung champion. I wish more than anything I had memories of my Dad but I do not. My dad was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer when I was just three months old. He put up a strong and very courageous battle to beat this disease but succumbed to this killer 13 months later at the young age of 39. I was then seventeen months old and would walk around the house saying “Daddy,  Daddy.”  Of course I just did not understand why he was not there anymore.  My Dad had been a Vietnam Navy War Veteran, and the doctors felt that possibly his cancer was caused by agent orange when he was stationed aboard a ship off the coast of Vietnam.

My Dad was an amazing husband, son, brother, uncle, friend and the greatest dad to myself, and my two older siblings Jennifer and Jason. He was always willing to give a helping hand to anyone who was in need.  He just had a way about him with his warm and friendly smile. Family and friends could talk to him about anything. If someone needed something he was right there. If it meant giving you his last dollar he would. He had a love for life and such a compassion for people and animals alike. He was just so proud of his family and enjoyed every minute he spent with them. It was very hard for him when he was told his cancer was incurable but this news did not change him. He was still the most wonderful and upbeat person he knew how to be. With his family and friends he tried to spend as much time with them that he could. With me he tried to cram a lifetime into the 13 months that he fought this dreadful disease. He was so brave and courageous and up until the very end still managed to have that warm, caring and friendly smile. He is still very much missed by our family and all those whose lives he touched.

He is someone I still miss everyday. I always wished if just once I could hear his voice, if just once he could give me a hug or if just once he could say I love you and I could say it back. My loving Dad who will be forever in my heart.