Celebrating John Dolan, My Father

Today my father turns 61. This may not seem like a big deal, but for our family to be able to celebrate his birthday and another year of life is a miracle. My father was diagnosed with a very rare disease, Wegener’s Granulomatosis in 1998. This caused him to have a stroke at the very young age of 47. Since then he has fought a myriad of health issues. My brother, Billy, donated our father a kidney and during the surgery he suffered a heart attack. Although he has to deal with paralysis and many complications, he has always remained faithful to God and his family. He had never missed a family occasion, and has even attended all of my fitness shows. He has taught me so many valuable life lessons:

  • That God must be first in your life.
  • The importance of family.
  • To do things right the first time.
  • To do what I love, and to pursue my dreams.
  • He gave me an incredible work ethic and taught me very young that if I want something, I need to earn it.
  • To love the outdoors, camping, fishing and appreciating the beauty of natures’ landscapes.
  • That a strong will can pretty much accomplish anything.

My father has never placed any value on material things. His worth is found in being a man of his word, loving his family and most importantly his love for God.

My dad and I didn’t always have the best relationship, but we worked through that. I speak about this, because life isn’t always perfect. But, what really matters is simple… you only get one dad. May I encourage you to consider that we don’t always have all the time we think, and we need to enjoy and appreciate the time we do have with our family. If you have your family at your side you can endure anything, and my dad has literally been through hell and back.

Today I celebrate the gift of my loving father. Thank you dad for the man you are and all that you’ve taught me. I wouldn’t be me without you. Here’s a fun glimpse from being your baby to having my own baby, Giavella.



By |2016-10-14T14:06:13+00:00June 10th, 2012|Personal Messages|21 Comments


  1. Michael Lindsay June 17, 2012 at 10:53 am

    Kimmy. Right this minute, I only know you through Facebook and don’t really remember how we connected there. Apparently, we did so that I could read this today. My Father passed in February while we were on a business trip together. Thanks for sharing your story. Maybe I will oneday soon publish the post about our last few hours together. I appreciate this post

  2. Kristalrawls June 16, 2012 at 7:39 pm

    This is an honorable mention.

  3. Whobulldog June 16, 2012 at 7:34 pm

    Kim, It is soooo Awesome that your Dad was not only able to read this but also able to respond back. I can not express enough on what a AWESOME example he is on being an GREAT Dad. May The Lord our God Bless You and Walk With You In Time Of Need..

  4. Scott Murphy June 16, 2012 at 10:30 am

    God bless you

  5. Laurenrampaul June 16, 2012 at 10:26 am

    awwwww…. sad..he is in a better place… be strong and look foward….

  6. Sharon Gaddis June 16, 2012 at 8:35 am

    My sons lost their dad 3 years ago at the ages of 24 and 27. My husband was 49 and fought Multiple Sclerosis for 21 years. He was the greatest husband and father. He was our role model for life. Our lives were changed that day, but great memories remain untouched forever. Strong family does indeed make us who we are and continues to guide us through tough times in our lives. Prayers to you and your family Kim. It sounds like your dad was an unbelievable man and father. His strength and courage will endure with you forever.

  7. Kryse June 16, 2012 at 8:35 am

    Picture number three is how I remember you from when we worked at the Limited together. I remember your dad very well too, I always thought he was so handsome and had a bit of a crush on him. He sounds like an awesome dad and I’m so sorry for your loss Kimmy. My heart goes out to you and your family. Kryse Beckett-Brown

  8. Info June 11, 2012 at 1:21 pm

    This is a great tribute to your father for his birthday, and just in time for Father’s Day, too! I am blessed to have an awesome father who has been a pillar in my life. Thanks Kim!

  9. Keisha Lunsford June 11, 2012 at 7:15 am

    Kim, you are such a beautiful blessing inside and out and you have shown so much love and honor to your dad and your words touch everyone because we all have someone special like him in our lives*)
    Love you,

    • Kim Dolan Leto June 12, 2012 at 6:43 am

      Thank you, Keisha. Your words mean a lot to me!

  10. Joan Duddlesotn June 11, 2012 at 7:13 am

    Your words pay tribute to one of the greatest persons I have met in my life. He is a true inspiration. God has blessed you with a set of wonderful parents. So glad you took the time to put how you feel about him into words to share with everyone. I missed out on that opportunity and my Dad has been gone for 12 years now. But, I don’t ever forget him. Celebrate FATHER’S DAY while you can still throw your arms around his neck and kiss his cheek. That is the best gift a father could get! Love your Dad and Mom…Joan Duddleston (Work with Tommy at 2XL)

    • Kim Dolan Leto June 12, 2012 at 6:44 am

      Joan, Thank you for the excellent advice! I’m sorry to hear about your loss. I will definitely take your words to heart!
      Thank you,

  11. Christie Picetti June 10, 2012 at 10:46 pm

    Love my Uncle John. Not only is he a great dad but he sure is an awesome uncle! He has been such an inspiration and role model. I love you Uncle John, Happy Birthday!!

  12. Lily Dolan June 10, 2012 at 6:36 pm

    You overwhelm me with your words of love. You have truly honored your Dad. I love you, Mom/me

    • Kim Dolan Leto June 11, 2012 at 7:02 am

      I love you too, mom! Thanks for a wonderful weekend!

  13. John Dolan June 10, 2012 at 6:33 pm

    Kimmy you are such a blessing to me. You are truly a treasure and I love you.
    God Bless you, Dad

    • Kim Dolan Leto June 11, 2012 at 7:03 am

      I’m so happy you liked it dad. You are a treasure to me! I love you too!

  14. Crystal June 10, 2012 at 2:25 pm

    What a wonderful trinute. Thank you for articulatiung so well how blessed we are!

    • Kim Dolan Leto June 10, 2012 at 4:04 pm

      You’re welcome, Crystal. We sure are!

  15. Melissa Moulton Davis June 10, 2012 at 2:12 pm

    I loved this ! Happy Birthday to your father !

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