A Michigan father who desperately prayed for God to heal his cancer-stricken son and publicly offered to take the cancer instead so his son could live, was diagnosed with the deadly disease a week after his holy appeal. Now family and friends are praying for a miracle to save two lives instead of just one.
"(Dan was) in front of his church family, praying to God — give him the cancer and let his son live. He has a life, and he needs to get married. He needs to do all these things, just give it to me. And a week after that, literally a week after that, he was diagnosed with his brain cancer. So we're praying for a miracle for both of them," family friend Danielle Williams told Fox 2.
The father of four, Dan Popescu, 45, a carpenter from St. Clair, Michigan, learned he was battling a rare terminal brain cancer just two weeks ago while he was praying for a miracle for his 11-year-old son, Dylan.
"The nurse came out crying — just in disbelief that she had to tell this family again that Dan had a 5-6 centimeter mass on his brain. Terminal. They couldn't get it all," Williams said.
Another family friend, Jennifer Gudme, who is trying to raise $100,000 on a GoFundMe campaign to help the father and son, revealed that Dan was diagnosed with stage 5 glioblastoma.
"Two days ago Dan, Dylan's dad, was rushed to the ER and had brain surgery. He has stage 5 glioblastoma, a very fast and aggressive brain cancer. Please pray for Dan's healing and recovery. Dan is a great man, he cherishes his family and he is needed on Earth. Prayers, love, faith and strength for Dylan and Dan and their entire family. Thank you so much for your prayers, please don't stop," Gudme wrote earlier this month.
The campaign was initially started for Dylan to help him fight brain cancer as well. His battle has come with peaks and valleys. Dylan is currently undergoing radiation treatment for his cancer five days a week.
"Dylan's recent testing revealed that his brain tumor metastasized and spread to his spine. He will begin radiation and chemotherapy treatment next week. We ask that you please continue to keep Dylan in your prayers," Gudme revealed in an update a month ago.
"Dylan you are the sweetest, strongest and most positive young man we know, we love you so much. You are always on our minds, in our hearts and are forever in our prayers. In constant faith, positive thoughts, healing prayers and love for God and His light, never give up Dylan," she said.
"No family should ever, let alone having to deal with their son having a rare brain cancer, having son and father fighting for their life at the same time," Williams told Fox 2.
Williams, whose daughter was among a group of children in Marine City diagnosed with a rare kidney cancer called Wilms tumor in 2011, told Fox 2 that she believes the rash of cancers in the community is being caused by coal burning plants in St. Clair and chemical plants across the river in Sarnia.
"Not only the water because we live on chemical valley - with the 67 chemical plants there - we have very dirty air," she said.
Findings from an investigation by the St. Clair County health department in 2013 into the Wilms tumor cases were inconclusive, according to Fox 2.