Albert Septien was surprised by a man-made #WhiteChristmas Eve in Tampa, and the fulfillment of his last #Christmas wish.
The 76-year-old #VietnamVeteran was diagnosed with terminal stage four melanoma, and told that Christmas 2019 would be his last. Worst of all, Septien never would have suspected. “This year has been hell because I have never been sick in my life and now here I am,” he said.
In order to make his holiday special, Septien’s cousin Joe Maestre asked him about his biggest Christmas wish. “I asked him, ‘What would you like for Christmas?’” Maestre told local Fox affiliate WTVT. “And he says, ‘I want to make a snow angel.’ I said, ‘Well, you got it, you got it.’ And he laughed! He said to me, ‘In Tampa? You’re crazy.’” Of course, Septien’s incredulous response makes sense. Making a snow angel in Tampa’s balmy climate is next to impossible. Septien is a Cuban immigrant but was raised in Connecticut — where white Christmases are routine. But you are more likely to go to the beach than find a sledding hill in Florida.
Nevertheless, Maestre had a plan. He hired a crew to turn eight tons of ice into snow, then spread it across his cousin’s yard.
It was not merely a sentimental idea: Septien, who believes he contracted the cancer during his exposure to Agent Orange in Vietnam, has said that the cancer treatments cause burning sensations throughout his body, like living with a “built-in furnace.” Lying in the snow was perfect relief. “To feel the coldness, all of that, it was really good,” Septien said. “I was soaked, even to my underwear, but it was great.” “I don’t think there’s words to explain it,” Maestre said. “The look on his face, the feeling in his heart. The tears that he had. This has been the most wonderful day in the last year.” Maestre is “happy that we were able to put this all together and all the people that really reached out to remember a Vietnam veteran,” Maestre said. “That to me means so, so much.” #binspirednews