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Letters to Last a Lifetime: Mom With Terminal Cancer’s Gift to Her Daughter, 4

Mom Stricken With Terminal Cancer Pens Lifetime of Letters to Daughter 1:38

Knowing she won't be around to see her daughter grow up, one Wisconsin mom has set out to write her four-year-old a letter for every milestone in her life — from a bad day to her wedding day.

Heather McManamy was diagnosed with breast cancer that has since spread to her bones and liver.

"Once you're stage 4, there is no cure," McManamy told NBC station WMTV.

Letter by letter, the McFarland mother wrote herself into every stage of her daughter's life.

"Her first tooth that she loses, her first wedding anniversary," Heather McManamy said. "Oh, I have one for her first baby. The last one I did was for her 30th [birthday]."

Little Brianna is heading off to kindergarten this year. McManamy is hoping to be able to read that one to Bri herself.

The stack of letters include advice, encouragement and memories from the time they shared together.

One letter reads, "every minute with you, you made me happier than I ever thought I could be."

"You know, it was difficult once I was done, looking at this pile that's this physical representation of everything I'm going to miss," McManamy said.

McManamy told WMTV that her list of treatments is dwindling and she doesn't mind if her daughter is too sad to ever open the letters. She just wants her to have them if she ever needs them.

"I want her to always know that I did everything I could possibly do to be here," McManamy said.