PRAIRIEVILLE, LA (WAFB) - A local 11-year-old performed a surprise song for her dad for Father's Day in downtown Baton Rouge, and there was not a dry eye in the crowd.
As the family sat down Sunday afternoon to watch the video of the special surprise, which was shot by videographer Tommy Talley, wife Anne Peytavin said the touching tribute almost did not happen.
The plan, which was three months in the making, came down to the final few moments. It was a team effort, with a role for everyone to play. The couple's son, Christian, was in charge of distracting the father.
"I got my dad out of the house a lot," said 14-year-old Christian Peytavin. "I'd ask him to take me to the gym and places like that while my sister would practice."
Their daughter, 11-year-old Kate, was set to perform with a live band the group would just so happen to come across after having lunch. The unsuspecting father's family planned to have a group of his friends show up and surprise him during the performance.
"She rehearsed. We did like a little Facebook private event invite so Lance couldn't see it," wife, Anne recalled. "We were texting friends and doing that kind of stuff to get people there last minute."
The song was a personal version of the Lukas Graham hit, "Seven Years" rewritten to fir their unique situation and tell the story of the family's perseverance.
Lance Peytavin, the recipient of the surprise, was diagnosed with prostate cancer nearly three years ago. After two surgeries and a clinical trial, the family found out he also has Li-Fraumeni Syndrome, a rare genetic disorder that makes him pre-disposed to certain cancers. The genetic trigger has a 50 percent chance of being passed on to children. After testing their kids, the Peytavins discovered their daughter was negative; however, their son tested positive for the disorder.
The Father's Day surprise was setup to be a much-needed bright spot during a difficult time.
"He holds our family together and I just couldn't imagine life without him because he does so much for our family and we can finally return the favor," Kate said.
When the 11-year-old belted out the song, the family said all the planning and secret rehearsals paid off. The dad's reaction was priceless, the surprise not only lifting his spirits but renewing his fight for life.
"It's made everything so much easier," Lance said. "It gives me strength and inspires me to keep going and pushing forward. I've got a lot to fight for and live for."
The family is continuing to support his fight as they realize life is about seizing these small moments.
"Everything just goes so fast and we definitely have learned to enjoy each other," Anne said.
"It's something I will cherish for the rest of my life and to have it to go and look at is going to be forever special," Lance added.
It's an incredibly touching song. Watch the video below… and have the tissues ready.