DENVER — It may have been one Texan's most important 800 mile road trip from Dallas, Texas, to Colorado.
"I wanted to make the trip down for the wedding," Alan Storck said.
His daughter, Ashley Storck, is getting married Saturday.
But before Alan Storck can take part in pre-wedding festivities, his arrival to the Mile High City required a very important stop at St. Anthony's Hospital in Lakewood.
"My doctor coordinated here to get [my] blood checked here," Alan Storck said.
More than four decades of firefighting caught up to Alan Storck in recent years.
"I was originally diagnosed with cancer in February of 2012," Alan Storck said.
His health has been deteriorating ever since.
"About a year and half later, I started having issues in my blood work and then there was a PET scan, and I was diagnosed with multiple myeloma because they found multiple spots on me," Alan Storck said. "I've been battling that ever since."
Of all the routine blood checks, this may be the most important one following a tough week of treatment that had his doctors in Texas questioning whether he would be able to travel and attend a large event.
As nurses tested Alan Storck's blood, he explained that if his platelet count was too low, he would have to spend several more hours at the hospital getting a blood transfusion instead of focusing on the big day.
"One last minute planning was actually doing the father-daughter dance because we didn't really entertain the idea," Ashley Storck said.
The blood results came in about 15 minutes later; Alan Storck had a platelet count of 20.
The cutoff was 15. Storck barely made it by without needing a blood transfusion.
Almost immediately after, Ashley Storck asked her father, "Did you work on our wedding song or wedding dance?" Jokingly, Alan Storck replied, "We're working on that." Ashley Storck replied, "Well, you got 24 hours," as the room filled with laughter.
That's 24 precious hours for a first responder who knows time is short and that family comes first.