ROCK HILL, S.C. -- Ella Rosenberg remembers the day her dad was diagnosed with Stage IV Melanoma. It was March 21, 2011.
“He actually whispered to me, ‘Ella, I’m really scared.’ And I said, ‘I know dad. I’m really sorry. But I’m going to be with you.’”
Ella, and her then 5-year-old sister Lucy, along with mom Julie, were with Bruce Rosenberg through his illness.
They travelled for treatments together, but just as importantly, they also lived life to the fullest.
“All of a sudden I saw this post from him saying he wanted everybody to eat ice cream for breakfast on March 21st,” said Julie Rosenberg, Bruce’s wife of 18 years, and college sweetheart.
“That was so Bruce,” she said. “He had the biggest smile in the world, and lucky for me, both of my children have it too,” she said.
The family, along with his friends who called themselves “Bruce’s Pit Crew,” all supported and promoted his ice cream dream. The Pit Crew, named so because Bruce’s cancer was detected in lymph nodes in his arm pit, helped through social media.
With Facebook, Bruce’s dream took off and the fun-loving, passionate young father, continued to do the unexpected throughout his illness.
He dressed up for Halloween, decked his Rock Hill home with amazing Christmas lights during the holiday, and of course, with his family and friends, ate ice cream whenever they wanted.
Bruce never got to see his idea become what it is today. He died just nine days prior to the first Ice Cream for Breakfast day in 2012.
His family tried to participate, but say it was hard. The timing was just too close. That’s why this year, 2013, is so important.
“For one day, sit down and eat ice cream with your kids because you can. Such a small thing, but do it, laugh about it and appreciate it,” said Julie Rosenberg.
And while the message is first to enjoy life, she also hopes it will be a reminder to protect yourself from the sun.
“Protect your kids, wear sun screen, and don’t use a tanning bed,” she says. “We know so much more than we did in the 70’s, we have to protect ourselves from the dangers of the sun,” she said
Today is the second anniversary of the event and we want to see your pictures!
If you take part, send them to Pics@wcnc.com.
Click the play button above to see Ann Sheridan's full report.