Part of growing older is understanding the unfortunate and undeniable fact that life makes concessions and exceptions for no one.

Put simply, one’s fortunes can change on a dime, and not always for the better. Being able to adapt and adjust to what life throws at you becomes an important aspect of being a functioning, thriving adult.

Yet of course, there are situations wherein adjusting or coping with bad news just doesn’t cut it. Sadly, some of us are thrust into situations where the light at the end of the tunnel doesn’t exist, and the idea of surviving long enough to see a brighter future tragically isn’t feasible.

The family of James Hunter certainly know all about that. As per reports, James was 38 years old when he and his loving wife, Beccy Flint, were expecting their first baby.

Fate, though, had other cruel plans, and what seemed destined to be a year of hope and happiness for the couple, from Sutton Coldfield, England, quickly became the year Beccy’s life would change forever …

By all accounts, James was a kind, compassionate soul who loved his wife, Beccy, and being involved with soccer. As a teenager, he played for Sutton United Football Club, later becoming manager there when he hung up his boots in 2018.

He was also a gym teacher at John Wilmott School in Sutton Coldfield, located in Birmingham, England.

As one can imagine, sport was a major part of James’s life, but he was equally passionate when it came to the idea of raising a large family. According to reports, he was open with the fact that he wanted children, and so was naturally delighted when Beccy fell pregnant with their first baby together.

Little did James know, though, that waiting just around the corner was news that would shatter all his plans.

James and Beccy first learned about their pregnancy in 2019. Their baby, due at the end of May 2020, was going to change their lives – they couldn’t wait to hold the little one in their arms.

Fast forward to October 2019, not long after Beccy’s pregnancy was confirmed, and James began to complain of a sharp pain in his body. He decided to get it checked out, but was hardly prepared for what doctors what find.

In March of 2020, mere months before his daughter was due to be born, James was given the unthinkable news that he was suffering from a serious illness.

At 38 years old, James was diagnosed with kidney cancer. His friends and family were shocked, but their concerns were nothing compared with James’s own worries. Would he ever get to see his unborn child? Would she be forced to grow up without her father?

Tragically, James was soon told that his cancer had spread to his liver. Before long doctors realized they were quickly running out of options through which to save his life.

Ultimately, medical professionals were forced to break the news to James that his cancer was terminal.

A fundraiser set up by his friends after he was handed the devastating prognosis read: “As if life isn’t cruel enough, Beccy may have to face childbirth without Jamie, as his health is deteriorating every day.”

Yet James had one last wish he wanted fulfilled: he wanted to be around long enough to meet his baby daughter.

Luck, in this case at least, was on his side. Beccy gave birth prematurely on May 11, and James was able to hold his baby girl in his arms.

Beccy said: “It went well, and they’ve asked to be left alone so they can enjoy their precious time together now.”

Sadly, James lost his fight with cancer and passed away just 48 hours after meeting his daughter.

“It is a testament to Jamie’s character that he fought so hard to be around for the birth of his daughter, and we are all so pleased that he made it,” said Pete Lugg, Chairman of Sutton United Football Club.

The baby girl, named Harper, will never remember being held in her father’s arms, but she will know how hard he battled to make sure he was around to meet her, even if it was just once.