01/05/2010 03:43 BST | Updated 22/05/2015 06:12 BST

Father With Cancer Recruits "Council Of Dads" For His Children

When American author Bruce Feiler discovered he had cancer, he was concerned about how his young twin daughters would cope without a father.

So he recruited six men from different stages of his life to form "The Council of Dads" and be there for his daughters throughout their lives.

The author describes how he broke down as he thought of his two daughters, Eden and Tybee, growing up without him.

"I kept imagining all the walks I might not take with them, the ballet recitals I might not see, the art projects I might not mess up, the boyfriends I might not scowl at, the aisles I might not walk down," he says.

So, says Feiler, he wanted to try and make up for this in some way. "I kept coming back to Eden and Tybee and how difficult life might be for them," he says. "Would they wonder who I was? Would they wonder what I thought? Would they lack for my approval, my discipline, my love?"

A few days later he thought of a way he could help recreate his voice for his daughters. " I started making a list of six men -- from all parts of my life, beginning when I was a child and stretching through today," he says.

"These are the men who know me best. The men who share my values. The men who helped shape and guide me. The men who travelled with me, studied with me, have been through pain and happiness with me. Men who know my voice."

You can see Feiler talk about this idea here.

He wrote to these six men, asking them to listen to his daughters, to answer their questions, go to their soccer games, watch their ballet moves, give them advice, and tell them what their father would be thinking.

He told his friends: "I understand this request might come as something of a burden. It is not intended to be an overwhelming commitment of time, resources, or emotion.

"A few words, a few gestures, an open door, a welcome embrace every now and then will ensure that your presence will be a constant guide in the girls' lives. Your voice will merge with mine."

Feiler writes about what happened next in his new book, The Council of Dads: My Daughters, My Illness, and the Men Who Could Be Me.

It sounds like a wonderful idea - but you'd need six very good friends to make this work. Can you think of six people to help take your place?

Source: ParentDishUS