Three hours before he delivered a TED talk on why people should have children last month, New York Times reporter Wajahat Ali got the news of parents' nightmares: his two-and-a-half-year-old daughter had cancer.
A scan revealed abnormal bumps on the liver of his little girl, Nusayaba, which his wife, Sarah - a doctor - recognized as a sign of cancer.
When his wife called, Ali was in San Francisco and was due to speak days later about the importance of having children as the US birthrate continues to plummet.
On the day of the TED talk, their worst fears were confirmed. Their daughter had stage four liver cancer.
With the encouragement of his wife and mother, Ali stayed and delivered the talk, even incorporating the devastating news he'd received into presentation.
Ali's wife and mother told him: '"Just stay there, crush the talk for our little girl,"' Ali told CBS.
'Three hours before my talk, the official diagnosis came out.'
Journalist Wajahat Ali learned his daughter had stage four liver cancer just three hours before delivering a TED talk on the importance and joy of having children (pictured) last month
Ali, who writes op-eds for the New York Times, has become passionate about children, specifically, babies.
Not just his own two children, four-year-old Ibrahim and two-year-old Nusayaba, but the importance of having children in general.
Ali covers politics, religion and family life in the US, and is one of the many public figures sounding the alarm about the declining birth rate in the US.
So, last month, he planned to speak about the importance of having a family - and policies that make doing so possible - to the future of the developed world, including countries like the US, the UK and China, where birth rates have tanked.
He never expected that one of the two lives he and his wife, Sarah had brought into the world, might be endangered.
Little Nusayaba - whose name Ali is fond of reminding people means 'warrior princess' - was diagnosed with stage four liver cancer.
Ali's wife, Sarah (right) called him a few days before his TED talk to alert him that there were suspicious bumps on the liver of their two-year-old daughter, Nusayaba (left, pictured with brother, Ibrahim, four)
'The universe just sucker punches you in the gut,' Ali said, discussing that surreal day on CBS This Morning.
It isn't the kind of news any parent can expect.
Only about two percent of the estimated 15,780 children diagnosed with caner in the US each