Giving back to the community through outdoor adventures
A while back we posted about ESA Adventurer Wendy and her husband Marc. They will be hiking 28.3 miles in one day for the Trailblaze Challenge. They will be raising money for Make-A-Wish. A while ago they shared this story on their Facebook page and I wanted to share it with all of you.
Yesterday, while I was selling lemonade for the cause, I was told a story by a woman with tears in her eyes that touched me beyond measure.
Her son, Brian, was diagnosed with cancer when he was Erica’s age (6) and became a Make-A-Wish kid. His wish was to “see the ocean and swim like a dolphin” so Make-A-Wish sent him to Florida where he spent several days playing in the surf before being whisked away to Discovery Cove where he spent 2 days swimming WITH dolphins and other sea creatures in a private pool with only him, his parents and a single trainer present. His Mom told me that she had never seen the joy in his eyes like those moments he spent in the water with those dolphins. It was everything that I could do to hold it together while she told me her story as I imagined what it must have been like to see her son suffer like he did. Unfortunately, the story did not have a happy ending as Brian lost his battle with cancer only 4 months after his wish was granted.
Brian’s Mom hugged me very tightly as she slipped $20 into my hand and thanked me for the work that we are doing for Make-A-Wish and for bringing joy to her beloved Brian’s heart before he left our world.
I haven’t told anyone about Brian and his Mom until this post and I’m not really certain why this is the forum that I chose to share my experience. I am humbled and honored to be a part of such an important cause and I can honestly say that my life has been forever impacted by this experience.
On May 30, we will hike 28.3 miles for the cause and Brian, wherever you are, on that day, your spirit will walk right alongside me and you will bring joy to my life.
This was written by Marc Newland.
If you would like to learn more about this EPIC adventure please visit their Trailblaze Challenge page.