By: Jenny Fowle, Wish Creator Since August 2017
I went to my first Bucket Bash, Fill Your Bucket List Foundation’s annual fundraiser, with a friend a couple of years ago. I was not sure what to expect and, to be honest, I was dreading it a bit. I was sure I would leave the evening feeling down, exhausted by an evening focused on cancer.
As it turns out, I experienced the exact opposite. The whole evening, and organization, left me feeling uplifted and hopeful. I had just started to explore my next steps after leaving my job in teaching to stay home with my son the prior year. After hearing from an incredible wish recipient, Nicole, I immediately knew where I was supposed to go next. I knew I had to be involved.
That evening, my husband and I joined on to become Wish Creators. Since then, we have planned wishes for six recipients and it has been such a blessing to get to know each one personally.
As Wish Creators, we have the chance to build relationships, get to know our wish recipients and their families, learn what they need, listen to what they’re worried about, and understand what they’re looking forward to most. I see on a first-hand basis, and through my own experience with cancer, how life altering a cancer diagnosis can be, no matter what type or stage, for cancer patients and for their loved ones. I see wish recipients reflecting on what they’ve accomplished and what they have left to do. I see them constantly questioning what will happen the next appointment, the next week, the next year.
It is incredible what the news of a wish granted can do for our wish recipients. It’s something positive to look forward to. It’s having something to talk about besides their diagnosis. It’s a break from illness, treatments, doctor appointments, and it’s an amazing time for them to reconnect and bond with loved ones.
We recently asked Christina, one of our wish recipients, what her biggest challenge has been since being diagnosed with cancer. Her response?
“Relaxation. Life is full of doctor appointments and gloom, this gave me something to look forward to and really experience life and joy again for a moment in time.”
Another recipient, Claudette, who visited Wyoming, said when she found out she had been granted a wish she felt she had been given a key out of the cage that cancer had put her in.
She shared, “I could travel again and leave behind the endless doctor appointments and procedures. The trip gave me clear skies and an open road, a chance to strengthen connections, a chance to thank folks who had helped me, a chance to provide instead of burden.”
Those words highlight the impact I’ve seen Fill Your Bucket List Foundation have on its wish recipients and beyond. And this work is only possible because of our village and its support — the prayers, in-kind donations, monetary support, connections, and advice along the way.
This year, Fill Your Bucket List Foundation will celebrate fulfilling 100 wishes for adults with cancer by the end of 2018 and has announced its goal to fulfill 100 more. That is more than 500 lives touched in four years — and the need is great.
Will you help make it possible?
Pledge to join Fill Your Bucket List Foundation on the journey forward with a gift to this holiday season to help grant the next 100 wishes: http://www.fillyourbucketlistfoundation.org/donate