Trinity Oaks is humbled to have the honor of hosting people afflicted with terminal illness on “Dream Trips,” which we hope fulfill their last outdoor-based wish.
It is a blessing to bring joy to a person battling a life threatening illnesses. Through Dream Trips, we create an outdoor experience the entire family will share forever and another reason for the terminal person to fight just a bit harder and hopefully beat the illness.
For terminally ill people, the results of nature programming are even more dramatic. According to the Children’s Hospital of Pennsylvania, fulfilling the dreams of terminally ill children and connecting them with nature helps not only ease their psychological stress, but also eases the burden on all of their family, helping them cope with their loss in a meaningful way.
Top medical caregivers of sick children identify that psychosocial needs that must be met include: 1) time to be a child, i.e. engaging in age appropriate activities for children; 2) spiritual needs, including expressing gratitude for nature, God, or whatever other culturally or family appropriate channel; and 3) wish fulfillment when possible. Addressing these needs can also significantly help families cope with the imminent loss of their loved one and assist the grieving process.
Kolby is a 16-year-old boy with Cerebral Palsy. He is wheelchair bound, full of life and a joy to be around. Joining Kolby and David on the trip to the Hill Country outside of Kerrville was Kolby’s brother, Uriah, parents Brandy and Sam, his Nana Charlotte, and cousin Dakota. Kolby was also a recipient of an Action Track Chair, that Trinity Oaks’ Advisory Board member, Garrett George, fundraised for.
Sandy Graham, passed away in May 2014 after a brave four-year battle with breast cancer. In December 2012, Trinity Oaks was blessed to host and sponsor a Dream Trip for Sandy at the Laguna Vista Ranch in South Texas. Sandy had been actively fighting this aggressive cancer for over two years already, and it was her dream to shoot a trophy whitetail buck so that one day, when she entered her heavenly home, her two young sons could look at the whitetail mount on their wall and remember their mom.
Don Saathoff is a military veteran, police veteran and since his trip has lost use of all of his limbs. At the time of his dream hunt, Don only had use of his left arm, despite being right handed throughout his entire life. Even so, he was able to fully participate and enjoy the hunt of a lifetime. Don’s trip has made a huge impact on his life, and we’re told there’s not a week goes by that he isn’t talking about this weekend.
Louis Silver is a forty year old father of four, who could not wait to get out in the field this year, but his motivation is different than most of us. Louis felt that this hunting season would be his last opportunity to create happy memories with his kids. Louis is battling Gioblastoma Multiforme (GBM) which is a form of brain cancer, the survival rate is 0%. The average life expectancy after a GBM diagnosis is fourteen months and it had been over a year since Louis was diagnosed. As a result of two surgeries, Louis had lost sight in one eye and had limited vision in the other. He has tremors that range in severity. These debilitating conditions did not slow down his passion to live and to seek out an opportunity to hunt with his family, even if it were for the last time.
Chris Sula has been battling a rare bone cancer, Erwin Sarcoma, and the Trinity Oaks team immediately provided him with an unbelievable opportunity for a big game hunt of his choosing. And, of course, Chris chose to harvest the king of North American big game, a bison! In Trinity Oaks fashion, they were able to accommodate the entire Sula family on this hunt and provided them with an experience that will strengthen young Chris mentally, physically and spiritually through these difficult times.
We were blessed this weekend to host Matthew Millsaps and his parents on a Dream Trip. Matthew is battling Leukemia and because of complications can no longer receive chemotherapy. It was a jam packed 3 days that included shooting at the gun range, shooting a crossbow, blowing up Tannerite, looking for arrowheads, spending time with the Game Warden, hunting for big game, laughing and much much more. His dream was to hunt something with horns to hang on his wall and we were able to make that dream a reality. Please join us in praying for Matthew and the entire Millsaps family as they continue their difficult journey.
Would you or someone you know like to benefit from participating in a Dream Trip?
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