Morgan was an 18-year-old certified nursing assistant when she started getting horrible headaches. Her doctor treated her for migraines until the pain was coupled with blurry, double vision. It was then they found a brain tumor. Two days after her 19th birthday she underwent surgery, and later that night she says she “learned the tumor was multifocal glioblastoma multiforme, the deadliest form of human cancer.” Morgan recently celebrated her 20th birthday, but doctors say her life can now be measured in months or maybe even weeks. Morgan says she and her family try “very hard to make great memories and live each day to the fullest” despite her prognosis. A visit to a New York City would be exactly the type of memory Morgan has dreamt of every day.
James has gone through painfully difficult times lately. After a serious work injury left him unable to continue in his trade, he struggled to find new work in between his many surgeries. Because of the mounting medical bills and infrequent work, he lost his home. Then, in 2010 he was diagnosed with lymphoma. He laments that “after every round of treatment the cancer kept coming back worse and now it’s getting the better of me.” His doctors say he has fewer than six months to live. Now entirely unable to work, James has been staying in a homeless shelter and has had to get rid of most of his belongings. He wasn’t even able to see his father or say goodbye before he passed away last December. James’ final dream is to visit his remaining family and a few childhood friends in Ohio, whom he hasn’t seen in years. Brian’s simple dream is for “a chance to say goodbye to my family.”
Cathelia is 82 years old, but because of her terminal heart disease she fears she won’t see 83. She lives with her daughter in Georgia and they struggle to afford basic living expenses on their fixed incomes. The Georgia heat this summer has taken its toll on Cathelia, and even her social worker says it’s “unbearably hot in their home.” Her entire home is in need of repair, but for Cathelia the main concern is her air conditioner. Unfortunately, there are no funds to repair or replace the unit. Cathelia’s dream is to feel cool air in her home again, to improve the quality of her life and the life of her daughter.
JOPLIN, MO.— At the age of 47, Joplin native John Vincent never expected to be faced with death. The news came the day after Thanksgiving.
“He was starting to have loss of balance. We found out because he was having headaches and he had that for a week, and then on Friday he started vomiting and that’s when we took him in. We thought it was something minor,” said Heather Vincent, John’s wife.
John and his wife, Heather, didn’t expect to hear the worst news of their life. John had a grade four terminal brain tumor, that managed to develop in just three months.
Brian has been a huge San Francisco 49ers fan since the 1980s. Now diagnosed with Huntington’s disease and having received a prognosis of less than one year, he dreams of meeting the team and maybe even getting a signed football. He watches every game possible on TV and listens to the radio for updates on the games that aren’t televised. According to his girlfriend Kim, “he has always wanted to go to a live game” but hasn’t been able to afford it. Kim scrimped and saved enough to buy tickets to an away game close to their Kentucky home, but she knew Brian’s final dream was to meet the team in person. She says, “what would make it truly special and unforgettable is to meet the team so he can feel like one of the 49ers, if just for a day. It would make him feel really wonderful to know that they care for him as he does them. Brian suffers daily with the simplest things, and this opportunity would give him one day to be truly excited and not so defeated by his disease.”