For Beth Balthazor, the key to facing a grim diagnosis is a positive attitude.
The lifelong Anacortes resident began receiving treatment for metastatic lung cancer at Merle Cancer Center at Island Hospital about 14 months ago. She’s faced the entire process with a positive outlook, she said.
Staying positive got a little easier recently.
The Dream Foundation awarded her and her partner Martin Monahana a free trip to Disneyland.
Alma has been struggling with health issues for many years. In 2008, she received two operations due to degenerative arthritis and in 2012 underwent a procedure to remove a large tumor. When she received her diagnosis of ovarian cancer, she was terrified. Nevertheless, she decided to be brave and fight for her health and try to stay optimistic in her circumstances; she recently received her ninth treatment for the recurrence of a tumor. Because of financial setbacks due to medical bills, Alma has postponed her dream of receiving a dental treatment and eye exam. Improving her dental health is very important to her, as she told us, “I figured all I have left in life is to please people with my smile.” Granting Alma her wish of sight and a smile will certainly improve her quality of life.
Yvette and her husband bought a motor home and for years wanted to drive across the country to visit friends and family. They traveled once to West Virginia but after her husband’s health declined, their plans for taking trips together ceased. Her husband passed away last January, but she continues to regularly reminisce about that one trip the two of them had been able to take. Now, at 71-years-old, Yvette dreams of traveling cross-country with her daughter and son-in-law to continue the adventures she and her husband had planned. She dreams to see Arkansas, South Dakota, North Dakota and finally West Virginia—reuniting with both friends and family alike. “All I want to do is go visit everyone,” Yvette says. “I want to feel their hugs and kisses.” Her dream will allow her to honor her husband’s memory while touring the country to say goodbye to those she loves.
James, 50-years-old, is diagnosed with a terminal brain tumor. His dream is to invite friends and family to his hospice residence to help him celebrate his birthday. The festive occasion will give James hope and something fun to look forward to. It will also allow him to reunite with those he loves, affording them the opportunity to see him happy and carefree before they say their final goodbyes.
Santa Barbara, California (CNN) — I first heard of Dream Foundation in 1997 when the charity requested a visit to Graceland for a dream recipient. After the visit, I received a thank-you note and photo of the dreamer in front of the Graceland gates. I was moved by her experience and decided I wanted to get more involved, so I picked up the phone to find out more about the foundation. I was absolutely mesmerized and instantly attached to their unique mission of granting wishes to adults with terminal illnesses.
When I was asked to be an ambassador and spokeswoman for the charity, I couldn’t say yes fast enough. How could I turn down such a great cause? I’ve been honored to travel and represent the organization across the country at special events and corporate meetings, as well as in public service announcements, television and print interviews.