Decorated U.S. Army National Guard veteran, Hallock, dreams of being able to make memories with his family at Walt Disney World and other Orlando theme parks. “We have never been and our children ask us constantly. However we are not financially stable enough to do this on our own,” Hallock’s wife Kathleen writes on his behalf. Having endured three deployments to the Middle East, Hallock returned home in 2008 to his wife and son, who is now six. After joining the police force and with the addition of two more children (now ages four and two) to their family, Hallock became symptomatic. At first his doctors thought it to be nothing more than stress and the added weight of his police gear, but two years later he was diagnosed with incurable lymphoma. Hallock and his family have remained hopeful with every treatment and transplant he has survived, even though it has required them to be apart for long periods of time. Unable to stand the separation any longer, Hallock lives at home with his family once again. With a prognosis of fewer than nine months, he has a tremendous will to bring them joy while making memories that will transcend a lifetime.
Suffering from terminal multiple myeloma, a cancer that affects white blood cells, 57-year-old Karlina dreams of creating wonderful memories with her grandchildren. Having raised her two children as a single mother, Karlina and her kids have a special bond. Even now that her son and daughter are each married with children of their own, their bond is maintained and has extended to her grandchildren. “My family is my world and what has kept me fighting all this time,” Karlina says. “I am blessed to see my grandkids everyday.” With limited resources due to mounting medical bills, Karlina dreams that taking her grandchildren to SeaWorld and the San Diego Zoo will allow her and her family to briefly escape the burden of her illness while making everlasting memories together.
Sometimes treasure is not the important part of a journey, it’s the thrill of the search. Diagnosed with terminal lung cancer, 55-year-old Carrie dreams of the ultimate adventure. “I have always wanted to go to Crater of Diamonds State Park in Arkansas so that I can try and find the biggest jewel I possibly can,” she says. “Even if I don’t find a jewel, just the excitement of the experience would be enough to fulfill my dream.” Having raised her grandchildren and great-grandchildren up until her diagnosis, Carrie has never had access to the resources needed to make her dream a reality on her own. With a current prognosis of fewer than nine months, she remains optimistic, hoping to realize her dream.
Diagnosed with terminal liver cancer, 63-year-old Elmer has always wished to see many historic and exciting places within the United States. But recognizing the reality of his prognosis of fewer than six months, Elmer has found one place to be dearest to his heart—the city of New Orleans. “I am totally destroyed with cancer,” he says. “I have it on my liver, kidney and have a mass in the left side of my head.” In spite of his illness’s severity he clings to hope that his dream of visiting the famous Louisianan city will be fulfilled, granting him the momentary escape he greatly needs.
Fighting a losing battle with colon cancer, time is of the essence for 58-year-old Richard. During surgery following his diagnosis in December 2010, Richard’s doctors were unable to remove all of his cancer, rendering the insertion of a permanent port near his heart for chemotherapy as his only option. Now during his third consecutive year of treatment, he has been given fewer than 12 months to live. Although never having been able to travel due to limited resources, Richard still dreams of visiting Washington D.C. “He has always talked about being able to see his congressman in action, the Smithsonian Museum, and the Library of Congress,” Richard’s wife, Ida, writes on his behalf, “Having been actively involved in researching his Native American Heritage, he feels the library will offer more information for him to pass down to his children and grandchildren through a book he is writing.” Optimistic that his wish will soon become a reality, Richard is eager to leave a legacy of ancestral knowledge for his loved ones.