Not About to Let Cancer Win Lois Bird Receives Trip to Alaska from Dream Foundation
On Monday, February 19, 2018 former Truman resident Lois Bird and her family sat together in a hospital room, waiting for the oncologist to deliver the results of a series of tests she had undergone, include a PET scan, mammogram, ultrasound and MRI of her head. It had been a year and a half since her health had become an issue. The minutes ticked by, feeling like hours, as everyone anxiously wondered Is the cancer back?
It was the summer of 2016 when Lois first started battling constant bronchitis and pneumonia-like symptoms. Despite seeking treatment, she just wasn’t getting better. Finally, doctors decided to do further testing to get to the root of the problem. By that fall, Lois had been diagnosed with Stage 3 Lung cancer.
Lois is currently only 56 years young. Seeing the path before her, Lois’ daughters wanted to make sure that their mother was able to live the rest of her life to the fullest. They set out to orchestrate one last vacation for Lois and Tim (a.k.a. T-Bird), her husband, while Lois still had the physical and mental ability to travel.
With the help of the Hospice Team the girls were introduced to the Dream Foundation which serves “terminally-ill adults and their families by providing end-of-life Dreams that offer inspiration, comfort and closure.” (www.dreamfoundation.org/#). With the help of her daughters and hospice team Lois filled out an application for her Dream. The application process involves some financials, but mostly the applicant telling their story and why they should be chosen. Applicants also get to describe two Dream choices.
In August 2018 Lois’ hospice team was thrilled when they got to surprise her with some exciting news for a change. The team gave Lois a gift basket full of items to keep her comfortable on the trip she was about to take to Fairbanks, Alaska.
The Dream Foundation was making her Dream a reality.
From August 28-31, 2018, Lois and T-Bird stayed in the heart of Fairbanks. They were within walking distance of many of the city’s main attractions, and were able to visit local museums, nature areas, the church were Tim was baptized and, of course, they dined on some fine cuisine. The couple said that lots of sightseeing and spending time together made the trip one they will always remember. That, and the hard work Lois’ hospice team and doctors put in to make sure that Lois could make the trip comfortable. Lois is one of the first hospice patients in our area to become a recipient of the Dream Foundation, and her family is forever grateful.