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No joy is greater felt than that of a child’s laughter while enjoying catching a fish. If that child has been diagnosed with a life-threatening disease, the child’s laughter increases the joy tenfold. This is the reason members of “The Wish to Fish Foundation” feel blessed with each wish we grant.
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One of the greatest blessings in life is being able to fulfill a child’s wish. Being able to grant a child’s wish that has been diagnosed with a life threatening disease or illness by far surpasses that in leaps and bounds. The smile on the child and parents’ faces when this is accomplished is perhaps the most gratifying experience there is in life. This is an exalted experience shared by the directors, volunteers, and sponsors of “The Wish To Fish Foundation” with each wish that is granted. On November 1, 2008, “The Wish To Fish Foundation” granted just such a wish for Andrew Petrea along with his parents Michael and Misty.
September 16, 2006 at the age of 3, Andrew Petrea was diagnosed with an Ependymoma brain tumor. After his diagnosis Andrew had 2 major brain surgeries, 2 different kinds of radiation, and chemotherapy. In August of 2007, Andrew had an MRI that showed the tumor had come back and spread in his brain as well as his spine. He has since been on several different kinds of chemotherapy and additional radiation to his spine.
Andrew’s wish was to do some catfishing with his dad which they had not been able to do for some time. Not being much of a cat man myself I figured it was time to call in an expert. One call to Stan Kuhn’s Catfish Guide Services here on Lake Fork and we were set for Andrew’s wish to come true. Stan had a first day of the season duck hunt planned but when he heard what we needed him for he changed all plans to volunteer.
The family arrived at 10 p.m. on Friday to stay in a most comfortable room sponsored by Lighthouse Resort and full of presents for Andrew. These included a superhero poster from my son Chad and the crew on the Celtic Sea, along with t-shirts, caps, sunglasses, fishing equipment and lures, snacks, candy and beverages furnished by our sponsors at Wave Fishing, Fisherman’s One Stop, and Froggy D’s.
The day began early with the directors and Stan Kuhn arriving to have breakfast with the family provided by Lighthouse Resort. It began with a big smile from Andrew when he was served his Mickey Mouse pancake. After being bid a great day fishing by owners Bobby and Paula, it was time to do some fishing.
It didn’t take long for Mr. Kuhn to put Andrew on some good fish. He needed a little assistance boating some of the bigger catfish but I do believe he caught the most that day. There was added excitement during the trip watching the jugs. One of the directors Kenneth (Gator) Jones was unable to make the trip but he lent us some of his “Jugs by Bert”. These styrofoam jugs are cylinder shaped and flat and when a fish strikes them they flip over to show the red side up. When Andrew wasn’t putting all his efforts into catching fish under the expert tutelage of Stan, he was keeping a watchful eye for a red alert on the jugs.
Lunch for the trip was furnished by our great sponsors Kenny and Becky Moser at Moser’s Restaurant. Kenny and Becky took time from their busy schedule to visit with Andrew and wish him their best.
The afternoon was filled with more fish catching experiences for Andrew with Stan Kuhn taking him to all his hot spots. Andrew was able to fish until he was worn out. His trip had 23 nice catfish put in the boat of which with the assistance of Stan and the directors were all filleted, bagged and iced down for the family to take home and have a nice fish fry or two.
The day was concluded with a special buffet dinner attended also by the director’s wives sponsored by Andy and Carolyn Johnson at A.J.’s Fish House.
Andrew, as with all the children we meet while granting wishes definitely captured all of our hearts and joins the ranks of “Bubba’s Kids”. Children’s smiles are such a precious heart warming commodity in life and “The Wish To Fish Foundation” is just happy we can create and share these. To all of our many sponsors, we thank you for sharing these smiles with us.
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