As a fundraising coach at GiveForward, I have the honor of interacting closely with families navigating medical crises. Some of the most inspiring and heartbreaking fundraisers on the site are those involving bucket lists. A bucket list involves an individual brainstorming lists of worldly wishes to fulfill before he or she passes away.
Whether you know someone facing a terminal diagnosis or not, bucket lists remind us to make the most of our days and follow our dreams. Here are a few examples of fundraisers on GiveForward that feature people who optimistically face uncertainty with creative bucket lists:
Zienia Cabrera is a 33-year-old wife, mother of two, and self-proclaimed dreamer. Her two-year battle with breast cancer unfortunately advanced into a terminal diagnosis last fall, but, according to her friend Misty, she “remains as beautiful and as vibrant as the flower for which she is named.” Among the catalog of Zienia’s dreams are a backpacking through Europe, going to see The Ellen Show, and owning a Chanel purse.
Peter Bloom married the love of his life, Susan, last year. A few short months later, Peter’s doctor diagnosed him with ALS/Lou Gehrig’s Disease – a disease that has no effective treatment or cure. Although ALS has quickly altered his basic abilities, Peter is determined to take his wife on their dream honeymoon to Alaska. His fundraiser begs the important question raised by bucket lists, “What would you do TODAY if you learned that you might not have a TOMORROW?”
Ethan Arbelo is a brave young man who has been battling Anaplastic Astrocytoma for over a year. On April 23rd, 2013, Ethan and his mom, Maria, decided to change his treatment regimen and seek new therapy. This alternative plan came with a caveat: Ethan wants to embark on a cross-country road trip. He and his mom hope to depart in mid/late June; you can read more about their journey and leave Ethan hugs on his fundraising page.
Despite the differences in their personalities and the obstacles they face, Ethan, Peter, and Zienia use bucket lists as ways to face the days ahead. Like others fundraising on GiveForward, these remarkable people emphasize joy over fear in their lives.