AUMSVILLE, Ore. (KOIN) — Brad Jeffers and his wife Fawnda will soon be at a luau in Hawaii. He wants to swim with turtles and walk hand-in-hand on the beach with her.
“I’ve always wanted to go to Hawaii since I watched it on ‘The Brady Bunch’ when I was a kid,” Jeffers told KOIN 6 News. “When we got married she said, ‘I always wanted to go to Hawaii,’ so I said, ‘Well, I’ll take you there.'”
Kids and work took precedent in their lives. They always thought they had time after kids and grandkids to make that dream happen.
But Brad, 45, was diagnosed with terminal cancer in September 2015.
“About a week ago they said I have about 4 weeks,” he said. “But I’m a very religious person, so I believe when God says it’s my time, it’s my time.”
He and Fawnda will leave for their dream vacation in Hawaii on Thursday, 5 days and 4 nights made possible through the Dream Foundation.
“This organization pulled this whole thing together within days,” he said.
Dream Foundation is similar to Make-a-Wish in that it grants terminally ill people their final wish. Dream Foundation focuses on adults and their families and makes their final dreams happen through donations and corporate sponsorships.
In 20 years, Dream Foundation organizers said they have never turned down a qualified adult.
Those 5 days will “give us our time we need,” he said. “We’ve dedicated our whole life to raising our (4) kids and our (soon-to-be 12) grandkids. … Anybody will tell you my kids were always Number One on our list.”
He credits his wife, kids, family, friends and God for keeping him going.
“I have smaller cell carcinoma of the upper palate, which is a lung cancer that developed in the roof of my mouth,” he said. “One in, like, 4 million get my cancer.”
The rare and aggressive cancer spread.
“I’m leaving, going on my next journey, and she’s going to be here to have to crunch and hold the team together,” Brad said of Fawnda. “She’ll do a good job. I know that.”
This vacation — only the second time Brad said he’ll be on an airplane — means the world to him.
“It gives me closure, you know, knowing I’ve done everything I can for her.”