I was in the hospital battling cancer when my doctor came into the room and asked me, “If I had one wish that could be granted to me by the Make-a-Wish foundation what would it be?” I immediately knew the answer. I learned how to fish by watching The Spanish Fly and had always wished that I could fish with the man who shared my respect of marine life.
I was one year into treatment and in the hospital when I received a phone call from Jose. I was on top of the world just hearing that distinctive voice but when he asked me if I could join him for a week of fishing in the Keys my mission soon became clear. I was not only going to beat cancer but I was going to will myself back to health because I knew I had some really big fish to catch.
Jose stayed in constant contact and never let me forget the mission I had before me. He made multiple calls to me and continuously reminded me that I had to fight the bad days and do what I had to do to get strong. I could hear the excitement in his voice every time we talked. He always talked to me as if he had been looking forward to meeting me for as long as I had been watching him on tv. It was his stories of what I had to look forward to in my trip that would put a smile on my face during the darkest days of my life.
It would be eight months before I was strong enough to make the trip and Jose was on the water at sunrise waiting for me to wake up on the very first morning. I ran down to the dock and was greeted with the words I had wished to hear so desperately, “Hey Bro, let’s go catch some fish.” The day provided much excitement with Jose and I double hooking on the same tarpon. We were in perfect sync as we reeled it in together. That evening Jose joined my family for dinner and shared stories of his childhood with us. We fished for a couple more days and my trip to Key West ended with an invitation to his home where he was so excited to share more of his life with us. This was it, my greatest wish in the world coming true.
Jose shared with me his knowledge of fishing, stories of his life and laughter for four days. He not only made my wish come true but he did it in such a way that I felt that I had become a part of his world also.