On January 11th 2012 Bradley was diagnosed with stage 3 testicular cancer. He was admitted to the Duke Children’s Hospital and underwent 2 surgeries and 4 months of compact chemotherapy treatments. During the last stages of the treatment his doctor approached him about the Make a Wish Foundation. After much thought, he decided on a deep sea fishing trip in the Florida Keys. Make A Wish contacted the Jose Wejebe Spanish Fly Memorial Foundation to start planning his wish.
Bradley later wrote our foundation a letter reflecting back on his trip. “When we got to the house late at night we weren’t expecting much, we were in for a surprise. Arriving at the house we were greeted by Krissy Wejebe. After she showed us around and we got settled she took us to the living room and we saw 4 huge duffel bags.” Jose’s sponsors always go the extra mile to make sure our wish recipients get a little something special. “We were thoroughly surprised. Inside there were tons of Under Armor, Shimano and Deep Ocean apparel, including four pairs of Costa sunglasses. This was a surprise to all of us and I just wanted to thank all of the companies who sponsored us on the trip.”
Robert Trosset Sr (or RT) was their guide for the fishing trip, but his two sons also have careers in the marine industry. His oldest son Robert runs a dive shop above the Hurricane Hole marina and generously donated a snorkeling trip for Bradley and his family. With masks, and fins fitted for the whole family we departed for a beautiful day on the reef.
Bradley’s sister persuaded myself to go snorkeling with the family so I could show them the various fish on the reef. I pointed out some parrotfish, yellow tail snapper, sergeant majors, and the invasive lionfish. We were also surprised when a pretty big black tip shark swam by. Bradley’s sister took off, but I remembered back to something that Jose told me “If we respected his space, he will respect ours.”
“The next day was when the real fun began; we met our captain “RT” and his deckhand Jared and set off on two exciting days of deep sea fishing.” The forecast for the first day called for calm seas. RT posted up behind a shrimp boat and asked the shrimpers for some trash fish. As soon as we started chumming, lemon sharks were waiting patiently for our catch.
Bradley hooked one shark that RT and Jared brought onto the boat so the family could get a closer look. When the shark was on the boat, putting up quite a fight, he got a hold of RT’s saltwater hose, and bit right through it. They carefully opened the shark’s mouth, and brought him close to the family to show them some of the shark’s anatomy. They all got to feel the shark’s sandpaper skin, got a picture, and released him safely back to the water. Bonito and black fin tunas were caught right after another, but they had to reel them in fast before the sharks got a taste of them. A long day of fishing made for some hungry bellies, so after coming back to the marina Hurricane Hole cooked their catch. Bradley and his family said it was some of the best seafood they had ever had.
The wind picked up, so the next day they fished in Key West Harbor. Bradley and his family hooked up a few tarpon, and Bradley landed one,
making it “biggest fish I’ve ever seen, a 150 pound Tarpon, and it put up one heck of a fight.” We headed in, and the whole crew met up at the Square Grouper for a delicious farewell meal.
“I also wanted to thank “RT” and Jared for the two best days of fishing I’ve ever had. This was the best trip of my life, the combination of the environment, the people and the fun I had will make me never forget this vacation. I just wanted to personally say thank you to Krissy for all the hard work she put into making this trip what it was.”