SHREVEPORT, La. -- Almost all of us remember the very first time we went fishing. And that’s exactly what a group of patients from Shriners Hospital for Children did -- created lifetime memories.
The non-profit Dream Hunt Foundation took orthopedic patients to the lake and had a fishing trip they’ll never forget. Most of them are from Panama, and for some, it was their first time fishing. But they enjoyed every second of it, even the smelly parts.
“It smells funny," said Celideth, one of the patients.
Shriners Hospital partnered with Dream Hunt Foundation, a nonprofit that exists so that children and teens with disabilities, terminal illnesses, or those considered disadvantaged, have the chance to participate in a guided hunting or fishing trip. For the founder, Jeff Warren, seeing the kids’ eyes light up while trying something new, makes it all worth it.
“One cool thing about this trip is that these kids were literally checked out of the hospital to come out here, outdoors, and enjoy this awesome beautiful day," said Warren.
The kids’ smiles are evidence they enjoyed being outdoors by the lake.
“I like fishing, it was fun but the fish smell funny," said Luis, a patient.
Tommie Hazen, the hospital's child life manager, says it’s important for the patients to get out of the hospital. Trips like these help Shriners staff members monitor their mobility and their recovery.
“I think at the end of the day, fishing with them at this beautiful spot we are building memories and these are things that the children will never forget," said Hazen.
For these kids, the real catch was the memories they reeled in.
Dream Hunt is always looking for volunteers and donations. To find out more about this nonprofit or to lend a helping hand, visit Dream Hunt.