We cannot express enough in words what the Outdoor Dream Foundation has done for my son, Alexander Sarsfield. This organization has incredible giving people that change the lives of critically ill children. Alexander has been extremely sick for six years and is currently hoping to get well enough for a stem cell transplant. We were fortunate to learn about the Outdoor Dream Foundation two years ago. ODF paid for an all expense trip to Canada for my son (and his father) to kill a Black Bear. What an awesome experience he had that most healthy kids are not able to do. Finally my son was able to do something that made him feel normal. The Outdoor Dream guys made everything so easy and made any accommodation Alexander needed for him to be able to make this trip. He quickly bonded with the ODF men and still stays in contact with them. I have not seen my child laugh or smile that much in 6 years and for the first time I was able to cry tears of joy, instead of tears of pain. He loves to show his mounted bear and pictures off to everyone. He has not been able to attend school for years so getting away like that was a dream come true for him. He enjoyed the men so much that at one of the ODF Auctions he begged my father to bid on and win a trip again with one of them to hunt wild pigs. Again, the trip was awesome and my son came back beaming with pictures of a 260 lb Hog! This organization didn’t stop there and Alexander is getting ready to go on a fishing trip with the Clemson Tigers Basketball team this summer. I can’t thank everyone enough for all the wonderful memories that they have given our son and the lasting friendships. What a Blessing…
Randy and Shelley Mahan
My son Brandon Brawdy became involved with the Outdoor Dream Foundation shortly after being diagnosed with a very rare childhood cancer at the age of 14. When Brandon was first diagnosed he spent 22 days in the hospital undergoing 2 surgeries and many treatments. The type of cancer he had was DSRCT to which the prognosis was very bleak and they expected him to only be able to fight it for 2 or 3 months. As one could imagine it was very tough for our family and Brandon at the time.
Shortly after being released from the hospital the first time, we had received a phone call from Brad Jones from the ODF as we had filled out an application during his 22 day stay. Brad had asked me if I thought Brandon would be feeling up to going on a fishing trip. After thinking about it for a few days Brad had called back and I thought it would be a great idea. Brandon had been very depressed and confused as any 14 yr old would be that was fighting cancer. About 2 weeks later Brad had sent Brandon, my wife Teri and myself deep sea fishing off the coast of Florida. Immediately I began to see a change in Brandon. On that fishing trip not only had Brandon started opening up to me again but I saw something that I had not seen in months and that was a smile on his face. It was as if he had forgotten all about the monster he was fighting and began to enjoy life once again. By the time that trip was over Brandon had a total different outlook on life. Almost overnight Brandon had turned into a fighter. That one trip had given us many more months with our son.
Brandon went on to fight the cancer he had for 1 year and 7 months, far surpassing the doctor’s expectations. If Brandon wasn’t in the hospital for his chemo or radiation treatments he and myself were off with the ODF either fishing, alligator or wild pig hunting in Georgetown SC, deer hunting in Smoaks SC, Georgia and North Carolina, duck hunting in Arkansas or hunting and fishing locally. These outings are what kept Brandon focused and kept his head in the game, but most of all kept a smile on his face and in his heart. Whenever someone would ask him about one of his outings with the ODF he would just light up talking about it.
People ask me still today what did the Outdoor Dream Foundation do for Teri and myself and all I can say is they gave us our son back and gave him a reason to keep fighting until his body just couldn’t fight the monster in him anymore. For this, we will always be grateful to the Outdoor Dream Foundation…