Before the story airs: 'No child should have a bucket list'
Posted May 3, 2013
One afternoon during a frustrating day, I stepped out of a WRAL-TV satellite truck to get some fresh air. We were preparing for a live shot from the Old Well on the Carolina campus. A good friend of mine was jogging by, saw me and stopped.
We chatted for a moment. I explained, rather complained about what was going on in my life. He stopped me and said, "Let me tell you about someone else."
My friend is Dr. Ray Barfield. Ray is a pediatric oncologist at Duke University Medical Center. Ray also teaches at Duke Divinity School. "I just left a 15 year old at the hospital. She has a bucket list. No child should have a bucket list."
As Ray told me the story of his patient, not only was I aware my frustration of the day was small, almost meaningless, I realized I had to meet his patient. A few weeks later I did.
The story we're telling is that of Autumn Wright. Beautiful, smart, talented. She's also battling bone cancer at 15. Autumn knows her fight is serious. It's a fight that's taken her through two rounds of chemotherapy, surgeries, and rehab. Through all of this, and more, Autumn hasn't lost of her love life so she's made a list of things she's never done ... and hopes to do.
As she told me, "I just want to live a normal life...and have fun." That's hard to do when you have cancer.
Her smile lights up a room, her beautiful voice stops you in your tracks and her determination is beyond inspiring. You'll meet her Monday at 5 p.m. on WRAL-TV News. When you do, you'll see what I mean. You'll also meet her doctor, Ray Barfield, and her best friend, oncology nurse Anna Wilkins. Both have played significant roles in Autumn's courageous battle.
Join us, and meet Autumn Wright. You'll be glad you turned on your TV. Watch a preview: