Inside WRAL

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:



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  • dginyard2003 May 6, 2013

    Autumn you are absolutely awesome! I love your courage and pray that God will grant you all the desires of your heart. My husband and I saw your story and was inspired by your courage and determination. We will be praying for you, your family and others who are apart of your health team. Thank you for giving us the chance to hear and see your story. I love that song that you sang because its also one of my favorite and "I don't believe that he (God) brought you or me this far to leave me nor you". We love you with the love of Jesus! David&Annie

  • adriennels May 6, 2013

    Just saw her story and she made me cry! Her story is inspiring to others and the song she sang just touched my heart! I pray that she will continue to fight...the world truly needs more people like her. God bless you Autumn!

  • antoniasmith616 May 5, 2013

    Autumn is such an inspiration she went to my school and always had a smile on her face.

  • karenlgunter May 4, 2013

    Hi Autumn, this is your cousin from Rocky Mount. You show a lot of people that they take life for granted and complain when they should be happy. I admire your courage and strength through this whole ordeal and I will continue to keep you in my thoughts and prayers. Much Love, Kisha

  • outhousecat May 3, 2013

    I disagree with this. Every kid should have a bucket list. The way our world is today, nobody knows if there will be a tomorrow or not. Kids are scared. A bucket list says "yes, there will be a tomorrow and I will be a part of it."

    And some of the things I did as a kid are no longer available. Kids (and adults) need to take advantage of every opportunity to see or do something new. It might be their only chance.

    Autumn, I'm praying for you girl. Be strong. I hope you make that bucket list come true, and have to start another one.

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