Filling buckets: Cary woman starts foundation to help adult cancer patients
Posted March 27, 2015
Cary, N.C. — The Make-A-Wish Foundation has made national and international headlines for helping children who are battling cancer, but a Cary woman is taking the same concept and applying it to adults fighting for their lives.
Peggy Carroll started Fill Your Bucket List in August with one mission – to give a dream vacation to adults with cancer.
Carroll got the idea for her foundation from her father, who died of cancer.
"He wrote everything down, and we did his bucket list within a couple of months," she said. "And as soon as his last item was checked off, which was seeing my kids band competition at Athens Drive High School, he died the next day."
Garner resident James Byers recently escaped his financial, emotional and physical burdens for a five-day family vacation to Disney World.
"I didn't know that many people knew me or cared about me that much, and it just warms your heart," Byers said.
The trip Carroll planned for the Byers family, which included a chance to swim with dolphins and enjoy intimate family dinners, was like "healing medicine," Byers, who has been fighting cancer for about 17 months, said.
"Her team that she has working with her was phenomenal," he said. "My family means that much to me that I'm going to continue to fight to be here as long as the good Lord will let me."
Byers' wife, Rebecca, agreed that the family's trip was just what they needed.
"They were just so in tune with what our family wanted. It couldn't have been any more perfect," she said. "No stresses whatsoever. The trip just landed right in your lap. There was no worrying about the trip."
The Byers family and others will help the foundation raise money on March 29 during the nonprofit's Bucket Bash auction-style fundraiser and dance. Carroll says Blue Cross and Blue Shield and Geico have agreed to sponsor the event, and the foundation is already planning its third gift, which will go to a single mother.
"My dream would be that one day we could have statewide chapters, chapters in every state and to be able to do this daily," she said.