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Dream Foundation Fulfills Arizona Man’s Final Wish for Ocean Fishing Trip in Santa Barbara

Local organization and its partners host Rob Boyd as he heads out to sea for the first time

The Dream Foundation, the first and largest national wish-granting organization for adults and their families suffering life-threatening illness, will fulfill fishing enthusiast Rob Boyd’s final wish for a first-ever ocean fishing trip and several days of sea-theme activities.

At noon Wednesday, Boyd and his caregiver will be hosted by local Dream Foundation staff and supporters — including the Schulte family, Robin Himovitz and Mary Wakefield — at the private Dos Pueblos Ranch, where they’ll enjoy personal tour of a halibut and abalone farm, and dine on ranch-fresh seafood and avocados prepared on site by professional chef Jason Banks, who is donating his time.

This event was preceded by a deep-sea fishing excursion Tuesday aboard the Stardust Sportfishing boat.

With a prognosis of less than six months because of advanced-stage COPD, Boyd, a 54-year-old resident of Arlington, Ariz., and lifelong lake fisherman, had one final item to check off his bucket list.

“I have always wanted to go fishing in the ocean, catch the biggest fish ever, then take it home and eat it. However, I have never been financially able to do it,” he wrote in a letter to the Dream Foundation. “Now I have this illness, and I am not even able to go to the local lakes and fish. It makes me sad. To be able to take this trip would make me the happiest man ever.” (The lakes near Boyd’s home are not wheelchair accessible.)

The fulfillment of his dream comes amid considerable hardship. His steadily declining health has prevented him from working for more than two years, and his limited finances have restricted his independence. To make ends meet, Boyd recently moved in with his caregiver. He is now receiving hospice care. He says his dream for one final fishing hurrah helps keep his spirits up.

“As an organization, we are proud of the national scope of our service,” said Erinn Lynch, the Dream Foundation’s director of communications. “Still, it’s our local roots, local partners and local supporters who continue to guide, shape and inspire our service. As evident in Ron’s dream, our Santa Barbara supporters set a beautiful standard of how to rally around a final wish.”

Other local supporters, including the Eagle Inn, Chuck’s Steak House, and Land and Sea Tours, contributed to this dream.

Founded in 1994, the mission of Dream Foundation is to enhance the quality of life for individuals and their families battling life-threatening illness. Dream recipients are age 18 or older and have been given a limited prognosis of a year or less. Dreams range from basic needs items, such as a comfortable chair in which to rest, to family vacations with children. With more than 2,000 anticipated dream requests for 2012, the Dream Foundation relies on donations of cash, airline miles and other resources to make dreams come true. The Dream Foundation maintains a 4-star rating by Charity Navigator.

To make a donation or for more information about the Dream Foundation, click here or call 805.564.2131.

— Erinn Lynch is the director of communications for the Dream Foundation.

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