Cast, reel, nibble, tug, fight and then pose for the catch of the day picture. This is a routine that Caleb knows like the back of this hand.
Caleb is an outgoing and expressive 18-year-old from Downers Grove. In his free time, Caleb likes to check out cool cars and enjoys sports; especially hockey. Caleb was diagnosed with Leukemia in early 2014. Through his treatment at Loyola University Medical Center he was referred to Make-A-Wish. That was when Caleb decided he wanted to wish for a trip to the wildest state in the country, Alaska.
This summer, Caleb and his family departed for the Alaskan frontier. When they finally landed in Alaska, Caleb and his family settled in and got prepared for all of the activities that were planned for them. Deep sea charter fishing, a wild life tour that included humped back whale, bald eagle and orca whale sightings and a tour of a glacier were just a few of the things on the list.
“It was so awesome to see the whales and how active they were,” Caleb shared. “It was definitely one of my favorite parts of the trip.”
One highlight was visiting a local river during the salmon run. Caleb learned how to fly fish and after a little practice, he became a natural.
“It was hard at first, but once I was able to figure it out fly fishing became my favorite part of my wish,” Caleb reported. “It was the first time since I got sick that I actually felt normal again. I was able to forget about everything and just let go.”
The trip ended with one last surprise for Caleb; his first ever helicopter ride up to a huge glacier to dog sled. “It was something that I really wanted to do on the trip, and I thought we wouldn’t be able to do it, but they surprised me with it at the end!”
“My wish was so important to me because, when I was in bed feeling sick, it gave my family and I something to look forward to. Whenever I thought about my wish all I could do was smile from ear to ear.”