When Ron Boyd was told he has six months left to live, he had never touched the ocean. A 54-year-old fishing enthusiast and resident of Arlington, Arizona, Boyd wrote this in a letter to the Dream Foundation: “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. 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.” On Tuesday, March 13, Boyd got his wish.
The Santa Barbara-based Dream Foundation is a national wish-granting organization for adults suffering life-threatening illnesses. Its staff and supporters, including the Schulte family, Robin Himovitz, and Mary Wakefield, will host Boyd and his caregiver this week. In addition to the fishing expedition aboard the Stardust Sportfishing boat, they will convene at Dos Pueblos Ranch on Wednesday where they will enjoy a 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.
The fulfillment of Boyd’s dream comes amid considerable hardship for him. His advanced-stage pulmonary disease has prevented him from working for more than two years, limiting his finances and restricting his independence. Boyd recently moved in with his caregiver and is now receiving hospice care, and he says this one last fishing hurrah helps keep his spirits up.
“As an organization, we are proud of the national scope of our service,” the Dream Foundation’s director of communications, Erinn Lynch, said. “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 area supporters, including the Eagle Inn, Chuck’s Steak House, and Land and Sea Tours, contributed to Boyd’s dream. Last week, reality TV star Kim Kardashian donated $200,000 to the Dream Foundation, twice the value of the gifts she received during her much-publicized Montecito wedding.