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Mary Experiences Freedom in a Hot Air Balloon

Mary, 85, of Tavares, Fl., is a vivacious woman who lives life to the fullest. Although Mary currently struggles with her physical condition, she wishes to challenge herself to achieve a dream she has had for several years. Since Mary first went to a big hot air balloon festival with her husband and son, she had dreamed of the celestial experience of going on a hot air balloon ride.

Mary has always been very goal-oriented and is proud of the little and big accomplishments in her life. Mary worked as a journalist and a substitute teacher and ran a family-owned hardware store with her husband for a living. As a loving mother, she volunteered as a Cub Scout Den Mother and a Girl Scout Troop leader for her children. Throughout her life, Mary has also dedicated countless hours to improving the lives and spending quality time with hospice patients through an organization called Women for Hospice. Now, at her older adult residence, Mary continues to bring joy to her fellow residents.

Mary is a true inspiration at her community. She has peripheral neuropathy, which significantly limits her mobility, yet she keeps an optimistic outlook on life. Despite her physical limitations, Mary is committed to maintaining her mental acuities by participating in activities and classes provided by her residence. With her background in journalism, Mary began a newspaper for her community as the chief reporter. Mary genuinely enjoys giving back to the community in however way she can.

At the age of 85, Mary wished to achieve one more dream in her life: to go on a hot air balloon ride. Finally achieving her dream would give her a sense of freedom and accomplishment, as she is constantly challenged by her physical limitations. Mary’s Wish would inspire others that your dreams can still come true no matter your age.

Thanks to Wish of a Lifetime and SCA/TENA, on May 8th, 2015, Mary’s wish became a reality. Mary finally went for a hot air balloon ride in Mt. Dora, Florida with her long-time friend, Carol. “It was quite the thrill… It’s been over 20 years since I wanted to do this,” Mary said. “It truly was the trip of a lifetime. I can’t believe I really got to do it.”

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