Kelli Putz is busy living her life to the fullest, checking off her bucket list.
But she also wants to stop for a moment and thank a few very special people who helped make a dream come true on the weekend.
Putz’s friend Don Froese had helped her out before, organizing a weight lifting fundraising event when she was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2005. Now, that cancer has moved into her hip, and has stepped up to help her in another way.
“He always knew I wanted to go on a helicopter ride,” Putz said. “Mt. Cheam is right outside my window and I look at it every day.”
She found out last week that Froese had set up a mountain view ride for her with Ray Goulding at Highland Helicopters. And on Sunday, she and her husband Ian were treated to a trip all around the area.
It was the experience of a lifetime, she said, exploring the wilderness from a different point of view. Camping, fishing and hiking are some of Putz’s favourite recreational activities. Now, she’s getting around with the help of a walking stick.
She’s finished her radiation once again, and is starting new therapy soon. While the cancer in her hip is not terminal, it’s also not curable.
Despite all of that, she’s not done checking off her list. She wants to travel to Ireland, Scotland and even take in a river cruise.
“I would love to go hunting,” she said, something she’s never tried, although she’s handy with a rifle.
“And you know, I’ve been fishing so many times and I’ve never caught a fish.”