I sure hope Fred Tilbury’s fishing dreams come true. Like most anglers, this young boy is thinking ahead to summer and catching a big fish.
But, unlike most of us, he’ll be fighting for his life in the meantime. I met Fred on Friday (Feb. 1) at St. Helena School in Minneapolis. Fred, a first-grader, was there with his parents, Dave and Naomi, for a fund-raising benefit on his own behalf.
Fred was diagnosed with a brain tumor that is cancerous and inoperable. The news came right before Christmas and stunned both his family and the school. As he started radiation treatments to, hopefully, prolong his life, the family and school came up with the idea to have students, teachers and parents come to the school for a mass head shaving in support of Fred, who wanted to cut his hair off before losing it to the radiation treatments. A story on Fred with a photo will appear in this week’s Catholic Spirit (Feb. 7 edition).
Though the family isn’t sure what lies ahead for Fred, the uncertainty hasn’t kept them from making plans for this summer. They have planned a trip to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area in July for 10 days. It’s a natural idea for a family that likes to get out on the water.
“We go fishing quite a bit,” said Fred’s father, Dave. “We try to get out on the weekends.”
Here’s hoping — and praying — that Fred will have many more fishing trips ahead of him.