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Cary-based group makes Christmas wish come true for family fighting cancer

December 17, 2018


By Tisha Powell

Andy Spears wants this Christmas to be one his family will always remember. His wish is to spend precious time with his family at the end of what's been a very tough year.

A Wish Creator’s Experience | Jenny Fowle

November 19, 2018

I went to my first Bucket Bash, Fill Your Bucket List Foundation’s annual fundraiser, with a friend a couple of years ago. I was not sure what to expect and, to be honest, I was dreading it a bit. I was sure I would leave the evening feeling down, exhausted by an evening focused on cancer.

As it turns out, I experienced the exact opposite. The whole evening, and organization, left me feeling uplifted and hopeful. I had just started to explore my next steps after leaving my job in teaching to stay home with my son the prior year. After hearing from an incredible wish recipient, Nicole, I immediately knew where I was supposed to go next. I knew I had to be involved.

That evening, my husband and I joined on to become Wish Creators. Since then, we have planned wishes for six recipients and it has been such a blessing to get to know each one personally.

ABC7 Denver's coverage of Ethan's Wish Granted by Cary Kildaire Rotary

September 09, 2018

ABC 7 in Denver covered Ethan's wish including live interviews with Ethan and wife, Tia. As part of the wish, Ethan and Tia attended the Denver Broncos home opener versus the Seattle Seahawks, which the Broncos won 27-24. According to Tia, the Broncos were going to win because "the ultimate fighter," Ethan, was in the stadium. Check it out, beginning around the 2:00 minute mark.

Ethans' wish was made possible by Wish Creators from the Cary Kildaire Rotary Club. The Club participated in Fill Your Bucket List Foundation's "Fund It & Fill It" wish sponsor program. Learn more.

SAS Women's Initiative Network Grants Wish to Employee's Mom

August 23, 2018

The Women's Initiative Network (WIN) from SAS Software surprised Rhonda, mother of SAS employee Portia, by letting her know her wish for a beach vacation is coming true! Rhonda thought she was visiting her daughter at work but she had no idea what was in store. Board member Lisa Grimes and Founder Peggy Gibson Carroll joined in the fun too. THANK YOU to the SAS team for their incredible service as Wish Creators!


SAS Software's Lisa Neal said the following about the wish experience:

SAS WIN recently partnered with Fill Your Bucket List Foundation to provide an all-expense paid “wish” for the mother of SAS’s Portia Porter. After Portia’s story was seen on, Michelle Proctor and Mandy Chambers reached out to the founder of the Fill Your Bucket List Foundation, Peggy Gibson-Carroll, to see how WIN could fulfill the wish for Portia’s Mom, Rhonda Parker. With the help of the foundation and a group of SAS WIN members, we leveraged our network and put together a four day vacation to Myrtle Beach for Portia’s parents. It included a stay at an oceanfront condo, a fun-filled night to see a show in Myrtle Beach, and gift cards for dinners and lunches out!
SAS WIN became familiar with The Fill Your Bucket List Foundation during the National Women’s Day Celebration back in March when the featured speakers, Paula Brown and Lisa Grimes, authors of “Remember Who You Are” included Peggy Gibson-Carroll as part of their inspirational talk. Peggy talked about why giving back is so important to her and why she formed the foundation which fulfills wishes to adults that have been affected by cancer. Several of us in the audience that day already knew of the good work the Foundation was doing, but we never thought that through that event, we would be able to grant a wish for a member of the SAS Family.
Peggy inspired Tammy to volunteer with the foundation as a wish creator. A wish creator works with chosen families to learn about their wish details in order to arrange everything to make the wish a reality. Tammy organized all of the logistical details, requested activities, and special touches to the gift. Once the planning was complete, the gift was presented to the family by Tammy and the rest of SAS WIN Members. The foundation continues their support by keeping in touch with the recipient and their family during their trip to ensure everything goes smoothly. A family member being diagnosed with cancer impacts the entire family. These wish fulfillments provide a much needed rest from the rigors of continually fighting illness.

Thanks to the following for making this wish come true: Fill Your Bucket List Foundation, Michelle Proctor, Mandy Chambers, Tammy Peasants-Merritt, Cynthia Rowe, Mary Jones, Caitlin Cook, Lisa Neal, and Jane Booth. Making this wish come true was simple thanks to everyone’s time and talents! We held a “reveal” event at SAS’s building C during lunch one afternoon. The surprise began when Rhonda joined Portia for lunch at SAS the Thursday before Portia was getting married! Rhonda was so surprised and overwhelmed with the generosity of the donation.

Fill Your Bucket List Recipients

April 25, 2017

Fill Your Bucket List Recipients Nicole, Van, and Richard share what their wish meant to them and their loved ones and why the Foundation should keep granting wishes.

ABC 11 News

April 20, 2017

WTVD News Channel 11's Tisha Powell shares Nicole's story and helps spread the word about Bucket Bash 2017. Learn more about Nicole's cancer journey, why she chose Atlanta for her wish, and what the experience meant to her family.

The News & Observer

April 17, 2017

Bucket Bash Celebrates Food While Helping Adult Cancer Patients

The Fill Your Bucket List Foundation’s annual Bucket Bash on April 22 will feature a chef-inspired menu while attendees raise money for the organization that helps adult cancer patients.

The News & Observer

March 15, 2017

Fighting Cancer, Raising Awareness

When I last talked to Nicole Armstrong, hers was one of six black families being honored for its strength.

She said then, “Our family motto is, ‘If we can help someone along the way, then our living is not in vain.’ ”


March 06, 2017

Teen Granted Bucket List Wish

David Owens, an 18 year old who is battling cancer, was granted his bucket list wish last week by a team of volunteers. David will have the opportunity to go to Niagara Falls thanks to the Fill Your Bucket List Foundation.

Live Your Best Life. A Colon Cancer Alliance Blog

March 05, 2017

Nicole Armstrong’s Stage IV Story

North Carolina native Nicole Armstrong was only 42 when doctors diagnosed her with stage IV colon cancer. Now, after a recurrence last year, Nicole is an advocate who shines her light by letting others know they can still live their lives to the fullest after a stage IV diagnosis.

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