VENICE, La. (WAFB) - Drew Chadwick has been dreaming of tuna fish for more than a year.
“We’ve never done anything more than just a little bit of inland bass fishing back home,” Curt Chadwick, of Higganum, Connecticut explains.
Drew, his dad Curt, and his grandfather are more than 25 miles south of the mouth of the Mississippi River with Paradise Outfitters.
Reeling in a 40-pound tuna is something curt never thought he’d watch eleven-year-old Drew do.
“They told us he would never walk. He would never talk,” Curt explained.
Drew was born with cerebral palsy and even before he entered the world, he had a stroke.
“The first week was pretty rough. We spent a week in ICU. He was having seizures and that was really tough,” Curt said.
You’d hardly know it, watching him now.
“When he hooked up on his first fish, he’s just grinning from ear to ear,” said John Graham, who helped organize the trip.
He’s part of the Hunt of a Lifetime Foundation, a group that sends kids and young adults with life-threatening illnesses on their dream trip.
“Those moments -- him cranking on that fish makes everything we do worthwhile,” John said.
A total of 14 tuna were caught during the 12-hour fishing trip. The family had so much fresh tuna they had to ship it all home to Connecticut.
The Hunt of a Lifetime Foundation was able to provide Drew and his family with this vacation due to donations from various donors including Southern Way Charters Lodge, Paradise Outfitters, Venice Marina, and Southern Hooker Fishing Charters.
John says the foundation helps children with life-threatening illnesses from Louisiana but most of them prefer to hunt big game animals, like deer and moose, out of state.
If you would like to make a donation to the Hunt of a Lifetime Foundation visit their website: https://huntofalifetime.org/.