There is no place Hib would rather be than on his skis, carving through the snow with invigorating wind nipping at his face. When this teenager faced a series of difficult health challenges, his wish to ski Jackson Hole in Wyoming was just the inspiration he needed to persevere.
A competitive skier, Hib’s medical complications began with a skiing accident in which he suffered a fractured pelvis and torn ACL. While being treated in the emergency room, doctors made the startling discovery that Hib had acute myeloid leukemia. Hib faced many unknowns during six months of hospitalization to treat his cancer and was devastated to realize he might miss the following year’s ski season. Wanting nothing more than to be back on the slopes, the anticipation of his wish trip helped Hib steadily regain strength after his treatment ended. He underwent knee surgery and was overjoyed to learn he had healed enough to safely embark on his wish.
Hib found himself in a skier’s paradise in Jackson Hole. Slopeside accommodations made it easy to savor long days on the trails and the challenging terrain offered plenty of "steeps and deeps." A blizzard brought a memorable day navigating several feet of fresh powder.
During a gondola ride up the mountain one evening, Hib and his family looked out over the valley at the spectacular sunset and caught a glimpse of the Sleeping Indian. The last mountaintop to hold the fading sun’s glow, the rock formation looks like a Native American warrior resting on his back when the light hits it just so. The amazing sight remains a meaningful memory for everyone.
Hib’s snow-filled wish put him back on his feet and marked a turning point in his recovery. Amidst exhilarating runs on the slopes, he rediscovered his fondest activity and regained his confidence and zeal for life!
Photo: Hib and his mother, Michon
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