Carolina, 18 years old, was diagnosed in 2016 with Leukemia and battled it for a couple of years. She was in remission for only two months before she had a recurrence. Following her treatments, she was cancer-free in February 2020. Then her mother, Sylvia, was diagnosed with breast cancer four months later, and Carolina had a third recurrence the following month.
Carolina expressed, “It was just as hard when my mom came down with breast cancer as when I got diagnosed. It was hard for everybody, but I knew we would be okay because we had already been through it. It might have been just a little different, but we had each other’s back as we always do, and we all got through it. I had chemo on Mondays, and my mom had chemo on Tuesdays. Sometimes our appointments would overlap, so luckily, our doctors were right across the street from each other.”
Sylvia said, “We had each other, and now I know what she was going through, and she knew what I was going through. We had different cancers, but she and I had radiation, so we altered our treatments and did it together!”
Finally, after Carolina’s transplant last summer, she and her mother were now both in remission. After hearing about their upcoming hunting trip, Carolina said, “I was super excited to go; it’s not like the everyday type of thing when you get to go hunting!”
Mid-afternoon, Bob Samson, Carolina, and Sylvia arrived at Hidden Oaks Ranch in Gonzales, TX. Tommy Kidd invited them on a tour of his ranch, where they saw various wildlife species. Then, out in the distance, they saw some nice red stags that piqued their interest for the following day’s hunt.
At 6:30 the following morning, they drove out to the ranch, met up with Tommy, and immediately headed out to the tower blind in a Polaris side-by-side. Overcast with temperatures in the mid-’30s, the air had not moved around and was frigid inside the blind, so Bob lit the heater up, and in time it was toasty warm.
Bob said, “It was only a short time after sitting we glassed a herd of fallow deer. Later several red deer came into site on opposite sides of a clearing, so we shifted around quickly, and traded seats which might have spooked them, so they all eased off and did not return.”
Carolina said, “Then later on, we all got into the ranger with Tommy and drove around the ranch safari style. In time, we spotted some red deer. We quietly eased up closer, then I got the rifle in position and had the stag in the site. It turned broadside, and I squeezed the trigger; he jumped up, ran a bit, and dropped.”
Bob added, “Carolina got right on it and did not hesitate; she reassured me she knew where to shoot and hit it right on top of the shoulder and cleanly dropped it in one shot, unbelievably perfect. It was a beautiful 6 X 7 trophy red stag with a perfect 3 by 4 Crown. She was very excited, and so was her mom; you could see it in their smiles.”
With much emotion, Sylvia said, “I have never been hunting and felt so honored to go on the hunt with my daughter. It’s a sport we could not afford, and getting this opportunity was heartfelt. Getting the red stag mounted and the meat taken care of is just a lot, and I’m overwhelmed with appreciation. We love being together, and to do this hunt together is even more special. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience for parents to be with their kids with what they are going through, cancer or not cancer, just that experience.”
Bob added, “It was quite impactful being with them and seeing their interaction. You could see the strong bond between them; it is powerful! It was one of the most memorable and enjoyable hunts; it will last a long time for me.”
“I love being outdoors and don’t get to do that every day, so when I am there, I’m in the environment where I like to be. I always enjoy my time with my mom, so just being there with her during the hunt was awesome, too,” Carolina said.
Thanks to Tommy & Sharon Kidd for graciously donating Carolina and Sylvia’s unforgettable hunt, John Brown, Bob Samson, Random Lake Rod and Gun Club, and Dziuk’s Meat Market. Congratulations to the ladies on their trophy, red stag, and a lifetime of beautiful memories. God bless!
If you are interested in getting involved or know of a deserving youth or veteran who would like a wish granted, don’t hesitate to contact United Special Sportsman Alliance.