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Holabird Advocate

Providing all the news we see fit to print since 2002!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Hunter Mees Turns 16

by Jerry Hinkle

     Today all of us here at the Holabird Advocate celebrate the life of Hunter Mees. No, he's not dead yet, but that's the point. We shouldn't wait for a funeral to celebrate the miracle of living. Yesterday, Hunter celebrated his 16th birthday. For most, it's just a special day of the year, but what makes this special is that it also marks his 8th year of being cancer free.

     For those who have never heard, or have forgotten, here is the connection of Hunter to the Holabird Advocate. It actually started with the mention of a benefit for him in the Wessington Springs Newspaper. His fight with Hodgkin's Lymphoma was just beginning, and it was expensive. South Dakota Magazine picked up on that, and I picked it up from them. Hunter's mother kept me in the loop as to how things were progressing. By the time that benefit rolled around, Even Keloland got on board. What started as an ad in a small town newspaper started a ball rolling that soon afterward over $30,000 got raised.

     I kept up with the story until word of remission came. With that, mention of Hunter in word and photograph became progressively rarer. He was never far from my thoughts, nor of those of the many Readers who followed his story back when social media was not even thought of! I tried in many ways and at many times to duplicate what we had done with Hunter, but it never happened, but it did lead me to DWU, a degree, and a whole new lifestyle! I've been told that I've had a positive impact on Hunter and his family, and through these 8 years, I've been impacted by Hunter as well. whenever I'm faced with a difficult or seemly impossible job, I think of the 8 year old boy who kicked cancer in the teeth, and keep plugging away.

     The best part about Hunter's story is that it still goes on. This year it was going to prom and turning 16. Soon, he'll be graduating High School and then, only God knows. hunter could grow up to be an entertainment blogger, like me, or he could even go on to be something productive, like a doctor. There are no limits Whatever lies ahead, the best advice I or anyone else, could give him is what Grandad used to say,"God be with you and do the best you can!"

Thank you for this AWESOME story about Hunter. He is a special young man in my life, as he was one of my first Wish kids. I will forever treasure the evening I met his amazing Mom.
Nice to see that hunter has impacted more lives than just mine!
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