Kari and Kirk Olavson were happily married, and expecting their first child. They had everything planned, just like any other parents, but the day after their son Jacob was born, something happened that they never planned or expected.
When Jacobs was only one day old, he suffered a seizure, which went on and on with no apparent explanation. Doctors needed more information but had none.
When Jacob was six-months-old his parents noticed that not only that he was suffering from seizures, but his growth seemed to be affected as well.
Doctors had bad news for the new parents. Jacob didn’t have much time left, but they couldn’t say how much time he had. Kari and Kirk were devastated.
Today Jacob is 6-years-old and spends most of his time in a wheelchair. He also has trouble speaking and moving, but as his parents say, he is full of life.
Both parents were prepared for the worse, when a friend who lost a child, gave them a brilliant piece of advice – take Jacob on a trip. That is how Jacob’s Bucket List was born.
“My friend said I will never regret going on a trip,” Kari said. “And we told Jacob that he’s going to see the ocean, which is like nothing he’s ever seen before.”
So Kari and Kirk started the bucket list with the help of Jacob and his dreams. The list includes many activities, such as sledding, fishing, camping, riding a merry-go-round, and being featured in a sidewalk chalk photo shoot. Funny, but a great idea.
The first item on their list was to see the ocean. So the family packed up and traveled by car from Coons Rapids, Minnesota to the Atlantic Ocean. If your geography isn’t strong with you, it’s a 2,800 miles drive!
They didn’t know how Jacob would take the long ride, but he was fascinated by the sights he saw on the way. When they finally reached the sea and Jacob got to dip his toes into the water, it was all worth it.
“He was so happy,” Kirk said. “He was really relaxed too. I think the sound of the ocean, the waves coming in and out, you could tell he was very calm.”
And the bucket list goes on. It’s so inspiring to see how lemons became lemonade, and this family sticks it out with grace. If you want to support and check up on the family, go to their dedicated Facebook Page called Jacob’s Journey – Olavson. Click here.