MAPLETON, Me (WAGM) Ask 16-year-old Chad Harris the secret to getting through a Hodgkin's lymphoma diagnosis and the treatment that follows...he'll tell you it's all about having a good attitude.
"Keep your head up high and good things will come," he said.
Ask 10-year-old Lauren Cunningham a similar question about leukemia...and she'll tell you the same thing.
"Stay positive because chances like this happen!"
Chances....like the hunt of a lifetime. That's what brings these two to Northern Maine this week - Chad from Oregon, and Lauren from Ohio. Hunt of a Lifetime is a nonprofit organization that grants hunting and fishing dreams to children under 21 with life threatening illnesses. Chad's dream came true Monday when he shot a moose.
"It was one of the greatest things ever," said Chad.
Lauren got her moose on Tuesday.
"I was out of breath...because Dad squeezed me when I was done," said Lauren.
As unforgettable as the hunts were for these two kids, they may have meant even more to their fathers...who have watched their children fight hard on their journeys - that have been anything but easy. Thankfully both of these two are not terminally ill, but the challenge is still there.
"She's bald. She's a girl and she's bald. That's not right but that's the way it is," said Lauren's father John.
"I'm numb right now. from everything that people have done to help him," said Chad's father Thomas Harris.
Far more than their ability to shoot a moose, these fathers are inspired by the courage their children have in their circumstances...it's the kind of bravery most us only wish we had.
"It was extremely tough. I can't even describe what it was like. But he was so positive and such a trooper through everything. Words can't even express what I feel for him and his spirit and how he has handled everything," said Chad's father.
"She is extremely positive. It helps my wife and I because of her...and not only that, it helps a lot of the community too..it makes them think man I'm having a bad day and look at what Lauren's going through you know," said her father John.
And it's that strength that will not only help these two battle their diseases, but also keep them encouraged to enjoy special experiences like these ones.
"I'll be fine. I'll be fine," said Chad.