Redwood Adventures Makes Dreams Come True
Jessie Faulkner/The Times-Standard
Article Launched: 10/12/2008 01:31:51 AM PDT
ORICK — A large painting of redwoods hangs in the bedroom of 16-year-old San Antonio, Texas resident Sarah Lima, giving rise, in part, to her long held desire to see some of the world’s largest trees.
I remember seeing pictures of Redwood Forest, she said, recalling a fascination with drive-through trees.
In most cases, such a desire might be put off until you’re out on your own. Sarah — who will turn 17 next week — doesn’t have that option. She was diagnosed with a brain cancer known as Glioblastoma multiforme and has just a few more months of life.
Through the efforts of the Humboldt County Convention and Visitors Bureau, local Rotary clubs, Delta Airlines, the North Coast Co-Op, Holiday Inn Express in McKinleyville, the Samoa Cookhouse Rewood Adventures and Redwood Parks Lodge Co., Sarah, her parents Valerie and Joseph, and her three younger brothers, arrived on the North Coast earlier this week for a well-planned vacation.
We’re thrilled to be able to give her and her family this gift, said Richard Stenger of the Humboldt County Convention and Visitors Bureau.
Despite a tell-tale thinness on her nearly 5-foot, 10-inch frame, and closely cropped dark red hair, Sarah is quick to smile and share her excitement about seeing the Roosevelt elk and the trees.
I just like nature, Sarah said. It’s so pretty.
Since arriving, the family has been staying in one of the fully furnished Redwood Lodge Co. houses, and has gotten an up-close look at more than a few Roosevelt elk.
They’ve also visited Patrick’s Point State Park and were making plans to visit Klamath and Fern Canyon.
The journey has been a respite as well for Sarah’s three younger brothers: Joshua, 14; Jeremiah, 10, and Noah, 7.
As his sister rested, with a knit shawl draped across her shoulders, Jeremiah often helped resettle the wrap when it slipped or helped untangle her fingers from the looped fringe.
Joshua sat on the floor next to his sister’s chair.
Sarah said the first hint of trouble came with severe headaches and back pain, leading to at least one seizure and prompting surgeries to install a cranial shunt and another to remove as much of the tumor as possible. All this happened in a short span this spring, and then she went through chemotherapy and radiation treatments.
Some days are symptom-free, others are not. Either way, Sarah remains cheerful.
She’s never been grouchy, her mother said. She’s always been an inspiration.
For now, after seeing more of the redwoods and the ocean, Sarah’s thoughts turned to her upcoming 17th birthday party and sleepover.
A Hawaiian theme will require coconut cup shells and leis, she said.