It's never really been about travel. Sure, we absolutely love seeing the world and experiencing everything we can. But I hope beneath all of the cool photos and videos,people understand that Bucket List isn't actually about travel. Bucket List is about living each day with purpose. It's about experiencing the world with the ones you love. It's about family, relationships, service, trying new things and being brave.
With that, we’ve decided to do things a little differently. We want to highlight other Bucket List families who are living lives with those same values.
So now, I am thrilled to introduce you to the Sherman Family!
Please meet Mandie, Ric and Hawke Sherman from Sandy, UT. We first came across Mandie when she randomly posted about a funny dream she had with "The Bucket List Family" in it. I clicked into her profile to find a photo of a cute girl wearing a black vest and doing some sort of breathing treatment. I deep dove through her profile and started to piece together a bit of her story about her life with Cystic Fibrosis. We had DMed a handful of times over the last few years but had never spoken. She's always been in the back of my mind, especially over the recent pandemic imagining what it would be like living with a respiratory disease through COVID.
Mandie was born in September 1989, which just so happened to be the exact time that the medical world identified the CF gene. Mandie’s whole life has literally been under a microscope. Mandie believes that timing wasn’t a coincidence and she's gladly volunteered to be a source of light, research and understanding for the CF community.
As a child, Mandie was told that she wouldn't live past the age of 18. 18! Can you even imagine? So, at a young age Mandie was passionate about changing that statistic. Mandie told me, "As a kid and teenager, I knew time was precious. You're not guaranteed more of it." Mandie learned to let go of the small things, and the only thing that truly matters in life are your relationships. She learned that lesson at a very young age, that’s a lesson that most don't learn until much later in life.
Mandie told me her life is “A daily grind. I live proactive and reactive with lots of determination.”
That was evident when she explained the miracle of her son, Hawke.
Being born with Cystic Fibrosis pretty much means you won’t be able to have children. First of all, you have the 18 year life span statistic working against you, PLUS the fact that your reproductive organs don’t function appropriately. Mandie told me, “I’m on meds for almost every organ of my body.”
So, when her doctor found out she was pregnant it was an absolute miracle but also a huge threat to her and her baby. Her doctor told her in his hundreds of patients over his lifetime, she was only the 8th person to conceive.
The doctor recommended she terminate the pregnancy for her safety. But despite all odds, she chose to see the miracle through. She had a grueling pregnancy with months in and out of the hospital, but her faith worked and her miracle Hawke came into their lives.
Fast forward to 2020. It was a time where the rest of the world learned how Mandie has been living her life. Mandie was used to masks, social distancing and all of the other health precautions that COVID-19 brought. At that time, she was chosen to be the 2020 Ambassador for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. This was an absolute honor to Mandie. She was able to speak at virtual events and really be a mentor for her CF community.
A few years ago, Mandie was faced with a tough decision - move toward the transplant process (for a double lung transplant) or sign up for a clinical trial for a new drug. She chose the trial and it was a literal life saver. Four years later, Mandie told me she is healthier than she ever has been in her life. "I'm very healthy and take care of my body. My body is trying to destroy itself; so I need to proactively make decisions to combat that natural course of destruction."
Mandie, Ric and Hawke do their best to live each day with intention.