When compiling a bucket list, it is easy to lose sight of what really matters. While traveling the world may seem like the attractive choice, there are thousands more activities in existence which are more achievable – especially when you only have a limited time in which to complete them.
Two people critically aware of this are Chris Betancourt and Dillon Hill from California, who are attempting to compile a bucket list on a time budget after doctors told 20-year-old Chris that he only had one year to live.
Chris’ life dramatically changed on Memorial Day of 2009, when he collapsed at the beach. After spending 13 hours in the ER, Chris was told that he had Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia, a cancer of the white blood cells.
Throughout the difficult diagnosis and many miserable months of treatment, Chris was comforted by his two best friends, Dillon and Vincent. The three boys shared a close bond which had been formed over their mutual love for video games, something that Chris’ diagnosis couldn’t interfere with.
Luckily, Chris entered remission and was able to return home. A few relatively normal years followed. But, almost exactly five years after his admission to hospital, Chris’ heart was torn apart once more after his sister took her own life.
This life-altering event, combined with his traumatic cancer diagnosis, pushed Chris to his emotional limit. But, despite the extremely bad news he’d had to endure at such a young age, Chris remained positive. He graduated from high school and began to consider his future, where he hoped to work in the IT industry.
Despite the departure of his mother, who moved to Puerto Rico, and his father, who left for Florida, Chris stayed optimistic for his future. Working hard, he saved up some money after working as an electrician for a year, before joining Sacramento City College. However, just as things were starting to look bright, Chris got some shocking news.
“On September 2nd, 2017 Chris sat down to hear the worst news possible. The cancer cells in his blood jumped from .001% to 11% and had officially returned,” 19-year-old Dillon writes on their shared website, in which the duo plan to document their forthcoming year together.
“This time, the cancer was a new mutated string that is resilient to most of the experimental drugs he had used before. Though difficult to acknowledge, Chris has one year to live.”
The heartbreaking news deeply affected Dillon as well as Chris, as he faced the prospect of losing his best friend. Determined not to let the year slip by without a celebration, Dillon quit college to support Chris in achieving everything on his bucket list.
Currently, the pair have raised $4,345 of their $10,000 goal in just 12 days via GoFundMe. With this money, they plan to begin ticking off Chris’ hopes and wishes, of which he has many.
Their incredible journey is only just beginning. For now, they await further donations to help them kick-start the adventure.
Curious about what their trip? Let Dillon explain to you how you can help…