A dream... a hunting wish... comes true
by Trinity Gruenberg
As the seasons change, the leaves fall and the air becomes crisp, hunters of all ages grab their camouflage gear, their bow or their rifle and wait patiently in the woods for the perfect deer to cross their path.
Hunting is a family affair for the Ellis’ of Bertha. Parents Mindy and Russ, sons Dylan, Zach and Jesse all hunt, but it seemed like more of a dream for 16-year-old daughter Julie.
Osteogenesis imperfecta, known as brittle bone disease, has made it very challenging for Julie to hunt. Traversing the woods in an electric wheelchair is difficult on its own. She also cannot use a gun. Julie was cleared to use a crossbow, but the weight made it difficult to handle and she was unable to load the arrows herself.
“I overheard Julie talking in the office last winter about her love for hunting, but her brittle bone disease limits what she can do. I also have a liking for hunting and other outdoor activities so as soon as she left the office I called a relative with some connections and got the process started. Within a few weeks we received a packet which Lisa Hoemberg helped
fill out. Wishes and More thought Julie would be a great candidate for this opportunity,” explained Bertha-Hewitt Superintendent Eric Koep.
Wishes and More originated in the fall of 2004 in order to fill the gaps of other wish granting charities serving children with terminal and life-threatening conditions. They grant wishes for infants and children up to the age of 19, and have fulfilled wishes related to hunting, fishing, sports, and other outdoor wishes.
Wishes and More contacted the Ellis family and Julie had to decide on a wish. She was looking at a track wheelchair and a side-by-side for easy mobility in the woods and in the winter as well as some hunting gear. They decided on a hunting package.
“I didn’t expect it. It caught me off guard,” said Julie.
They went on three "adventures" to pick up the necessary gear. They picked up a hunting blind, clothing, arrows, broad heads, etc. Prairie Archery Owner John Lammle met them after hours to devote all of his time to them.
“John found out my crossbow was too heavy for me, so he showed me a different crossbow and I fell in love with it,” said Julie. . .