Nampa childhood cancer survivor treated to elk hunting trip

Posted at 10:29 PM, Sep 29, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-30 00:29:48-04

One strong Nampa middle school student is very excited as she prepares to leave for an elk hunting trip, organized for childhood cancer survivors like herself.

"It's always in the back of our mind that we're gonna lose one of these kids. That would kill us. It would kill us," said Scott McGann, founder of Hunting Dreams, a nonprofit that helps children with life-threatening illnesses.

When McGann started the nonprofit, he did it for moments like this:

"I'm gonna try to get a giant elk," said Cortney Walter, 11-year-old cancer survivor. "One like that? Bigger? Bigger than that? Perfect," joked her father.

The group aims to help cancer survivors like Nampa middle school student Walter set aside thoughts of their suffering.

"And let them go up on the mountain, and completely forget about all the treatments, all the pokes, all the prods, all the needles," said McGann.

Walter was treated to a shopping spree at Cabela's to get ready for her all-expenses-paid elk hunting trip-- which she leaves for on Sunday. She says she would never thought she would get to do this.

"Cause I know that it costs a lot of money," Walter said.

McGann says it's a combined effort -- that every cost is donated to the cause by various hunting companies like Cabela's.

"There's a brand new scope for her rifle, custom engraved with her name on the side," said McGann. "All the meat will be processed, given to the family, frozen, ready for dinners. And then her whole elk will be mounted up just like these."

And if there's anyone who deserves the trip of her dreams, it's Walter. While other kids her age were busy graduating elementary school, Walter was healing from a surgery to remove a cancerous brain tumor and complications from it.

"Nobody knows why how or what, but during surgery she suffered a stroke-- that's why her whole left side's kinda boogered up. But her scans are coming back right now clear of cancer," said McGann.

So at least for now-- cancer who? -- she's got bigger and better things on her mind.

"I'm excited for when I get the elk," said Walter.