Around sometime last year, the Make A Wish Foundation did away with their hunting trips as one of their ‘Trips of a Lifetime’ for those terminally ill children that wished to go. Since then, a new organization has been formed that allows these terminally ill children to have their hunting trip for their trip of a lifetime.

Of course, anyone that has donated to this program can write this off on their taxes. They have a nice little website set up for those that want to be a part of this wonderful organization and what they are doing at

They are a nonprofit organization that was established back in 1999. This was developed by Tina Pattison from Harborcreek, Pennsylvania and allows all children that are terminally ill, no matter where they are from to participate. Their mission to fulfill the hunting and fishing adventure dreams for children and young adults.

Pattison’s son Matthew developed cancer, Hodgkin’s disease, and as it progressed all young Matthew wanted was to go moose hunting in the cold fields of Canada with his dad, Chet. The early runs of chemotherapy arrested the disease for a short period of time, but after awhile Matthew had a relapse.

Since their family was dealing with their other child that had muscular dystrophy, Matthew’s dream was far from being able to grasp and have, and the cost of this type of hunt was something that would not be able to be covered by the family. Tina Pattison however, was determined to get her son the hunt that he so wanted to have.

She called the Make A Wish Foundation to get more answers on what they were able to do. What she got was a ‘sorry, the animal rights people would harass them if they were to do so.’ A few years before, the same Foundation funded a hunt for a severely ill teen but then was overloaded by propaganda from the animal rights people because of it.

When the story spread from one place to another, more hunters started donating even more money to the Make A Wish Foundation, Pennsylvania being one of the biggest donors. Polite and nice thank you letters were handed out to the donors, and then it ended. Given the situation and the sudden stop, we have to assume that the animal right movement won this battle.

Terminally ill teenagers are now denied their dream to hunt just because it is not a ‘normal’ wish such as meeting a celebrity, or going to Marine Land. If they wish to go fishing or go hunt then who is to tell them no, they cannot get this dream simply because it is not the politically correct thing to do.

The Pattison’s decided not to give up however, and Tina went to the phone to find some sort of help. A broker of Wyoming based hunting trips talked to her. Not only that, Safari Outfitters told her that they found an outfitter that is based in Canada that is willing to donate money towards this hunt. The owner of this outfitter has a wife that lost an arm to cancer, and wanted to help their son.

The trip ended up costing the Pattison family nothing because of the donations. Matt ended up taking a turn for the worse, and now needed a stem cell transplant. The medical advice given to Matt and his family was to cancel the trip since the procedure was going to be a long one.

Matt however, refused to cancel since his mother worked so hard to get it for him and he wanted to go. In the fall of 1998, he went on his dream wish with his father. He ended up getting his moose, a record book animal for the year. He was then featured in 1999’s February issue of the Pennsylvania Times News which is the major paper in his hometown.

Two months after the hunt, Matthew passed away. His mother is not going to let his memory die though. She is determined to show that the animal rights movement cannot deny any family their dream hunt or fishing trip for their terminally ill children. They then formed an organization, Hunt of a Lifetime.

This is a fully licensed charity that is fully functioning under Pennsylvania law, and an attorney from the area even donates her legal services for the charity. They state that since Make A Wish won’t do it, they need to take care of their own doing so in memory of Matt.

Comments are closed.