Living Life to the Fullest: The Inspiring Story of Edward Reis
As we journey through life, we all have dreams and aspirations that we hope to achieve. These can be personal or professional goals, but they are what drive us and give us purpose. However, sometimes things do not go as planned, and we are forced to realign our expectations and priorities. This was the case for Edward Reis, a former forest ranger who was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS).
The Cruel Blow of MS
MS is an aggressive illness that affects the central nervous system, causing problems with movement, balance, and vision. Reis was bedridden and had to leave his home to move into a hospice in Washington. This debilitating illness changed his life, forcing him to rethink his goals and how he wanted to spend his time on earth.
The Final Wish
Despite his situation, Reis’s spirit remained unbroken, and his love for the outdoors stayed strong. He longed to go outside one more time and feel the fresh air, see the trees, and hear the sounds of nature. He shared this desire with his nurse, Leigh Gardner, who was moved by his request. Together with the hospice chaplain, they contacted the Snohomish County Fire District to make Reis’s final wish come true.
The Remarkable Journey
On March 26th, 2014, a team of firefighters arrived at the hospice and helped Reis onto their truck. They took him on a three-hour excursion to Meadowdale Beach Park in Edmonds, WA. The journey was emotional and awe-inspiring as they guided him across multiple trails, allowing him to take in the beauty of nature for one last time. Reis’s dying wish was granted, and his passionate soul restored.
The Impact of Reis’s Story
The story of Edward Reis touched the hearts of millions globally and reinforced the spirit of generosity that exists within us all. Even strangers were touched by his story and supported his cause. The firefighters who had accompanied him on his final journey became his family and continued to visit him in the hospice as his life began to ebb away. Reis passed not long after, with his heart full of happiness and his final wish fulfilled.
The Lesson Learned
The story of Edward Reis is a reminder of the fragility of life and the importance of making the most of every moment. While our dreams and aspirations may change as we grow older, it is essential to strive to make them a reality and create lasting memories. Reis’s final wish was simple but profound, and it left an indelible mark on those who helped make it happen.
The story of Edward Reis is inspiring and powerful. Despite the cruel blow of MS, he remained courageous and determined to live life to the fullest. His final wish was a testament to his passion for the outdoors and his unrelenting spirit. His story teaches us that we must appreciate every moment and never take anything for granted. At the end of the day, it’s the simple things in life that matter most, and it’s up to us to make every moment count.