Bucket Brigade grants wishes to terminally ill adults

MARTY, Minn.--The lunch crowd at Pearl Lake Lodge in Marty gets busy on Wednesdays but owner Tom "Rudy" Ruether knows how to keep customers happy. After 30 years in hospitality he's taking his skills to a whole new level.

This summer an article in the local paper caught his attention.

"There was a story up the left top corner about some woman from Hillman that had cancer," he said.

The woman made a list of all the things she wanted to do before she died.

"Just reading the story was so unselfish. "I want to ride in a limo...I want to go to a cabin," he recalled.

Rudy wanted to help and reached out to that woman, Michalene Sullivan.

Four years ago Sullivan was diagnosed with lung cancer on her daughter's birthday.

"They gave me six months to two years to live and it's been almost four years," Sullivan said.

With the help of Rudy and his network of friends Sullivan got to cross of more items on her wish list. She got to ride a mechanical bull, ride in a limo and together they started "My Bucket List," a non-profit to help other terminally ill adults fulfill their wishes.

Kathy Austreng has stage four breast cancer but that's not stopping her from serving on the board of My Bucket List.

"This really was something that was on my bucket list to find a purpose," Austreng said.

Sullivan said she's thrilled that even out of the sadness of cancer can come something so happy.

"To put a smile on someone face who doesn't think they have much to smile about that's the best feeling in the world. That's better medicine than I've gotten from all my doctors," Sullivan said.

The group currently has 90 people signed up to be a part of the bucket brigade. To sign up your wish list or grant a wish visit My Bucket List.


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