Posted: Feb 13, 2012 5:43 PM by Nancy Chen
Updated: Feb 15, 2012 3:35 PM
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It's safe to say that on Saturday afternoon, Jodi Fisher was the most popular person in Caycuos.
"It's free ice cream because it's my birthday!" she yelled out of an ice cream truck she was borrowing for the day.
There were 1,200 Klondike bars, ice cream sandwiches, and Popsicles, ready for the taking as Fisher traveled up and down the numbered streets of Cayucos.
"I think it's great," said Kevin Blaine, who was visiting from Tulare County and got ice cream for his family. "We were just walking by, and they invited us to come over and get some ice cream. It's wonderful."
The best part: there was no price tag for anyone.
"I really didn't know what was going on," said Cayucos resident Cheyenne Fitzwater, whose two daughters excitedly greeted the truck. "We heard the ice cream truck and ran outside. I was happy I had cash on me. Turned out we didn't need it."
Giving out ice cream has been on Fisher's bucket list for a while, and she decided to do it Saturday, her 44th birthday. It also marks a year and a half of battling a rare form of recurring, inoperable cancer that's spreading.
"It's tricky to find a chemo that works for it," she said. "So we've been working with a lot of different kinds the last year and a half, hoping to find one and kind of keep it away."
To help cope, Fisher, her husband Shawn and their two children decided to put together a bucket list, which they renamed a "fun list."
Its items are simple.
"Just going to the pound and playing with the animals," she said. "Or ditching school--whoops! Shh. Or going to the movies."
The focus is mostly on spending time with 11-year-old Callie and 9-year-old Jonah.
"Just went to Disneyland," Fisher said. "We rented a limo and got french fries up in Cambria. Just for fun."
The Fishers try to fit activities in between Jodi's weekly chemo sessions, which often leave her exhausted and thankful for her friends.
"We get meals delivered to us," she said. "I get money in my mailbox from people I don't even know."
And that's why Fisher wanted to pay it forward with an ice cream truck.
"We can never repay everything, but it means a lot to be able to do that and just see the kids smiling and having fun," she said. "And I'm just really grateful for everyone's that's stuck by us."
So on this past Saturday, Fisher crossed another thing off the "fun" list, but she says that's missing the point.
"It's not so much doing the things on the list because sometimes those feel bittersweet," she said. "You know, we're doing them because my health is a little risky. But I think it's more important the meaning behind it--that none of us are going to live forever."
Fisher says she wants to go all out on her family's bucket list, but it can be hard because she can't fly anymore and gets tired easily. Still, she has two big goals left: go to the Ellen DeGeneres show and shake President Barack Obama's hand.
Still, there was no talk about cancer on this day as Fisher gathered with her family--including her twin brother--and her friends.
"Nobody knows when their time is, and by doing these things, I'm not giving up hope," she said. "I'm always optimistic and hopeful."
To donate money to the Fishers, send checks to this address:
P.O. Box 753
Cayucos, CA 93430
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