One of the first wishes we granted was taking Samantha whale watching in Monterey Bay. Samantha, 76, had a difficult childhood in Martinsville, Virginia. Samantha grew up moving from house to house, her single mom worked two jobs to stay afloat. Samantha did household chores and took care of her younger sister while her mom worked at the textile factory.
The family later moved to Bakersfield, California, Samantha received a degree in accounting and was able to move out on her own until her mom suffered a stroke, left her physically and mentally impaired. Samantha left her job, moved home, and became a caretaker for her mom, while her sister worked. Her mom eventually passed away and Samantha moved to Redwood City, worked as a receptionist at a medical office.
Despite her difficult childhood, Samantha was grateful for the stability and strong bond her mom provided for her and her sister. She didn’t get to fulfill many wishes when she was younger due to financial constraints.
We learned about Samantha life story through a referral. Her life long wish was to spend a day whale watching in Monterey Bay. On December 20, 2015, Samantha was able to spend the day on a chartered boat watching the pod of Whales. She said the experience was magical and that she smiled from cheek to cheek throughout the tour and the sunset dinner.