After experience a string of severe headaches at the age of 14, Jake Stoneking was diagnosed with a rare form of brain cancer.
Stoneking, now 19 years old, is an ordinary young man with ordinary dreams, desires and ambitions. Since his prognosis, he began making a bucket list that includes a tattoo, a hunting trip and a visit to the topless bar in his hometown of West Linn, Oregon.
Stoneking was diagnosed with medulloblastoma back in 2009, which resulted in the growth of a tumor the side of a golf ball on his cerebellum. He underwent a grueling 12-hour surgery at that time to remove the tumor, and afterwards began radiation and chemotherapy.
The cerebellum is the brain’s center for balance, and Jake had to relearn to walk in the months that followed his surgery. A former wrestler, the boy shrunk to 104 lbs.
His family believed Jake was on the road to recovery. However, his cancer returned with brutal force and the future is looking pretty grim.
Jake began writing his bucket list one sleepless night. So far, he has achieved five of the 17 goals he recorded. He has yet to laugh until he cries, hunt a black bear and tattoo his last name on his back.
This is a heart wrenching story, but also an inspiring glimpse into the pursuit of happiness when faced with life’s heaviest and darkest of trials.