Local family gets their last wish

DES MOINES - The HCI Foundation is making wishes come true through their "Before I Die" campaign.

You may have seen their chalk boards around Des Moines and maybe, you even wrote something on them.

"HCI is the best! We had no idea that they would do something like this and with our financial system the way it is, there's no way we could do this on our own," said Michelle Gillaspy.

The Gillaspy family is living out a dream. Kin Gillaspy, who has lung cancer, wished to take his grandchildren to the Blank Park Zoo one last time.

"Bringing Kin and his family to the zoo one more time is a tremendous opportunity for them to have some unity, see some amazing things, and have some special memories," said the Executive Director of the HCI Foundation Azure Christensen.

Kin's daughter, Samantha Gillaspy, can't find the words to describe the love she has for her dad. She says that while he might not say much anymore, she knows he's having a good time.

"You can just tell in his facial expressions. I mean he might not show them, but in his eyes, you can tell," said Samantha.

Kin was diagnosed with advanced Lung Cancer 4 years ago and doctors told him he wouldn't live much longer. But he's still here and Michelle says her husband is a fighter. 

"When they said that he had 6 months, he told them, 'I'll go when I'm damn good and ready!' He wasn't going to go until he was ready to go," said Michelle. 

Michelle says her and her husband's relationship is great and they just hit it off from the first time that they met each other on a blind date.

"I love him to the moon and back. He may not say anything all day long, his speech has gradually gone away, but every night I still get an I love you. I love him very much and I know he feels the same way about me," said Michelle.   

Michelle says they try not to think too far into the future and they take things day by day. She says she's proud of Kin and he's a strong man that will keep fighting.

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