The Trip of a Lifetime sun, fun and wedding vows! #TakeABreakFromCancer

Bill was diagnosed with melanoma in February 2016. His nominator at Penn Medicine's Abramson Cancer Center in Philadelphia knew that he needed a break from cancer, so she nominated Bill to our program. In March 2017, Bill Colbridge and his wife left cancer behind in Pennsylvania and traveled on a love-filled journey to Mexico. You can meet Bill at For Pete's Sake, Walk! on April 30, 2017...and can even join his walk team to help him give other FPS families a break from cancer!

My involvement with For Pete’s Sake has been short in time but the memories my wife, Sharon, and I have from our respite vacation will certainly stay with us forever. After hearing about the program, our respite was delayed due to a call from my Doctor explaining that I needed Neurosurgery within a couple days. Fast forward a couple months, and all of the necessary documents from my medical team, FPS and myself all came together and Sharon and I were off to beautiful Mexico!

Our vacation was booked through Apple Vacations and we spent our time at Secrets Akumal in the Riviera Maya. When we landed in Mexico, there was a bus driver holding a sign with our last name on it and he showed us to a private van for the ride to resort. We arrived at the resort and were escorted to the Preferred Club check-in which was very efficient; we were handed our keys and led to our room, which was INCREDIBLE.

Our time spent at Secrets just kept getting better & better. The first day was spent slowing down and getting to know each other as two “normal” people (without cancer in the way). We enjoyed a great meal at Portofino, the resort’s Italian restaurant and we were asked by our server if we wished to have our dinner the next night at the show in the Theatre.

The second day (and most of the week) we went to the beach to watch the sunrise on a new day. We enjoyed our breakfast, changed and found our way onto the beach. After a little bit of relaxing, listening to the sounds of the ocean with our feet in the sand, we were surprised to learn from Juan (our building’s concierge) that there was a beach bed/cabana reserved for us throughout our stay. We were then led to cabana and could tell which one was reserved for us because it had a Philadelphia Eagles logo hanging it in. Juan informed us that we could have dinner on the beach one night if we wished. We thought about that for all of a nanosecond and asked if we could schedule our beach dinner for the next night (Thursday). We were being treated like royalty and could not wipe the smiles from our faces!

Day three, Thursday, was spent reconnecting and Loving Life. Gosia, the concierge visited us from building one and she asked if we would like our photos taken before dinner at no charge. Later in the day, Erik and Miguel who took care of the guests at the beach pulled me aside and said they would like to surprise us later between the photo shoot and dinner on the beach if it was OK.

We were showered and ready for the night when Gosia knocked and led us to meet the photographer. He took pictures of us while we walked the grounds of the resort. For what we thought was the last photo, he had us walking up to the beach and as we rounded the last corner, an Officiate was waiting to renew our wedding vows!

Our surprise wedding was witnessed by some of the staff and Daniel Mellado who is the Director of Sales for the resort. After posing for a picture with all who attended the ceremony we were escorted to our dinner on the beach in a converted cabana. The meal consisted of us both smiling and reviewing how surprised we were. Upon completion of dinner, we returned to building three to see our room was decorated with rose petals and balloons, and the picture we posed for on the beach.

The remainder of the trip was spent exploring the sights, and spending the most quality time together. After checking out and riding the shuttle back to the airport we still were in disbelief with the most amazing gift that was given to us. Sharon and I returned to our children, dogs and home with a renewed look on life and desire to pay our great fortune forward!

I read about For Pete’s Sake, Walk! at Citizens Bank Park before being accepted into the program. I had already decided that I wanted to be a part of the event whether Sharon and I were chosen for the respite vacation or not. I created a team (Bill’s Benevolent Bunch) for the Sunday, April 30th experience so that we can help other families take a break from cancer and begin to repay this gift of kindness we were so generously given by FPS supporters. Our team is one of the top 5 teams right now, and we feel so supported by our community! I challenge you to fundraise creatively before April 30th, so you can experience the great fundraising incentives AND help more people like me and Sharon take a break from cancer. If you haven't signed up yet and are looking for a team to join, I invite you to join ours! The more the merrier!

Sign up for For Pete's Sake, Walk! on April 30, 2017 at Citizens Bank Park Today!

I am very lucky to be surrounded by so many wonderful and selfless people who have shown me more love and compassion than I can ever repay or explain. You all have the opportunity to help For Pete’s Sake grant the gift of ever-lasting memories.

Thank you for your time, PLEASE have a great day, and I hope to see you on April 30th in Philadelphia!

With Love, Bill

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