“Cancer is a lonely place to be,” wrote 38-year-old Flower Mound resident Allyson (Ally) Hendrickson in her blog in March 2014. “Instead of planning out dinner menus and baseball schedules, I’m making end-of-life plans.”
As she suffered for seven years, the mother of three tried to maintain some sense of normalcy for her husband and young boys. Ally chronicled in her blog the long journey, exploring her fight, her family, and her faith.
Called Three Little Cowboys, she wrote it as a love letter to her boys, to fill a fraction of the void that her passing would leave. Click here to read Ally’s blog.
In March of 2014, some friends from First Baptist Church of Lewisville met with Ally for dinner. Over the years, they had been thinking and praying for their friend and her family. Now they were prepared to act.
Ally had no idea that the gathering was anything more than a chance to visit.
“But I quickly found out that it wasn’t just to talk about hedgehogs, our kids, and shampoo,” Ally wrote in her blog. “No, they had something much bigger and more important. Something that made me forget for a while that my life is not what I want it to be.”
The group of four women, led by Missy Phipps, wanted Ally to make a wish — and they promised to make it come true.
They had formed a foundation and planned to make wishes come true — not just for Ally, their inspiration — but for other mothers who were terminally ill.
“I can not think of a more fantastic way for my legacy to live on,” Ally wrote. “It’s not often that I am without words, but I was at the dinner table that night.
As she wished, Ally’s blog, entitled Three Little Cowboys, was published. The chronicle of her seven-year struggle is a love letter to her boys and her husband.
Missy had been struggling with what she could do for Ally — and for all moms facing such a struggle — for months.
“One morning, God gave it to her,” remembered Ally. “She immediately called other friends, and Ally’s Wish was born. They had the whole thing put together and finished before they ever even presented it to me.
“God was at work … there was something so much bigger happening than what any of us could ever do on our own.”
Then the four asked Ally about her wish.
“They wanted mine to be the first wish granted. These friends said that I should dream big and that I should think outside the box. They reminded me that I am loved and that people want to help.
“So, I am thrilled to tell you that my wish is for this blog to be published. I want it to be published at least so that each of my boys can have a copy of their own — a way for them to remember that their mom loved them with every inch of her heart.”
Ally passed away on July 12, 2014.
Since Ally’s Wish granted that first wish to Ally, 90 more moms from across America have had their wishes granted.
Most of the moms ask to travel with their families to Hawaii, Disney World, or New York City, to create one lasting memory. (Most gifts are limited to $5,000 unless circumstances dictate a higher amount.)
“Since beginning our mission to help terminally ill moms and their families, we have come to see how great this need is across America,” said Missy Phipps, president of Ally’s Wish Inc. (a 501c3 approved organization).
The foundation holds an annual gala in the spring to raise funds.
And on November 3, the Lakeside 5K Family Fun Day is being staged to benefit Ally’s Wish.
And on November 3, for the first time, Ally’s Wish is staging the Lakeside 5K Family Fun Day benefiting Ally’s Wish.
To sign up for the 5K, to become a sponsor, or to donate, click here.
“We hope to provide a memory for the family that will last a lifetime,” said Phipps.
“We hope the Lakeside 5K builds awareness of the foundation’s mission,” she added, “and generates funds that help us to continue giving to moms and their families.”