Cross one off the bucket list: Terminal cancer patient gets free hunting trip to Kremmling |

Cross one off the bucket list: Terminal cancer patient gets free hunting trip to Kremmling

Steven Fisher and Karen Wischnack enjoy a free hunting trip at High Plains Ranch in Kremmling in early November. Despite not getting an elk, Fisher beems with joy just getting back to the hunt.
Karen Wischnack |

On top of the numerous health complications that go hand-in-hand with life threatening illnesses there are several other debilitating factors that can hinder the quality of life for those suffering. Those afflicted with illnesses such as cancer often find themselves stuck in their homes, without the energy or financial security to venture out for their favorite hobbies, plagued by massive medical bills and constant reminders of their ailment.

But one cancer patient was able to forget his worries for a couple days, and enjoy a free hunting trip to Kremmling last month, courtesy of a new friend.

Denver resident Steven Fisher, along with his son and grandson, headed up to Grand County on Nov. 4 and 5 where they received free lodging in Hot Sulphur Springs, and the chance to partake in an elk hunt at High Plains Ranch.

While Fisher wasn’t able to bag an elk, he and his family were grateful for the experience.

“I think that there are so many people like me out there that are just suffering,” said Fisher. “They have nothing to look forward to, and just nothing to do but sit in their misery. The trip to Kremmling made me forget what was wrong with me, and during the time I spent up there I didn’t have any thoughts of being sick.”

Fisher was born in San Diego where he spent most of his life working at his own construction business. He attended catholic school, married and had two children. After his wife passed away in 2000 Fisher moved to Colorado on advice from his sister-in-law, where he began working for Artisans Inc., a contracting business run out of Sedalia. Once in Colorado he remarried and had another son.

Fisher retired about six years ago, but before he could begin to enjoy his retirement he took ill. For two years he was misdiagnosed, and by the time doctors correctly identified his illness three years ago he was facing a case of stage-4 throat cancer. The cancer has since metastasized to his lungs.

For Fisher the prognosis is troubling.

“In April they gave me 18 months with real aggressive chemotherapy, and I would be sick at least six of those months,” he said. “Or they gave me three months and well wishes. So I went to the Optimum Health Institute in San Diego, and they helped me to be green from the garden to the plate.”

In lieu of more traditional medication that may prolong Fisher’s life, though with serious side effects, he has decided to take a more alternative approach, largely based around his new diet. On top of weekly injections, Fisher drinks only alkaline water, and sticks to a strict 80 percent alkaline food diet.

Fisher has already outlasted estimates from doctors, and he said he feels great.

“I’m doing fine. I don’t want to be sick all the time. I feel great and everybody says I look great. I’m happy and I’m not depressed. It’s in God’s hands. I do the best I can do and the rest is up to him.”

Adding to Fishers positive attitude is his recent trip to Kremmling. The trip was set up by Parshall resident Karen Wischnack who met Fisher through their children who worked together at the Middle Park Medical Center in Kremmling. Once Wischnack found out about Fisher’s condition she took it upon her self to set up something fun for him.

Wischnack lauded High Plains Ranch for their openness to the idea, and for extending every courtesy to Fisher and his family.

“I spoke with Kelley Rice, she’s the one over at High Plains ranch that took it to the homeowners and the board to approve and see if they would be interested in doing this for Mr. Fisher and granting his wish,” said Wischnack. “The graciousness of the homeowners was amazing.”

Wischnack decided she wanted to begin helping cancer patients after her son, Zach, was diagnosed with a rare form of aggressive cancer, and she witnessed first hand the impact that the illness had on every aspect of his life.

“I just see what Zach goes through, and if I can grant someone a wish to help them get off the couch and forget their illness for a day or two I want to do it,” she said. “I feel very fortunate to be able to do these things.

Fisher’s health continues to deteriorate. On Thursday he underwent another surgery to stretch his throat because he couldn’t swallow. On Friday he had a PET scan, which found that the cancer in his throat and lungs had spread.

Regardless he is keeping his spirits high, gardening and spending as much time as he can with his family.

“I’m just going to keep doing what I’m doing,” he said. “Eating alkaline food, drinking alkaline water. I feel great, and I don’t want to spend the rest of the time sick. The doctors said that all the treatment would do is extend my life, and it wouldn’t cure me. So I’m just going to keep doing what I’m doing, and feeling good and healthy.

“And with friends like Kathy and Dan [Wischnack’s husband], and giving me and my family the opportunity to go hunting and to do it together because of the limited time we have is just unprecedented. I can’t say how grateful I am for that opportunity.”

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