Posted:12/19/2012 O'Brien

Dave Boekholder, President of The Someday Foundation based in Dyersville, contacted DNR Park Ranger Jim Hansen and Park Technician Nick Rocca at Palisades Kepler SP about Drew - a 10 year old who had just had his leg amputated due to cancer. Even though it was late in October, Drew wanted one more trip to the camping cabins at Palisades with his family before winter. Jim and Nick agreed to make it happen and Drew and his family had a great time. In late November, Mr. Boekholder sent the sad news that Drew had lost his battle with cancer. Drew had recorded the trip in his Care Page journal and it was clear that this trip was extremely important to their family.

In response to the news, Parks Supervisor, John Maehl had this to say: “At times we get frustrated with staffing and budget cuts. We are prone to succumb to the futility of poor policy decisions made for political expediency. We sometimes forget why we are here and why we do what we do, why we poured our life’s work into caring for these special places. It is stories like this that snap us back to the reality of just how special these parks are and that they, and the citizens that enjoy them, deserve our best.” Well said, John. (this was printed in the December 19th’s Iowa’s County Conservation System’s Newsletter which the Iowa County Conservation Board re-printed from the December 3rd weekly email update from Chuck Corell, DNR)