We'd like to introduce you to a special 12-year-old who lives in Rapid City. To put it simply, Dawson Jackson does not have the luxury of time. He is living with a disease called Lesch - Nyhan Syndrome. That's why he decided to get busy living his life and took the first step by creating a dreams list.
Being well-aware that time is not on his side, Dawson Jackson decided it was time to put his dreams on paper. "We had a conversation about a bucket list and what it was - he asked if he could have one and then I said he should have a dream list instead," Dawson's mother Mandi Jackson said.
On his list: a trip to Disney world, a cool car and if he's really lucky ... meeting his favorite TV, movie and sports stars. While many of the items on his list are very typical of a 12-year-old boy, there are a few that reveal just how tough Dawson's had it. Dawson's older brother, Kody, died from the same disease just about 5 years ago, leaving a hole in Dawson' heart and a constant reminder of what is to come. Knowing that, it's not hard to understand why bucket list number 8 is significant. Dawson wants to find a cure for "stupid diseases so kids don't have to die and parents can always stay with kids."
Adding to the Jackson family's tough times, an electrical short caused a fire in their home last July, destroying the house and most of what was in it. "Dawson says he still talks to Kody sometimes and he wanted to make sure we had a home that was ours that we wouldn't lose again," his mother said. That's the reasoning behind number 5 on his list. Dawson writes, "I want to buy our home so my brother can always be our angel and doesn't get lost."
As most of us know, and are reminded even as we read this story, it's easy to take life for granted. But Dawson knows what he wants - and he isn't afraid to go for it. That's why his final item is to "live long enough to do everything on his bucket list."
"I think that was one of the reasons this was so special for Dawson to put his bucket list together, because the idea behind it ... that I'm going to do this while I can," Mandi said.
While many people may think they're lofty goals, to Dawson they're dreams and that's good enough.
All together Dawson has 10 bucket list items.
If you'd like to help Dawson mark a couple of items off of his list, there is a trust setup for him at Great Western Bank.