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Dying Brainerd woman's wish comes true

The Brainerd woman who seven weeks ago shared her story about only having a few months to live after being diagnosed with brain cancer has fulfilled her one wish - a trip to Wisconsin Dells with her family.

Sporting their new vacation T-shirts, Bill and Margo Fortune talked about their recent trip to the Wisconsin Dells. Diagnosed with brain cancer, Margo was told by her doctor she only has a few months to live. Brainerd Dispatch/Steve Kohls
Sporting their new vacation T-shirts, Bill and Margo Fortune talked about their recent trip to the Wisconsin Dells. Diagnosed with brain cancer, Margo was told by her doctor she only has a few months to live. Brainerd Dispatch/Steve Kohls

The Brainerd woman who seven weeks ago shared her story about only having a few months to live after being diagnosed with brain cancer has fulfilled her one wish - a trip to Wisconsin Dells with her family.

Margo Fortune, with her husband Bill Fortune at her side, was diagnosed with brain cancer in 2013. Her first tumor was removed March 20, 2013. Margo, who also was told she has a rare muscular disease, had her second brain surgery in August of 2014. Her third and final surgery was done Jan. 20. Her doctor told her then she only had a few months to live.

When Margo shared her story with Dispatch readers Jan. 30, she stated she had always wanted to go to Wisconsin Dells. Community members and friends took action when they found out about Margo's wish and they wanted to make it come true. The Fortunes said they feel blessed and are "so appreciative" as so many people have come forward since reading their story and have made donations to help the family.

Taco John's in Brainerd and Wisconsin held fundraisers where a portion of their sales went to the family. Around $700 was raised. The Fisch and Flynn music duo have performed every Thursday from 7-10 p.m. at Harpo's in Merrifield to help raise funds for the family. Their last performance is March 26.

Enough money was raised and Margo's wish came true. The Fortunes - Margo, with her five children, and Bill, with his one son - all spent three days last week at the Kalahari Resort Waterpark in Wisconsin Dells.

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"It was a great time and lots of memories of the trip will last us all for a long time to come," Bill said. "None of this would have been possible if you (the Dispatch) wouldn't have done our story so we are very grateful that you thought our story was worth sharing. If Margo loses her battle we will have lots of great family memories to hold onto and will be glad she got a chance to find some happiness in a very difficult time."

"My dream came true," Margo said. "I wanted to go to Wisconsin Dells so bad. Emma (Margo's daughter) and I were going to go, but she died and we never made it.

"The trip was amazing. None of the kids fought on the six-hour drive. ... We spent time in the indoor water park. The kids just loved the water.

"My favorite thing was going on this six-story high ferris wheel. That was awesome."

Bill said he cannot thank the community enough for their generosity.

Margo said she has been feeling good, but has had some bad days. She had a doctor's appointment Wednesday in St. Cloud and learned her tumor did not grow since her last appointment in late February. Bill said Margo will continue her treatment and they will continue to take things day by day.

Bill said if Margo's health holds out the family plans to take weekend trip in May to the Mall of America to check out Nickelodeon Universe and the mall's aquarium. This trip was made possible through the Jack and Jill Late Stage Cancer Foundation.

JENNIFER STOCKINGER may be reached at jennifer.stockinger@brainerddispatch.com or 855-5851. Follow on Twitter at www.twitter.com/jennewsgirl .

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