On May 22, 2012, the Fergoso Outdoor Foundation blessed Grant Crim with a hog hunt from Red Bank Outfitters near Red Bluff, California.
The following is an outline of Grant Crim, his continuing and heroic battle fighting cancer and the complications from it. Max Fregoso, who with his foundation (Fregoso Outdoor Foundation), made Grant’s recent dream of a successful hog hunt come true.
Grant was born in December, 1995 in Coquille, Oregon. At birth, his lung collapsed and a chest tube was put in. He was transferred by life flight to NICU in Eugene, Oregon. He died enroute, but was resuscitated. He was placed on a ventilator. His parents were told he would die. Grant showed he was a fighter and survived.
August, 1997, Grant frequently woke up in his crib screaming, he refused to eat, lost weight and holds his head screaming. A MRI is conducted and revealed a tumor in the middle of his brain.
Due to Grant being 23 months of age, surgery was not an option. His parents were told the doctors could prolong his life, but not cure him. He was started on chemo therapy.
With new technology, NYU Medical Center believes they can remove Grant’s tumor. On December 30, 1997, a neurosurgeon is able to remove 98 percent of the tumor. Grant is in the ICU for three weeks while the complications with the hypothalamus and pituitary gland are controlled. Grant will now be on lifelong medications, which will result in some negative side effects.
About 1 1/2 years later Grant began to have symptoms again. The tumor had resurfaced and chemotherapy was used since the tumor was a more manageable size.
About five years later his severe headaches returned. Shortly after Grant lost his vision. Grant went to an Optometrist who believed Grant’s vision was being affected by migraine headaches. The optometrist did a visual field test. They learned he had no visual field in his left eye and could only see out a small portion near the center of his right eye. An MRI was done, confirming growth of the tumor. It had grown toward the optic nerve causing permanent nerve damage, which in turn caused the vision loss. He then began another year and a half of chemotherapy. Through all of this he kept up with his studies and maintained his 4.0 grade point average and taught himself to play the guitar.
Shortly following his last bought with chemotherapy, Grant mentioned to his father he would like to go on a hog hunt.
I was visiting Grant and his father and they mentioned this to me. I told Grant my good friend Patrick Havens grew up near Red Bluff, California. Grant knows Patrick and he instantly showed a bit of excitement. I let Grant know I would contact Patrick when I returned home to Medford, Oregon.
A few days later, upon my return from the Oregon Coast, I contacted Patrick. He started giving me some information, then paused for a moment. Patrick stated he had a couple of child hood friends that were guiding pig hunts near Red Bluff. He would make a few contacts and see what he could find out. Within a week he let me know Red Bank Ale and Quail was contacted and hopefully something could be worked out.
While waiting to see if a hunt would come together, Grant began to have more medical complications. He has chronic inflammation in his body that the doctors have been unable to pinpoint. He has suffered from severe bloody noses, massive inflammation in his sinus tissue and increased pressures in both eyes including scleritis in his right eye. This could cause him to lose the rest of his vision. He has joint pain in his knee, kidney issues and eventration of his right diaphragm. This means the muscles in his diaphragm are failing and his organs on the right are all pushing up into his lung area. He has been on massive doses of prednisone to keep it under control until doctors can figure out what is causing it all.
Maybe a month or so after Patrick made some calls, he called me up and let me know Max Fregoso with the Fregoso Outdoor Foundation was interested in sponsoring a hunt for Grant. He gave me the contact information for Max. I immediately called Max and spoke to him about Grant. Max was very interested in working with Grant. He stated his foundation was started last February to take wounded vets hunting and fishing. He had taken one child to date and would like more information on Grant. I sent the Fregoso Foundation Grant’s time line on his battle with cancer. Within an hour, Max called back and stated he was going to sponsor a hunt for Grant. He stated they would do a pig hunt in May, 2012. He figured it would be easier to locate a pig near water to enable Grant a better chance at harvesting a pig. Max stated he would be in contact with all of us many times over the next few months getting the details of the hunt lined out. He stated Grant would need a Hunter’s Safety card to get his pig tag and license.
Hunter Safety was a major concern for me. Grant had not completed it and with his limited vision I was not sure how it was going to be completed. I immediately e-mailed Don Albrecht. He is a Hunter’s Safety Instructor in the Medford, Oregon area. Within one hour Don Albrecht called me up. I explained Grant’s health issues and that he was going to go on a pig hunt in late May. Don stated he wanted to do a class for Grant. He said he would check his calendar and arrange a field safety and range day for Grant. I contacted Grant and his father and let them know. Grant needed to complete the online portion of Hunter’s Safety and then meet up with Don on the field day that was set up for April 14, 2012. Grant completed the course and scored 98 percent on his final test.
Max contacted Grant and informed him he was going to set him up with hunting clothes from the Sportsman’s Warehouse in Medford, Oregon. On 04/21/2012, Grant, his mother Becky, along with Max’s cousin Karren, her husband Rick Gibbons, Patrick Havens, my son Tommy and myself all met at Sportsman’s Warehouse. We were able to outfit Grant with raingear, hunting pants, shirts, a hat, a travel bag, socks, but no boots. Grant has a large foot, he needed size 15 EE. Sportsman’s Warehouse did not stock boots that size. Rick called some stores and they all suggested a store in downtown Medford. They also did not have anything that would fit Grant and could not guarantee they could get any boots before the hunt. Becky was able to find a pair online and got Grant his first pair of hunting boots a few days later (Redwing Boots size 15 EE).
On May 21, 2012 the Crim family travelled from Coquille, Oregon to Medford, Oregon. This was the first stop on the way to Red Bank Outfitters to meet up with Max for his pig hunt the following day. Grant was in good spirits, but was a bit nervous. I reminded him he had nothing to worry about. If he was too excited when it was time to shoot he simply needed to take a few slow, deep breaths. I told him, if he did not have a stable rest to let the guide know and they would help him out. He seemed to relax a bit.
On May 22, 2012, Grant and his family left Medford a little after 8:00 a.m. in route to Red Bank Outfitters. They arrived shortly after noon and met up with Max. They taught Grant how to acquire a target in the scope and how to shoot a .260 Remington. I missed out on a bit of the shooting, but arrived just after 4:00 p.m. Grant was excited. The Crim family, Max, Grant’s guide Ric and myself all set down for a great dinner around 5:00 p.m. After blessing the meal, we all ate porterhouse steaks, baked potato, salad and french bread. Just before leaving for the evening pig hunt, about 5:45 p.m., I ran into Grant in the washroom. I could tell something was bothering him. I asked, he stated he was nervous. I told him to relax and remember how to breath. He was nervous about missing the shot. I told him, Max and Ric were going to put him in a position to succeed. He would get a good opportunity and if he missed he still had two days to hunt. Not a big deal. He seemed to relax a bit. We loaded up in the trucks and headed out.
I got to ride with Grant, his parents were a bit nervous, especially his mother. Mike wanted me to ride with Grant and I was honored and privileged to do so.
We got to the ranch we were going to hunt and Ric and Jake unloaded the UTV’s. With Grant was Max, the guide Ric and myself. With Mike and Becky were guide Jake and the owner of Red Bank Outfitters, Brian.
We headed out for the evening hunt. It was sunny, but very windy. I am not sure how fast the wind was blowing, but I am sure the gusts were over 20mph. We drove around the ranch we had been hunting for about 45 minutes. Grant told me his medicine was wearing off and he needed some water. The water was in the other UTV so Ric was on his way to meet up with Jake. Grant stated the ride in the UTV was incredible and he was having a great time. We crested a hill and down in the valley were several hogs. While Ric and Max got out of the UTV to figure the best approach, Grant got serious. I told him there was about 8-10 adult hogs and some piglets. We were 540 yards from the farthest one.
Ric drove the UTV around a hill and positioned us in the shade. Due to the wind the hogs could not here us. We were now 320 yards from the farthest one and about 120 yards to the closest hogs. I was put in charge of filming the hunt. Max had strapped the .260 Remington into a rifle rest mounted on the UTV. The two closest hogs were slowly walking to our left. Grant was on them and ready to shoot. Right before Grant shot, the pigs went behind a hill and I could not see them in the camera. Fortunately or unfortunately however one looks at it, Grant missed, hogs ran everywhere. However the hog at 320 yards was still feeding and broadside on the hill directly across from Grant. I started to film that hog, Grant was able to get in the scope. He stated “ I see a black dot” He was told that is it, go ahead and shoot. Grant shot, I saw a puff of white above the hog. Ric said “you hit just over it.” The hog ran down hill. Ric stated “you hit it, you didn’t miss.” Just after that the hog started to stumble and fell into a dry creek bed.
Max and Ric checked for the hog, it was dead, I gave Grant a big hug. Grant had hit the hog perfectly, just behind the front shoulder. Walking to the hog my emotions kicked in. It was incredible. Grant got his hog. After many pictures, we loaded the hog and headed back toward the truck. During the next 30 minutes we saw close to 100 hundred adult hogs and probably 200 piglets. On the drive back to the lodge, Grant kept saying “all I could see was a black dot, I did it, I got a pig.”
The next day, we got up early. Grant put on his hunting clothes and wore them around the lodge. He was treated to more shooting. Grant shot some tannerite and loved the explosion. He shot swinging targets with a 17 HMR and he shot a shot gun. His eye started hurting from looking thru a scope and began to swell. He did not want to stop and he did not want his mom to find out (she did). Later in the day, Grant went fishing and caught bass. I missed out on the fishing, I had to return to Medford. Patrick tlater old me, that Brian figured out how to get Grant to bust some pigeons shooting trap.
When asked “pig hunting or Disneyland,” Grant replied hunting.
Grant had an incredible trip and many thanks are owed to all that helped out.