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Community helps woman with ailing father's bucket list

Posted at 7:44 PM, Jan 14, 2022

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — What started out as a simple request for bucket list ideas for a San Diego woman's ailing father turned into an outpouring of community support to help make it happen.

"My dad always wanted to live until age 107 so the fact that his life was cut short really took us all by surprise," said Vanessa Mitchell-Delmotte.

In March of last year, at age 72, Mitchell-Delmotte's father, Patrick, was diagnosed with stage four pancreatic cancer.

"We all were just reeling. We didn’t really know what that meant," she said.

There was still so much her father wanted to do so she came up with the idea to do a bucket list for him.

She posted her father's story in the Coronado Happenings Facebook Group asking for things to do.

"Nothing touristy, something that I couldn't just google myself," she said.

Mitchell-Delmotte figured she'd received a few responses, but hundreds of people commented not only with recommendations but offering to help fulfill them.

"Tickets to a special viewing of 'The Nutcracker' with board members of the City Ballet of San Diego, a behind-the-scenes tour of Hotel Del Coronado," said Mitchell-Delmotte.

And so the adventure began. One woman's husband gave Mitchell-Delmotte and her father got a private tour of a U.S. Navy helicopter squadron.

They also took a trip to Las Vegas to see a UFC fight thanks to Vicki Quinn and her son Stephen, who's an executive at the company.

"By giving to them, I was giving myself joy because I know how exciting it is to go to that first fight," said Quinn.

Mitchell-Delmotte said her favorite moments weren't the experiences themselves but the time in between them.

"It was the fact that we had this experience together and afterwards we were like can you believe we just went to Vegas," she said.

Her father passed away on Jan. 11, but before his death was able to express what the experience meant to him.

"It was the reaching out. That's what matter, especially because people didn't know me, and through all this, it's been the spirit of humanity," Patrick said in an audio recording.

Mitchell-Delmotte says her father Patrick was a pillar in the community. He served 39 years in the San Diego County school system.