Stage 4 Cancer with Only Weeks to Live

Stage 4 Cancer with Only Weeks to Live

Sometimes life hits pretty fast. Within minutes, our whole lives can change. This is one of those stories.

One day I received this email:

"I have the most amazing friend, Bobby Stephenson, whose entire life has been built around telling a great story. He learned a week ago that he has stage 4 cancer that has spread throughout his body and now has days to live. When we talked about his celebration of life, he asked me to order the 4 inch white stickers and make sure everyone gets one. I need 500 of them. Is there anyway to get a rush order?"

I immediately placed a special rush delivery for the stickers, with a request:

"Hi Robyn, I'd love to hear more from Bobby so I was wondering if it would be possible to do a video call with him. I'd love to meet him and hear more about his story, let me know if you think it's possible."

Only a week later, I received another email from Robyn:

"I’m so thankful for your help in shipping us the 500 stickers. I was able to tell our friend, Bobby, before he passed that we received the stickers and will honor his request of giving them out at his celebration of life service this Saturday."

I wasn't able to talk with Bobby himself but I was able to talk with Robyn and Justin about Bobby's life and legacy.

Listen to the podcast here:


Bobby lived an unconventional life so his death had to be the same.

For 25 years, Bobby had led high schoolers on "mystery trips" where the students didn't know any of the details of where they were going or what they would do, only receiving clues of the adventure.

The idea behind this was to push the students out of their comfort zones and create powerful stories and relationships through their experiences of sky diving, bungee jumping and more.

When Bobby knew he was passing away, he had one final wish:

Bobby wanted some of the men he had mentored over the years to spread his ashes in Rocky Mountain National Park for his final Mystery Trip.

As Bobby made the list of his "pallbearers" he had no idea he'd need them so soon. He giggled as he thought about the different personalities in the group & how they'd have to work together to make the journey to spread his ashes together.
The #1 thing to pack: flexibility
Most of the details were kept secret, so the men had to stay flexible and "trust the driver" to enjoy the journey without knowing the details.
The group took Bobby's ashes along in a handmade leather backpack made by a dear friend: a mini replica of the one he'd made for Bobby years prior. It was well worn from adventure.
Bobby loved wonder, story, and random.
How appropriate to send this crew to "The Carousel of Happiness" where 18 grown men with their buddy's ashes would ride 'round a carousel?
Perfection. They loved it! It was worth every minute.
The carousel's motto is a reflection of Bobby's life:
"The Carousel of Happiness is dedicated to inspiring happiness, well-being, and service to others through stories and experiences”.
The final trip included a collection of other experiences that Bobby loved, including a roller coaster, feeding squirrels, visiting the haunted Stanley Hotel from The Shining and a final pilgrimage to Mills Lake.
The hike was was a challenge but they made it, together, a beautiful tribe to honor their beloved friend.
At the start, some of the men didn't know another soul on the trip.
By the time the weekend was over, they'd formed a lifelong bond.
Bobby was all about building relationships and doing life together….even in the end.