Dream Catchers, USA, Saturday, May 17, 2003
CONTACT: David "Doc" Autrey, Texas Area Rep.
Adkins Grant Coordinator
Lake Brownwood, Texas
PHONE: 325-784-6509


Dream Catchers USA Grants Young Boys Last Wish of Outdoors Adventure In Texas

Thursday, April 24th. 2003 In a conversation with Nancy J. Copeland who is the President and Cofounder of Dream Catchers USA, an Alabama based Non Profit Organization dedicated to granting terminally ill and handicapped individuals their dreams and wishes for outdoors experiences; I first became aware of a 13 year old boy named Cody Adkins. As I listened, I learned that young Cody was suffering from an inoperable malignant brain stem cancer that had already failed to respond to radiation and chemotherapy treatments. He had been a perfectly normal and extremely active young boy only 10 months before, but he was now in rapid decline and the Doctors at St. Judes Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee where he was being treated held little hope for his recovery. Only two months before that Thursday, Cody had all on his own searched for and found the Dream Catchers USA website where he was astonished to find that an organization actually existed that specialized in providing the very thing that dreams are made of for boys like Cody; One last chance to go hunting and at long last finally succeed in harvesting a game animal. Cody had been hunting for several years with his father Kenny Adkins in the woods near his home in Knoxville, Tennessee but had never had the opportunity to harvest the elusive whitetail buck of his dreams.

Lots of kids in Cody's position might of sooner wished for a trip to Disneyland or a visit to the beach, but not young Cody. He knew exactly what he wanted to do as his final experience on earth and he was bound a determined to make it happen! Cody wanted more than anything else to harvest that buck of his dreams, but Cody was not thinking only of himself. Being a young man of great character and loyalty, Cody sought to include his longtime friend and neighbor Billy "Rusty" Hill to accompany him on his hunt of a lifetime. Even knowing he was facing his on death, Cody Adkins had the graciousness and forethought to include his dear friend Rusty in his last wish.

You see, Rusty too is severely handicapped from a birth defect that left him with only one arm and one leg, confining him to a wheelchair and a lifetime of fewer opportunities to experience the abundant outdoors experiences that most of us so often take for granted. Cody proceeded with a considerable amount of difficulty due to the effects of the tumor attached to his brain stem which causes loss of agility in his arms and eyesight to fill out the application which was required for his grant to be approved by the officials at Dream Catchers USA.

All the while he thought his application stood little or no chance of being accepted or approved. Immediately upon receipt of Cody's application, Nancy Copeland first began to pray for Codes health, then she put in God's hands the arrangements required to make his dreams come true.

Unknown to herself, God was already prepared for just such an event and He in His great character and loyalty knew exactly where to go to provide every need for young Cody and his dear friend Rusty. After hearing the story of this amazing young man I knew exactly what needed to be done and I immediately set out to make all of the necessary arrangements with a great sense of urgency. Although Cody had asked to hunt white-tailed deer, I knew that his condition would not allow the time needed to reach opening day of the regular Texas hunting season. As an experienced outfitter and guide whom has conducted trophy hunts for nearly fifteen years here in Texas, I also immediately knew that our best chance for a successful hunt would be for one of over 20 species of the exotic animals that roam the 40,000 acres of the world famous Y. O. Ranch located in the beautiful hill country of south central Texas. Upon receiving my call for assistance, the staff at the Y. O. Ranch immediately agreed to provide a full 3 day package hunt for Cody, Rusty and their families. The entire party was to be treated to a warm welcome, luxurious accommodations, excellent meals and a grand tour of the world-renowned ranch.

I asked God to guide my efforts in making sure that every accommodation would be provided in making this mission the best single experience of Cody's young life. What followed was the most tremendous outpouring of generosity and compassion I have ever had the good fortune to witness!

Not only would Cody and Billy be hunting on the most renowned ranch in the world, but they were also to be treated to numerous additional gifts and services. American Airlines provided 4 of the 8 seats needed to fly them from Knoxville at no cost, the other 4 were provided at a drastically reduced rate which was paid for by a rather large cash donation from Benefit4Kids; a non profit organization based in Yale, MI. which also specializes in outdoor grants for terminally ill children. The remaining airfare costs were paid for by cash donations from numerous members of Ted Nugent's United Sportsmen of America. Ted Nugent, himself, personally guaranteed to pick up any remainder of the airfare costs if a balance was left after donations were received!

Hertz Corporation provided a luxurious 4WD Lincoln Navigator for the travel and transport of the party and equipment. Mossy Oak provided camo clothing for the hunters and their guides and respective family members. World-renowned Texas knife makers, Glen Marshall and Tom Beery, hand built hunting knives for Cody and Rusty. Kerrville Medical Supply provided 2 top quality powered wheelchairs. Cabelas, Browning Arms, Kahles Scopes, Bass Pro Shops, Remington Arms, Wal-Mart and Corral West Ranchwear provided gear and accessories for the hunt. White Raven Taxidermy in Early, TX. provided taxidermy services, Woodbury Taxidermy in Ingram, TX. provided meat processing and packaging and numerous other companies and individuals provided many more gifts and services. But that was just the start of this most fantastic adventure!

Knowing that this may well be the last time spent together as a family for the Adkins' I wanted very much to give something more to them that the entire family could share in together and hold as a final cherished memory. Once again, God provided abundantly for them. After the 3 day hunt at the Y. O. Ranch where the entire party had the special privilege of hand feeding giraffes and a photo safari beyond compare; Rusty successfully harvested first a Fallow Deer doe and then also a Texas Dall ram, and Cody successfully harvested a Blackbuck Antelope doe; the entire party would then proceed to San Antonio, TX where they would stay for 5 days and nights at the beautiful and luxurious Radisson Hill Country Resort and Spa! This was an entirely extra gift from the City of San Antonio and the Radisson.

While there, they were treated to lavish accommodations like: feather down beds, in room whirlpool baths, a fantastic swimming pool and Jacuzzi, excellent breakfast meals and the most heartwarming hospitality from the entire staff I have ever seen. One particular staff member even took it upon himself to bake a special cake for them on his own time! The Radisson also provided Special One Day Passes for the entire party to Sea World Texas where they were also treated to a Special Gift at the Shamu section of the park which allowed them to go directly tank-side after the show and hand feed the Killer Whales and Dolphins! The smiles were plentiful and much fun was had by all. The City of San Antonio later provided a trip to see The Alamo, The World Famous Buckhorn Museum and the San Antonio Riverwalk! Dining and meals were made possible by: Rudy's Bar-B-Q, Chili's Restaurants, The Texas Cafe, Los Palapas and Dominoes Pizza.

With no exceptions, the entire trip was a resounding success and a truly wonderful
and joyous time was had by all! How wonderful and generous are the people of this great country we call home! How Compassionate and Caring are our great citizens and companies! How Powerful and Great is the Love of our God for His children!

I am moved to tears each time I look back on the memories and events involved in this most urgent and special mission, which is permanently etched into my mind and heart. I will also never forget the look on Cody's face as he received an Honorary Constables Badge and Identification from Rob Cook, Vice President of Dream Catchers, USA as well as a Certificate from Texas Governor Rick Perry which proclaimed Cody as an Honarary citizen of Texas! God Bless this country, and God Bless all of those many generous people who made this Special Dream Trip a Reality.
With Heartfelt Sincerity,
David "Doc" Autrey
Dream Catchers, USA

For More Info On Dream Catchers USA visit: or Contact: David "Doc" Autrey at (325) 784-6509 or Contact: Nancy Copeland, President at (256) 757-5477
For More Info On The Activities At The Y. O. Ranch, visit: or or Contact: Jacy Pinner at (830) 640-3220
Home Office: Dream Catchers, USA P. O. Box 701 Killen, AL 35645-0701 Phone: (256) 757-5477 Fax: (256) 757-7925 E-mail: URL: