USSA takes dozens of sick kids fishing in Southport

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SOUTHPORT, NC (WWAY) — Kids got to enjoy a morning filled with sun, waves and plenty of fish in Southport to help get their minds off their illnesses.

It’s a way to make kids just feel like kids again. Dozens of sick kids came out to Southport Marina for a chance to catch some fish, thanks to the United Special Sportsman Alliance.
These kids reeled them in big time from small fries to big catches.

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“I caught three fish total. One Spanish mackerel- no two Spanish mackerel and one shark,” Alex Ferm said.

Many of these kids spend a lot of their time in the hospital, but see this opportunity out on the water as a chance to meet other kids facing the same difficulties.

“Before I came here I hadn’t known another kid with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and I met a seven year old named Aven here who had Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, he’s been battling it for three years. It was really humbling for me because mine was so short and rigorous and his was a lot longer but more hard on his family. So it’s nice to meet people who have had the same experience,” Alexis Turner said.



And even the captains of the boats were having the times of their lives.

“To be able to take a child out that has some sort of special need, whether its physical or whatever else it might be is really gratifying and humbling and at the same time it’s just a fun day. Anytime you can take kids fishing is a great time,” boat captain Scott Blevins said.

Brigid O’Donoghue is the CEO and founder of USSA and she says there is nothing quite like seeing the kids smile.

“It’s extremely important important to have a program like this for these children because there is really not something out there for them. And a lot of children like the beautiful little girl I’m holding has never been fishing before, so she’s pretty excited about coming today,” O’Donoghue said.

Even though some kids aren’t a fan of fish, they want to say thank you for having a fun time. O’Donoghue is hoping to have around 50 kids the next time they do this program in Southport. For more information or to donate, click here.