Blind 8-year-old gets a chance of a lifetime on antelope hunt

New Mexico News

ARTESIA, N.M. (KRQE) – An 8-year-old boy has faced a tough battle much of his life; cancer took his sight but there is nothing that’s going to stop him. The boy got to participate in the trip of a lifetime.

Over the weekend, 8-year-old Jonathan Salas had his dreams come true after he was chosen to take part in the K’dyn Ross Brewer Memorial hunt for kids that are battling life-threatening illnesses. K’dyn was killed in a ranching accident when he was 7-years-old and his family created the hunt to honor his memory.

“We’re just trying to make a kid that has a life-threatening illness or has overcome a life-threatening illness. We’re trying to make their lives better and keep K’dyn’s Memorial alive,” said Tony Torrez of New Mexico Desert Dogs.

The group Desert Dogs partnered with Ridgeline Outfitters to find a child truly deserving of the hunt. They chose Jonathan after hearing about his battle with Retinal Pastoma since he was one. He has lost his vision when he was just two-years-old. He’s become very interested in wild animals and hunting.

“They had dear, oryx, bear, everything hanging on the walls all over the place. He would walk around, I want to feel it; he would feel the eyes,” said Robert Orona, his stepdad.

Whenever word got back to Jonathan that he was chosen he couldn’t wait another minute.

“Whenever he found out about it, we told him you’re gonna go hunting this day, this day, and this day. He goes, ‘I don’t want to go anymore.’ I’m like ‘why?’ ‘Because it’s not tomorrow,'” said Robert.

The hunt started Saturday and was supposed to run for three days. It only took three misses and walking over a couple of hills for Jonathan to hit the target. On his fourth try, he got his antelope from nearly 500 yards.

“I just killed an antelope guys,” said Jonathan. He could not hold in his excitement of what he just accomplished. “You just got your first speed goat and a burrito,” said Jonathan and his stepdad.

The group says its already planning its third annual hunt next summer. they will start taking nominations for deserving kids in January.

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