Angels and Heroes

Terminally ill Kevin Oldham visits the 2011 Bassmaster Classic. B.A.S.S. pros Kevin VanDam and Gerald Swindle took the time to meet the long time fishing fan. Kevin Oldham received photos and jerseys from his idols.

Kevin Oldham was told in April 2010 that he had pancreatic cancer and only one year to live. So his friends decided to bring him on the trip of a lifetime to the Bassmaster Classic.
Photo: Don Barone - Kevin Oldham was told in April 2010 that he had pancreatic cancer and only one year to live. So his friends decided to bring him on the trip of a lifetime to the Bassmaster Classic.
Kevin's trip to the 2011 Classic was a gift from his friends, Waukegan firefighters who got together, pooled their money, and brought their ailing brother to his Super Bowl.
Photo: Don Barone - Kevin's trip to the 2011 Classic was a gift from his friends, Waukegan firefighters who got together, pooled their money, and brought their ailing brother to his Super Bowl.
Gerald Swindle met Kevin and his friends after Day One of the Classic. Swindle lost his beloved brother, Tony, to pancreatic cancer.
Photo: Laurie Tisdale - Gerald Swindle met Kevin and his friends after Day One of the Classic. Swindle lost his beloved brother, Tony, to pancreatic cancer.
Swindle presented Oldham with one of his tournament jerseys.
Photo: Laurie Tisdale - Swindle presented Oldham with one of his tournament jerseys.
Oldham and his friends admire the jersey.
Photo: Laurie Tisdale - Oldham and his friends admire the jersey.
Oldham's friends enjoy the backstage visit with Swindle.
Photo: Laurie Tisdale - Oldham's friends enjoy the backstage visit with Swindle.
Oldham with his Waukegan firefighter brothers in New Orleans at the 2011 Bassmaster Classic.
Photo: Laurie Tisdale - Oldham with his Waukegan firefighter brothers in New Orleans at the 2011 Bassmaster Classic.
As the anglers were staging in their trucks and boats behind the stage, Kevin was invited to get into Gerald's boat, and with Gerald, Kevin road through the through the curtain out onto the floor of the arena.
Photo: Laurie Tisdale - As the anglers were staging in their trucks and boats behind the stage, Kevin was invited to get into Gerald's boat, and with Gerald, Kevin road through the through the curtain out onto the floor of the arena.
When Gerald took his fish out of the livewell and stepped onto the Bassmaster stage to have the fish weighed, he took Kevin with him.
Photo: Laurie Tisdale - When Gerald took his fish out of the livewell and stepped onto the Bassmaster stage to have the fish weighed, he took Kevin with him.
Photo: Laurie Tisdale - "It was like everything stopped; I could see all the people, all the lights, it was almost like a euphoric moment. It was a good day, a lot of positive energy out there, and it energized me." - Kevin Oldham
Kevin Oldham, seen in better days before pancreatic cancer, said he was
Photo: Courtesy Kevin Oldham - Kevin Oldham, seen in better days before pancreatic cancer, said he was "looking forward to God, my savior's, welcome."