The Bucket List

In lieu of Eric's terminal prognosis in the summer of 2009, he put together a "bucket list" of things he wanted to do with the time he had left.  Miraculously, after an experimental drug regimen in the fall of 2009, Eric was brought back into remission from AML for the 3rd time in the last 7 years. The terminal prognosis, at least this particular one, was incorrect...Eric had defeated his cancer once again.

UPDATE (03/24/2012): Eric and his wife Cari receive a phone call informing them that the bone marrow transplant that Eric received has failed and that they need to come talk with the oncologists about "quality of life versus quantity of life."  With the failed transplant, Eric's chances of being cured are gone.

UPDATE (04/26/2012): Eric has beaten cancer for the 6th time - this time in his brain.  However, it is the leukemia that exists in the rest of his body defines the terminal prognosis. Despite oncologists making suggestions to cease treatment, Eric fights on.  This 7th occurrence is the final battle.  Please keep Eric in your prayers as he faces down his cancer one last time.

Eric's Bucket List

Item Checked off! Photo/Video
#1 - Go skydiving Completed June 11, 2009 in Omro, WI. Thank you SkyDive Adventure! Eric Skydiving
#2 - Drive a 1996 Dodge Viper GTS (blue with white racing stripes) Completed June 13, 2009 in our very own town, in our very own driveway! Thank you to Russ Wetenkamp and family for bringing it over and letting Eric drive it with all of us. We will never forget it, that was awesome! Eric Driving a Dodge Viper GTS
#3 - Throw first pitch at a Brewer game Sunday - June 14, 2009 vs the Chi White Sox thanks to Don Smiley, Rick Schlesinger, Jason Stuewe, and the Milwaukee Brewers! Eric pitching the opening pitch at the Brewers vs. White Sox Game 6-14-2009
#4 - Go to Las Vegas with my brothers On June 15, Eric flew out to Las Vegas with Mike and Steve and returned on Thursday, June 18. The flight home was supposed to be a 3 hour trip from Phoenix, but ended up taking almost 24 hours! There were several flight changes due to mechanical failures, and groundings due to poor weather. Eric, Mike and Steve in Vegas!
#5 - Drive on a Nascar track On Tuesday June 16 Eric drove the VFW Nascar at the Las Vegas Speedway, thanks to the people at Point Beach Nuclear Plant!! Also on June 20, 2009 Eric got to ride in the Pace Car at the June Sprints at Road America in Elkhart Lake. Pictures and videos to be posted soon! Eric Driving a Nascar!
#6 - Swim with dolphins On Wednesday June 17, Eric got to be a Trainer for a Day at Siegfried and Roy's Secret Garden Dolphin Habitat! Cari, Steve, Ashley & Mike were there outside the glass taking video and pictures! Thank you to the staff at the Mirage for all of your kindness and help. Videos will be uploaded soon. Eric the Dolphin Trainer
#7 - Ride in a hot air balloon On Sunday June 21 Eric, his Dad, and his friend Nate rode on the "Pretty Fantastic II" hot air balloon in Brillion, WI. Thank you to Bill Wachal and Kerry Lindemann of Wisconsin Fastener Supply Inc. and Mighty "Z" Balloon Adventures in Brillion, Wisconsin Eric in a Hot Air Balloon
#8 - Ride in a Powered Parachute On Sunday June 21 Eric got to ride in a powered parachute on a whim courtesy of Greg Klein. Eric in a Powered Parachute
#9 - Meet The Offspring On June 26, 2009, Eric got to meet the members from The Offspring at Summerfest in Milwaukee, the world's largest music festival thanks to Jason Stuewe, Doug Johnson, Scott Biel, and John Schroeder from Summerfest. You truly made the night very special. Eric was allowed to watch the show on the stage with Mike, Cari, Jason, and Nathan. Also a big thanks to the lovely couple from Appleton who tried to hold our seats for us in case we didn't get a spot on the stage! Eric meeting The Offspring
#10 - Go to the Virigin Islands with the family On June 29, 2009 Eric flew St. Thomas island with his family and now wife, Cari, and returned on July 7, 2009. Thank you so much to all who donated to make this possible. It was an unforgettable, an absolute paradise. Check this one off the list! Eric at St. Thomas island
#11 - Take a tour of Miller Park, and meet some of the players! On Wednesday, August 26th 2009, I got a super high VIP tour of Miller Park courtesy of one of my now very good friends, Larry Hisle and the Milwaukee Brewers.  I was able to bring along my brother Steve and two of my very best friends Nathan and Jason.  I will have videos up on my YouTube channel and plenty of pictures uploading to the photo gallery on the site in due time.  It was pretty close to the most incredible thing I have ever experienced and gotten to see. The Ultimate Miller Park Experience!
#12 - Go to a range and fire massive amounts of ammo out of high caliber firearms On Saturday September 19, Eric got to shoot all kinds of huge guns thanks to some great local area sportsmen. Thank you guys so much!!
#13 - Visit New York City One of Eric's dreams has always been to see the Big Apple, and on December 10, 2009 Eric finally got to go for a few days.  Eric and his girlfriend Cari made the trip to NYC and eventually met up with his older brother Mike.   They explored Times Square, the Empire State Building, Ellis Island, the Statue of Liberty, and the World Trade Center memorial.  To the right is a picture of Eric, Cari, Mike, and Mike's two friends Jacek and Nate wearing their LIFE shirts at the Statue of Liberty.  :) 
#14 - Go Fishing on Lake Michigan In the summer of 2009, Eric wanted to do some hardcore fishing on Lake Michigan but was never able to because the weather never seemed to cooperate.  But on Saturday August 21, 2010 - Craig Rysticken took out Eric, Mike, and Lindsey McLean out on his boat on Lake Michigan.  The water was warm so many fishermen weren't even getting a single bite.  But we caught 5 king salmon out there!  What an awesome day.  Thank you Craig!!


#15 - Meet the Green Bay Packers


On June 10th, 2011, Eric and Cari were invited to attend the Greg Jennings 4th Annual Celebrity Golf Tournament!  Please click HERE to read all about it!

Green Bay Packers

#16 - Get Married!

On July 16th, 2011, Cari Lynn Jaeger and Eric James McLean exchanged vows to spend the rest of their lives together! 

#17 - Eat a Big Mac

I gave this one some thought and realized that I have never ever eaten a Big Mac before.  I had to see what the hype was all about and McDonald's definitely did not disappoint.  Great sandwich!




Not yet checked off


Get as many people as I can to sign up on the bone marrow registry Go to  A simple blood donation can save a life...possibly even mine.

Be Batman Purchase a high end Batman costume, start up my Batmanesque Harley-Davidson Night Rod Special (flat black), wear said costume, ride off into the sunset...or at least until I get pulled over by law enforcement. Batman costume
Hold my own child Cari and Eric have been actively pursuing having a child since the day of our marriage.  
Visit Australia One of Eric's dreams has always been to visit Australia.  
Get a tattoo Still pondering over ideas what me and my siblings could all get, any ideas? Some thoughts that we have tried incorporating include the Celtic Circle of LIFE, the Greek (from Eric's Mom's side) letters of the first initials of Eric and all of his siblings, or the Scottish (from his Dad's side) McLean family crest.  
Ride my Harley up the California coast Ride all of the way up Hwy 1 stopping to see every beautiful sight along the way.  
Go to Italy and Greece Due to the uncertainty of Eric's upcoming treatment and health, the trip to Europe will have to be put on hold for now.  
Fly as a passenger in a fighter jet I'd love to pull as many G forces as possible! Several people have also approached us about this! Eric is currently waiting for an "ok" from his doctors before he tries this.  
Write a book I would absolutely love to write a book, but have absolutely no idea where to start.  I am looking for a co-author that has a passion for cancer survivorship and one that would be willing to take on such a project.  Please contact me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you or anyone that you know would be interested.  
Go surfing Eric has always had a strong desire to learn how to surf.  He's spent plenty of time on his snowboard during the cold winters of Wisconsin but has always dreamed of riding the waves of the Pacific.  
Other ideas? If anyone has any other ideas, feel free to post them on the guestbook, or email them to us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  


  • The reason that these years have been the best is that I think that I might have had a somewhat positive impact on your lives and perhaps your understanding of what cancer is and what it can do, to both those of us that it has personally attacked and those of us who know someone who is going through it. -Eric McLean
  • I just want children to be left with a better life than what I was left with," he said. "I want them to experience the feeling I had in my life when I realized that I really mattered.
    ~ Larry Hisle
  • Realistically, I have two more Olympic cycles in me. I'm not going to let this beat me.  I've gained a lot of strength from you guys, if Eric can fight 5 times over I can overcome this one year of setbacks.
    ~ Chris Solinsky
  • Strange is our situation here upon earth. Each of us comes for a short visit, not knowing why, yet sometimes seeming to divine a purpose. From the standpoint of daily life, however, there is one thing we do know: that man is here for the sake of other men. ~ Albert Einstein
  • Never, never, never give up.
    ~ Winston Churchill
  • I have heard there are troubles of more than one kind. Some come from ahead and some come from behind. But I've bought a big bat. I'm all ready you see. Now my troubles are going to have troubles with me! ~ Dr. Seuss
  • Once you choose hope, anything's possible.
    ~ Christopher Reeve
  • If you're going through hell, keep going.
    ~ Winston Churchill