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Family raising funds to accomplish bucket list for North Texas teen diagnosed with terminal disorder

Weston Groff, 17, suffers from a potentially fatal inherited disorder. His mom wants help to make his "bucket list" come true.

WYLIE, Texas — Fundraisers on sites like GoFundMe are common now for families in dire need: medical emergencies, family disasters and funerals. 

One North Texas family is also asking you to consider the value of helping them create one final good memory

At a home in Wylie, the one with a rusting white van parked outside, you can find 17-year-old Weston Groff playing his favorite video game: Red Dead Redemption II. 

The unintended irony - Weston is in a race against the end of his game too. 

"And what is his understanding of all of that?” WFAA reporter Kevin Reece asked his mom Sandy Groff. 

“Everything,” she said. 

Everything, his mom says, of a doctor's diagnosis.

"Yes, it is terminal,” she said. 

It’s called Friedreich's ataxia, an inherited nerve disorder. The effects can be much like ALS or muscular dystrophy. 

"One doctor told Weston several years ago that he wasn't going to live to his 18th birthday, which is this year,” Groff said. 

"So he's sort of put that time stamp on the bottom of his foot, and I just keep telling him there's no expiration stamp on the bottom of your foot. Doctors don't know everything. You make life what you make out of it." 

And to make more of his life, Weston decided he needed a bucket list. And, he agreed to openly talk about it.

"How difficult is it to have these problems?” Reece asked him.

“Like 7 out of 10,” he said while seated in his motorized wheelchair. “Miserable some days. Some days it's alright. Just depends on the day I guess."

With however many days he does have left, he told his mom he wants to see the Grand Canyon; he wants to have a margarita party on his 21st birthday if he makes it that far. 

But money is tight. That rusted white van might not get them there. 

So, that's why Weston's mom started a GoFundMe: Weston's Bucket List. A few dollars to help them rack up a few more memories.

"I just want to make him happy. I just want him to smile, just to see him light up and make them all smile,” his mom said.

"I think it's important to her, as much as it is to me,” said Weston. 

"We don't know if he's going to live that long. But to have those goals is something to look forward to and not just look forward to… death,” his mom said.

So, with a little help, the Groffs, including Weston's support dog Cosmo, will hit the road and tally one more family adventure.

Another reason for Weston to love his mom? 

"How would you rate her on one to ten of being a mom?” Reece asked him.

"10 out of 10,” he said with a laugh.  

"Well when she's sitting right next to me, it kinda [sic] has to be good,” he said, as he smiled.

And a good memory is what they’re hoping will be possible, wherever the road takes them next.

Click here if you would like to donate to "Weston's Bucket List." 

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