Posted by: Brooke Hukill | January 7, 2009

HomeAway Getaway Entry

I recently decided to enter a vacation contest.  I’ve never entered a contest, let alone one where I would do a video, so be prepared.  For those of you who don’t know me well, I am…let’s say…a tad bit emotional?  The winner will be chosen by an open voting process.  Please hear our story and VOTE (above, just enter your email and click Vote for this post, they will not retain your email address or use it for any other use other than to confirm your vote) for my family’s chance at a vacation.  I can’t even begin to tell you what it would mean to all of us!

We are a family of 6, our 4 kids are absolutely amazing!  Our oldest will be leaving for college this year, our only daughter is a Freshman in HS and truly helps us get through each day by helping with the little ones, our middle son is 7yrs old and was born with Spina Bifida and is restricted to a wheelchair along with several other medical complications and our youngest is about to be 2 and is full of energy and love.

We have never been on a family vacation and may never be able to afford one while all our kids are still at home, we only have a short time before our oldest leaves for college.

I would love to give our special needs child the chance to play on a beach and to see the ocean while he is still small enough to be carried around. Wheelchairs and sand don’t mix.

I would love to be able to give my incredible husband the rest he truly deserves. He works so hard and so much to support our family so that I can stay at home and take care of our children the way they deserve, which allows me to be able to devote my love and attention on them and their care.

This may be our ‘once in a lifetime’ and I just feel so blessed just to be given the opportunity!”



  1. Nice Sob story suckers

  2. they need this vacation they will always remember this time together!!!
    they need some positive beautiful times in their lives

  3. Jim,

    All I will say to your comment is this…I truly hope that my “sob story” never becomes your reality like it is mine. I did not choose this path for myself and I most certainly did not choose this path for my child. He did not deserve this life and I would like to believe that I did not either. However, God choose us! He choose to use me to parent a child that I am certain many would not have even carried to full term knowing what we did so early in our pregnancy. He choose our son because He knew that he was strong enough and would change lives through his disabilities. He is an amazing child with an amazing passion for life. I have never met another human being who is so full of joy and is completely oblivious to the fact that he is different or has any short comings. At 7 years old, we have already seen him make a difference in other peoples lives by his disposition on life. He is deserving of this chance though. Your comment makes me sad, but I do pray that something that is so hard to deal with day in and day out for the rest of your life never effects you or one of your loved ones. I hope you never have to watch your wife or daughter or loved one have to struggle the way that we have. I think you would see this differently if it did, but I would not wish it upon anyone. I don’t regret my path, but nonetheless it is not an easy one. I hope that my comment does not anger you, but that it does make you think that this is real for us. And it is real to millions of families out there. Please don’t be so insensitive to those families. We struggle enough without comments like these.

  4. Madeline,
    Thank you for your kind words! I truly appreciate your support of my family!

  5. This family really does need a vacation and nevermind what Jim says as there are honest good people who tell the truth. I am fortunate to be able to take a vacation once a year and have used this service for the past 3 years.
    Have not been dissappointed yet.

  6. Diane, Thanks for backing me up! Hope I didn’t let it get the best of me? I am happy to hear that this is a service you have used and trust, that gives me a great sense of peace!

  7. Dear Hukill Family,
    I also have a nephew with special needs and know with the daily time spent with him you are very deserving of this trip. My husband,2 daughters and myself have vactioned many years with my sister and her loving family and I also understand that to get your special person on the sand in a wheelchair is almost impossible.It can be done ,we have done it many times but it is very hard and to attempt while trying to attend to your 2 year old. My nephew is 20 years old and a little over 80 pounds so you are very right to want to go now while he is small enough to lift easily. I am with Steven(my nephew )
    every day and know how hard all is to deal with.The illnesses are the worst. We almost lost my him a few years ago and not that we already did not know but life is very precious. Make everyday like it could be your or his last.
    And to Jim,you really should be ashamed of yourself.Obviously you do not deal with this in your everday life or you would not have even have replied!!!!!!

  8. Bev, Thank you so much for your sweet support and understanding. This was such a hard thing for me to do. I have never used our situation to promote ourselves for anything and is something I am very against. However, my children deserve this after all they have been through. So as difficult as it was for me to record and write this entry, I just pray that maybe it will all be worth it when I get to see their faces on the beach! I am happy to hear that your nephew is doing well and is loved by such a fantastic family! It is so awesome that you have not let his disability stop you all from living and enjoying life!

  9. Fabulous!! I have looked at a few of the contest videos in the past for vacations and cruise and voted one. You have done a fabulous job putting the video together…and don’t sweat the emotional stuff. That’s the way life is …tears, laughter, and love.
    Good luck with the contest.

    NO WAY!! You have a child old enough to be in college!!! NO WAY!!!!

  10. Nadine, yes we have one that will be heading off to college in the fall, scary huh? Thank you so much for your comment and vote!!!

  11. put this on twitter @marloboux and voted for you. Where is my tissue??

  12. Marlo, Thank you so much for your vote and for getting the word out on Twitter! Sorry I made you cry!!! Talk soon!

  13. Hey, I forgot to tell you in my first comment about to beaches. 1.Daytona Beach allows you to drive right on the beach so you would not have to worry about the wheelchair issue and 2.Cocoa Beach has a nice beach entrance. It takes you a ways onto the beach. That one is on I DREAM OF GENIE LANE. Hope this helps..
    Take care again and I voted for you guys .I am just waiting for them to email me to confirm it.

  14. You and your family are so beautiful. You don’t mind if I tell the whole world about this, do you?? 😉

    God Bless You!!

  15. I am a single Mom to 5 children – 8, 10, 13, 22, 24. I was in a car accident last year and have had three surgeries since then. My children are my rocks. Your child is lucky to have your love and devotion.
    Do not let nasty comments even deter you from moving forward and doing great things.
    I wish you and your family the best.
    The Daily Blonde

  16. God bless you and your beautiful family. I voted for you. That was a touching video. And don’t let the “Jim” comment phase you one bit. Ignorance of that level is to be ignored. Sadly, he may never think twice about what he did, where it may have caused you a considerable amount of hurt. That’s why you can discount it as “not worthy of wasting a thought on”. I hope you win, but more so, I hope the Lord blesses your family above and beyond anything you can think or even imagine, because He can!

  17. Brooke,
    You and your family is in my thoughts and prayers daily! You are a great mother and you all totally deserve this! You know you always have my vote and support with whatever you need! I love you!

  18. I voted for you – I hope you win the vacation you deserve.

  19. Awww, I’m happy to vote for you and I hope you win! You have a beautiful family!

  20. I am absolutely appalled by the first comment by Jim Is there anyway to remove it from this site?? First of all Jim…the world is full of cruel insensitive people, and it’s really ashamed that you fall into that category and would even put your comment on this sight.

    I have been following this women on twitter, whether she know or not because she has a great sense of humor and is a giver. Did you know she chose an amazing organization of women to bless HP products to so that they can accomplish their mission? Ok, a woman who has her set of issues is so blessed to sow int other people’s life.

    I have a few friends that have parents that are going through very challenging times and I pray to God that they all receive the break, the vacation, that would just be so refreshing for the entire family.

    I do pray that Sugar and her family receive this gift and a time of their lives!!


  21. Brook,
    Wow is all I can say. I always knew you were the best. I will never forget the kind gestures you gave me in my hard times. To this day I think about the uplifting moments you brought to me when I needed them. You truely are a great person. I envey you. Lots of luck with the vacation of a lifetime. You have my vote!!


  22. Wow, such a sweet tribute to your family. It is obvious the love and devotion that you have for your family. I found you through a link that Mrs. Fussypants posted. I am so glad that I clicked over. Good luck. Sounds like you do deserve the vacation.

  23. Hi Brooke! I am happy to vote for you, you deserve it! I also Tweeted to help spread the word.

  24. Praying for you and your beautiful family! God Bless you!

  25. Keep your chin up….as the mother of as special needs child I truly appreciate where you are coming from. My ex husband (ironically named Jim) has the brains of a peanut just like Jim who thinks you gave a sob story. It is those kind of people that should try our life for just one day. It would be him sobbing like a little baby because he couldn’t handle it. My new husband is like yours and a pillar of faith. A long time ago I came across this poem and I think it is important for you to read it. It is entitled God Selects special people for handicapped children.
    Most women become mothers by accident, some by choice, a few by social pressures and couple by habit. this year, nearly 100,000 women will become mothers of handicapped children. Did you ever wonder how mothers of handicapped children are chosen? somehow I I visualize God hovering oer earth selecting his instruments for propagation with great care and deliberation. As he observes, he instructs his angle to make notes in a giant ledger. Armstrong, Beth, son, Patron saint, matthew. Forrest, Marjorie Daughter. Rutledge, Carrie twins, Give her Gerard, He’s used to profanity. Finally, he passes a name to an angel and smiles. give her a handicapped child. The angel is curious, Why this one God? She is so happy. Exactly, smiles God. Could I give a handicapped child to a mother who does not know laughter.? That would be cruel. But has she patience asks the angel. I dont want her to have to much patience or she will drown in a sea of self pity and despair. Once the shock and resentment wears off, she will handle it. I watched her today. She has that feeling of self and independence that is so rare and so necessary in a mother. You see, the child I’m going to give her has his own world. She has to make it live in her world and thats not going to be easy. But Lord, I don’t think she even believes in you. God smiles. No matter, I can fix that. This one is perfect. She has just enough selfishness. the angel gasps, selfishness! Is that a virtue? God nods, If she can’t separate herself from the child occasionally, she’ll never survive. Yes, here is a woman whom I will bless with a child less than perfect. She doesn’t realize it yet, but she is to be envied. She will never take forgranted a spoken work. She will never consider a step ordinary. When her child says momma for the first time she will be present at a miracle and know it. I will permit her to see clearly the things I see..ignorance, cruelty, prejudice..and allow her to rise above them. She will never be alone. I will be at her side every minute of every day of her life because she is doing my work as surely as she is here by my side. And what about her Patron Sain, asks the ange, his pen poised in mid air. God smiles, a mirror will suffice.

    I am voting for you…Its hard enough everyday….And a comment above..New Symrna Beach also you can drive on the beach. It is just south of Daytona and not quite so busy.

  26. Hey Brooke! its breanna carmens daughter… i loved your video it was beautiful … i voted 🙂 . i pray you guys win because this is something you guys wont forget and will cherish . you guys are very deserving of it every single one in your family is.

    love all of you

  27. They deserve the vacation, please enjoy. May god bless you everyday.

  28. I don’t even know what to say! I have been getting so many kind comments that I just can’t keep up with the Thank you’s! You are all so wonderful!!! Thank you so much to all of those who are voting for my family and for all of your sweet comments. May God Bless you all with unmeasurable blessings! Thank you for your support and love!!!!

    The Hukill Family

  29. Dear Brooke,

    I don’t even know what to say! your family is very beautiful family! I used to go to school with Lindsey she is so sweet and is always there for you when you need her. I’m sure your family deserves this vacation. Your video truly touched my heart and my moms. Don’t let the nasty comments get to you no matter what. Always always remember that God is by your side through everything no matter what!

  30. Wishing you the best!!!!!!!

  31. I pray that God will hear all of our prayers so that you and your family can have the dream vacation that you all deserve.

    Please Lord hear our prayers,


  32. Brooke Hukill,
    I have been a mom for thirty years and it is undoubtedly the best job I have ever had. Both my grown babies have blessed me more than I could ever voice. They had hard times as I did raising them alone, I worked hard to do that and my one regret is I did not play more often and make a bigger effort at taking them on vacations. It is easy to become so buried in the responsibilities of day to day. Vacations let your children witness that there are many sides to mom and dad and that is okay to have fun and enjoy life. I applaud you on this endeavor and the folks who are offering this contest.

    You certainly have my vote!!!!!!

  33. Your family deserves this vacation, we are a family of 5 and I know how stressful life can be without some of the hardships that your family has endured and how strong the desire is to provide your kids with the vacation that i am sure they have dreamed of, or heard their classmates speak of. Think like you already have this because I believe that you do! I will be putting out positive energy your way.

    Twitter: @tpompa

  34. […] The last I saw Brooks Family was in 2nd place and a 100 votes shy, this contest ends on Thursday, January 15th. Vote Here […]

  35. Amazing! I voted and will spread to all I know.


  36. You are one good person on this earth! You deserve that vacation and I’m sure you will win. I’m posting the address on Twitter so that you can get as many votes as possible!


  37. First off… you have my families vote and prayers! Good for you and your family to not only have a positive attitude for all you have had to deal with in life so far, but for any of the negative people that have crossed your path… so sad, their loss.The first post (the Jim guy) was an example of someone pretty hateful and negative. A lot of people have been jammin’ on him, however, we never know what one has going on in their own personal lives. With that said, I would want to let him know that there are many professionals willing to help him with his anger and various other issues. He can call my agency at 405-942-7650 we can get him some therapy. However, on the issue we should be focusing on,…. wow!!! What a wonderful faimily you guys have… so beautiful too ! Faith …. that is all I have to say. God is so amazing. He takes care of all of us that have faith. You will win. keep the faith. I thank Keisha for introducing me to your family. Tanja Dougherty and family

  38. Wow, I can so relate. We’ve never had a real family vacation, but very small camping trips on occasion. Four kids, stay home to care for them, oldest (19) is actually in college this year and youngest (6) is dealing w/epilepsy, Chiari and other issues. Don’t have the wheelchair to deal with, though. 😉 I voted. Hope you win. I completely understand that feeling of knowing you don’t have much time left together as a family (in the same way that it is now).

  39. Brooke, I voted for you. I’m so sorry you’ve had to go through all of this, but I know, from experience, that God doesn’t give us more than we can handle. I have a 15 year old son who was born with only 1/2 a heart, and had 5 strokes when he was just 2 years old. He has had two major (bypass-type) heart surgeries, and has dealt with a LOT down through the years. He questions all the time why God made him this way, especially now that he is in public school (we homeschooled up until this year), and is in the special day class, due to his disabilities brought on by the strokes.

    God bless you and your family. I hope and pray that you will get this vacation.


  40. A family deserve to spend time together and make some wonderful memories

  41. Stephanie Corder sent met your info — I’m voting for you!!!

  42. you have my vote – bless you all. Jim is an idiot and its just sad that his is the first everyone sees.

  43. b-
    I can only pray that you know in your heart what an amazing person you are. I have seen you go to the ends of the earth for your family and friends, even while being emotionally, mentally, and physically exhausted. But it is because of that loving, generous spirit that you have loving, generous kids…:)
    Yes the kiddos truly deserve a family vacation someplace wonderful, but oh just to see their faces if they got to see Mom and Dad RELAX!
    Since the day we met you have always put others first. I truly hope by all of these beautiful comments and this outpouring of support you realize its time Brooke…… receive.

    “Be Still and Know…” Psalm 46:10


    guess who i voted for 😛

  44. Here is my vote ~ I hope you guys win.

  45. I voted for you and Lord willing you will be on
    the beach with your family making memories
    that will last a life time.

  46. Voted for you & Retweeted on Twitter. I hope you win this vacation.

    To Jim, all I can say is that Karma is the great equalizer…what goes around comes around. Hopefully someone will be kind enough to offer tissues when your sob story happens.


  47. Just wanted to wish you luck and tell you that you have a beautiful family.

    God Bless!

  48. We voted for you and will be praying that you receive a much needed vacation! Thanks for being such tremendous parents and an example to us all.

  49. Brooke is and has always been amazing. I hope you win this much needed vaction!! You rock!

  50. You have my vote!

    Joe Bartolotta
    The Upfront Mortgage Broker

  51. Did it say what time you would be notified tomorrow? Just curious.

  52. What a beautiful family you have! You have my vote. I hope it helps.

    God bless,

    Kassie Wilson

  53. Brook, no family I know deserves this more than yours. You are a constant inspiration.

  54. HI,
    Though we have never met Brook, I do know Ryan and have kept in touch with his dad over the years. My sister ran across the link and forwarded it to me and I figured I should rop a line to say I too think you deserve the vacation more than most do!
    Wish each of you the best – vacation or not!
    Tell Ryan hello for me!

  55. Ryan and Brook, I so hope you win this vacation. To “Jim” that left the very insensitive comment- This is no sob story. I have known Ryan for over 20 years and have had the honor to know Brook for several years. They attend Life Church as we do. Every Sunday I marvel that this beautiful family faithfully attends and all with beautiful smiles on there faces. Their special needs child does light up a room and is adorable. He does not want to be pitied-he just wants to be a normal child and experience the same things that all other children get to experience. Jim, I will be praying for you and your heart to be softened. I pray God continues to give you and your family a very healthy life and many blessings

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