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A Wish For A Final Journey

Top model Gisele Bundchen wears a creation by Colcci during the Sao Paulo Fashion Week in Sao Paulo, Wednesday, June 17, 2009. (AP Photo/Nelson Antoine)
AP Photo/Nelson Antoine
On Wednesday, The Early Show's Week of Wishes continued with a letter from a man who has lost so much, but whose wish is to be able to give back even more.

Truck driver Robert Tyler, who is based in Anchorage, Alaska, lost three women he loved to cancer in just four years: his mother, his stepdaughter and his aunt.

Now his wife, Theodora, has cancer, and doctors say she only has about a year to live.

When his mother and daughter were sick, Robert was able to take them on long trips in his truck, to show them things about the country that he loved. Theodora wants to take the same trip, but is too sick for the journey.

So, they are trying to sell their condo to raise money to buy a motor home in order to travel in a more comfortable fashion, so that she can see some of the wonderful things he has told her about and that she has dreamt of seeing.

Their hope is to be able to start the trip in about a month, and take four months or so to drive around the country. But no one has expressed interest in purchasing their condo, and so the motor home remained a dream. Until Wednesday.

Dan Shea and Brian Shea, co-CEOs of Gulf Stream Coach, http://www.gulfstreamcoach.com/ are granting the Tylers the use of a brand new Gulf Stream Independence for a period of five months.

Spiro Triantafilis, NY Mobil Dealer, and John Matthews, Exxon Mobil Dealer Sales Manager, were on hand to announce that Exxon Mobil http://www2.exxonmobil.com/corporate/ is covering the costs of the diesel fuel (worth $15-20,000)

Sue Bray, executive director of the Good Sam Club, http://www.goodsamclub.com/index.cfm announced that the club is covering all the insurance costs, and providing a free Good Sam Club membership that grants the Tylers free roadside assistance and a network of over one million members of the club.

Jim Rogers, CEO of Kampgrounds of America (KOA), http://www.koakampgrounds.com/ presented the Tylers with a VIP card that allows them a free stay at any of their 500 campgrounds through the USA.

Bob Scaglione, vice president of marketing for Sharp Electronics, http://www.sharp-usa.com/ gave them a digital camcorder, along with tapes and batteries, so they can record their journey.

Of his work, Robert says, "My granddaddy taught me how to drive when I was 13 and been driving ever since. I enjoy it. I get to see the country and see places a lot of people dream about going."

So when cancer struck his aunt, then his daughter and his mother, he offered each of them a gift -- an end-of-life journey in his truck so they could see the wonders he has seen while driving around the United States.

"I miss them so much," says Robert, "but that was the greatest thing in the world, for me to have the opportunity to do this."

Robert says he is starting to believe his purpose in life may be to show as much of the world as he can to his loved ones before they depart from it.

"Why should I keep all this USA beauty to myself when I can share it?" he says.

After his aunt died, Richard moved up to Anchorage and married his long-time friend Theodora.

They were married three years ago, not the first for either -- she has been divorced 40 years and he has been married three times. One year after their wedding, Theodora got the cancer diagnosis.

"Robert is a very protective person," says Theodora, "and even though I have been in Alaska 18 years now, and I thought I didn't need any protection. You know -- strong lady! But it's been nice."

Now it's Theodora's turn to see the country with Robert, something she says she has wanted to do since they first met.

"I always wanted to go, but it was just never the right time," she explains.

As for Robert, he said, "You can have all the money in the world, but if you got a spouse or you are married or your better half isn't healthy or well, you want to do your best to please them."