KURE BEACH, NC (WECT) - Virginia resident Garry Carter has stage 4 pancreatic cancer. Doctors told him he had weeks to live, that there was nothing more they could do.
That was over a year ago.
"I'm just living day by day," Carter said.
Last week, Carter and his niece visited the Kure Beach pier. Confined to a wheelchair, Carter rolled out to the pier and threw his line in the water.
Kure Beach resident Amy Murphy works at the pier but happened to be off that night. She saw him sitting at the pier railing with a grin on his face and approached him.
"We got to talking and he said, 'I've got a few things left on my list I need to take care of,'" she recalled.
The two chatted and became instant friends.
Curious, Murphy learned Carter had two items on his bucket list: 1, to ride in a car (safely) going speeds up to 150 mph. and 2, to catch a fish off the Kure Beach pier
"I said hopefully we can help you with the second item," said Murphy. "Sure enough, he caught about a 15-pound flounder but he had to throw it back,"
"She was such a nice lady. It was good to have someone to talk to," Carter said. "I just wish I had caught more fish."
Murphy snapped some pictures of Carter on the pier as the burnt orange sky set over the ocean. A perfect setting for a dying man's wish.
"A man in his wheel chair as the sun sets behind him, I mean it doesn't get much better than that," said Murphy.
As Carter left, Murphy extended that Kure Beach southern hospitality, making him an honorary member of the pier with a special t-shirt.
"With a tear in his eyes, I saw a man that was so content if not only but for one moment," Murphy said on her recent Facebook post that has more than 150 shares and over 1,000 likes.
The duo has formed a bond, a friendship that will last throughout Carter's remaining days.
"I can't wait to see him again, I am going to try to call him every day," said Murphy.
She is collecting letters from folks around town to send to him to brighten his spirits. Gary said he hopes to come back to the pier next month.