A wish, a fish, and a record—that’s the story of “The Biggest Catch,” a short film that honors the life and legacy of young angler Shane Callaghan, who passed away in October of 2019. For four years, Callaghan battled osteosarcoma, a bone cancer most common in children that slowly transforms bone into tumorous tissue. But before departing this world, Callaghan landed a record trout that seems likely to stand the test of time.
Tipping the scales at 8.12lbs, the giant of a rainbow trout obliterated the previous lake record of 5.2lbs. It was hauled in on a wish granting trip arranged through Illinois-based Cal’s Angels and the Max McGraw Wildlife Foundation, a center for outdoor education and preservation on the shores of the Fox River in suburban Chicago. The outing was so successful that the two groups have set up an official angler program to continue bringing childhood cancer patients out onto the water.
“He asked his dad and he asked me that we continue to take kids who have cancer out fishing. That was Shane’s wish,” said Coby Shaw of the Max McGraw Wildlife Foundation.
“It just became this perfect partnership of being able to not only live on Shane’s memory,” said Stacey Wahlberg, president and co-founder of Cal’s Angels, “which was so important for Coby and I, and to work with all the children who are still with us.”
In October of this year, the Chicago/Midwest Emmy awards nominated a documentary short produced by Bitter Jester Studios, Inc. in Callaghan’s memory for Outstanding Achievement in Human Interest Programming. You can watch the film below: