All great projects have a story behind them. Balloon Manor was Larry Moss’s way of fixing a bad situation with smiles. Larry’s wife, Judy, was diagnosed with cancer only weeks after giving birth to their daughter. Her Hodgkin’s Disease was described by her doctor as a “curable” form of cancer. While serious, the two were assured that treatment for the disease was known. Unfortunately, complications upon complications made Judy’s condition worse over the next months. Ten months after the original diagnosis, Judy suffered a traumatic brain injury. During the time she spent in a coma, the medical staff caring for her always gave the same advice: “Keep talking to her. You never know what she’ll hear that might help her to get better.”
Following that suggestion, Larry talked about everything he could think of, including things he would do for her if she recovered. One of those things was to give her an anniversary present unlike any other. In celebration of their Halloween wedding anniversary, Larry promised to build her a haunted house. All she had to do was pull through in order to attend its unveiling. Time passed. Judy recovered from the coma, but it was hardly smooth sailing. It was several months before she could speak. When she could, she asked a question. “Did you promise to build me a haunted house, or did I just imagine it?” It seemed that of all the things talked about during her time in the coma, the only thing she could recall was this anniversary present. Now it had to happen.
The first Balloon Manor in 2004 was dedicated to Judy and to all others that have suffered from some form of cancer. The goal was (and is) to raise money in a fun way to help treat cancer patients and to educate the world about living with serious illness. Since the first year, Judy has recovered enough to be an active participant in designing and building Balloon Manor each October.