Expecting parents create 'bucket list' for unborn baby expected to have brief life

PHILADELPHIA, PA --Packing a lifetime's worth of bucket list items into nine months might sound intimidating to most, but that didn't stop Jenna and Dan Haley. Their unborn son Shane has been diagnosed with a complex neural defect that kills most infants soon after birth.

"Most families wait until their baby is born to start making memories and traveling to places with them," Dan said. "We understood what it was and knew that our time with our son could be very limited, so we wanted to make the most of the time that we had with him."

Anencephaly causes babies to be born without parts of the brain and skull. Many newborns with the condition die soon after birth. To the Haleys, that limited time is precious.

That's where the idea for the "bucket list" came from. The Haleys came up with a list of places and activities they love and want to share with their son and vowed to do as many as possible during Jenna's pregnancy. They have been updating family, friends and others on a Facebook page they created to log Shane's adventures, and now more than 100,000 people are following along.

His parents have been so hard at work checking off items on the list that on Sept. 6, they finished it.

Shane, who is due October 12, has gotten a taste of his parents' favorite activities, from sporting events to beaches to the Big Apple. Even though his "bucket list" adventures are over, dad Dan says they're continually working toward their goal of making the most of what time they have.

"We truly value every minute that we have with our son," he said, "and we thank God every night for blessing us with such a special little boy."

Shane's bucket list

  • Cape May County Park Zoo in Cape May, NJ
  • Philadelphia Zoo
  • Adventure Aquarium in Camden, NJ
  • 9/11 memorial in New York City
  • Statue of Liberty
  • Empire State Building
  • Times Square
  • Central Park
  • Strasberg Rail Road near Lancester, PA
  • Beach in Wildwood, NJ
  • Beach in Cape May, NJ
  • Rehoboth Beach in Delaware
  • Dewey Beach in Delaware
  • Phillies game
  • Philadelphia Flyers game
  • Meet the Phillies
  • Meet Flyers (including Claude Giroux)
  • Dad's Delco league baseball games (championship)
  • Ocean City, MD boardwalk and games (old time photo)
  • Rides at the pier in Wildwood, NJ (including Ferris wheel)
  • Shrine of St. John Neumann in Philadelphia
  • Shrine at St. Rita church in Philadelphia
  • Geno's Steaks in Philadelphia
  • Spruce Street Harbor Park in Philadelphia
  • Zac Brown Band concert
  • Linvilla Orchards in Media, PA
  • Uncle Jim's baseball game at Penn State
  • Ashbridge Memorial Park in Bryn Mawr, PA
  • Cape May Lewes Ferry in Lewes, DE
  • Franklin Institute in Philadelphia

Highlights of Shane's Adventures: