A race brings new meaning to local woman's bucket list

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) - Calley Hille's bucket list began with about 15 items, but now it has tripled in sized after a life-altering experience.

"I would say it has forever changed me and that I now know to love all of my loved ones like it's the last day I will have them," she said.

The 40-year-old wife, mother of three young children, and local veterinarian had been training for the Livestrong Alcatraz Triathalon for months.

It began with a bucket list she created after a brain tumor was found in 2008.

Hille's father gave her an Alcatraz shirt when she was a girl{}on a swim team. When she found out about the triathlon, it was something she always wanted to do.

But when it came to March 3, Calley thought the choppy water would be the challenge, not what happened in it.

"I was pretty sure by the signs and symptoms he had passed away it was very difficult for me to carry on," she said.

Hille said she saw the swimmer struggle and put her life in jeopardy to save a stranger.

"We've been treading water and doing CPR for 20 minutes," she said. "By the time we got him onto a boat not just to kayak, his color had changed. I was holding him as he did that."

Even when others were about to call it quits, she used the tragedy as fuel to go the full extent.

"I have trained so hard and I was not going to let it stop me," she said. "I felt it was an added even more important reason was to finish this in his honor."

Hille is modest about what she did that day. She says it's something anyone would have done.

"The triathlon community is known as not being as competitive as they are just supportive of each other. That's so true that day," she said.