It’s been said that the love of a family is life’s greatest blessing; a statement that Kahuena and his ohana couldn’t agree with more.
When the 5-year-old was diagnosed with rhabdomyosarcoma, it was the love of his family that gave him the strength he needed to get through an arduous yearlong battle.
Kahuena's mother, Adrianne, will never forget the moment she heard the life-changing news; her heart dropped and she knew their lives would never be same. Everyday life went from spending time with family in his quiet hometown of Hana, Maui, to being surrounded by doctors in a cold hospital room an island away from home. Kahuena’s parents wanted to do everything they could to make their son feel "safe and comfortable." And what could be more comforting than being surrounded by family? He wanted nothing more than to go to New Mexico to see his cousins, and play in the snow for the very first time!
Two weeks before they left on the wish, his parents got the news they had been waiting for... Kahuena was in remission! In that moment, a weight was lifted off their shoulders and their spirits rejoiced in celebration! It was the perfect way to start their wish journey. “After a year of battling cancer we all look forward to being in the embrace of those who love us and who we love,” said Adrianne. “Everyone wants to see him and I know he will be strengthened by their love and support.”
Instead of being surrounded by the hustle and bustle of theme parks, Kahuena spent his wish enjoying home-cooked meals, throwing snowballs at his cousins and tubing down the mountain with his parents. He learned that sometimes the small things in life prove to be the greatest joys.
"For us, the wish represented closure. It was a way to mark the ending and to move on with a clean slate," said Adrianne. "It was our celebration of survival."