Eight-year-old Malakai was born with sickle cell disease and developed Moyamoya in 2013. It was then that he began to receive monthly blood transfusions, an all-day process for which he has had to miss school.
Malakai’s medical condition has forced him to adapt to many changes in his young life, but it has also guided him into discovering his creativity, unlocking his imagination and realizing how much he has in common with Transformers. "Malakai enjoys creating," said Malakai's mom, Wallata. "He loves to draw and build things with legos and transform them into something new."
Malakai’s parents were astonished to learn he might be eligible for a wish. “It had never crossed our minds that something like that was possible for him,” said Wallata. But it was the best kind of surprise. Malakai’s wish granters came to the family’s door, complete with presents for him and his siblings. “Our wish granters, Terri and Anania, were amazing,” said Wallata. “They were very friendly and bonded with us immediately.”
Malakai was full of ideas for wishes, including going to space. But with his wish granters’ help, he narrowed it down to one: to meet the Transformers in Orlando, Florida. And they made sure it was a family affair. “Our wish granters really went out of their way to grant Malakai’s wish while reuniting our family,” said Wallata. Make-A-Wish Hawaii worked with Malakai’s dad who lives in Alabama, to find a time when the whole family would be able to experience his wish together. They kept it a surprise until the big day when they all left for Florida.
The family stayed at Give Kids the World Village, a non-profit storybook resort for kids with life-threatening medical conditions. “There were so many other wish families there,” said Wallata. “It was amazing to see the carefree demeanor of so many of them. All of the children were smiling and really seemed to be enjoying themselves. Nobody was worried about their medical condition.” Malakai loved the village and even mentioned that he wishes he could live there forever!
The magic continued at Universal Studios and Walt Disney World where Malakai posed with Captain America, encountered dinosaurs, enjoyed the Wizarding World of Harry Potter and went around the world at Epcot, to name a few. And, of course, Malakai was over the moon when he met the Transformers! His dream of joining forces with the heroic Autobots had finally come true.
And that’s not all; his wish granters had one more surprise up their sleeves... Because he had originally wanted to go to space, his wish granters went above and beyond, to infinity and beyond, and gave Malakai a trip to the next best thing… NASA’s Kennedy Space Center! The best part? Malakai and his family saw a real spaceship launch into space. “It was amazing!” said Wallata.
Malakai's wish was truly a week of transformation - he and his family experienced the life-changing impact of a wish. For the first time in years, they were able to enjoy a worry-free week of fun together, giving them the strength to think beyond Malakai's medical challenges and realize anything is possible!
“Every person we were in touch with has truly been a blessing to us,” said Wallata. “Everyone had one thing in common: making Malakai’s wish come true.”
By: Christianne Michel