Seventeen-year-old Pomai is dreamer. When she’s not stargazing or drawing, she loves being transported to other worlds through books, particularly to the wizarding world of Harry Potter. For Pomai, the magic isn’t just in the spells or the Quidditch games; it’s in the hope that one can overcome anything with a little determination and imagination.
When Pomai was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma in December of 2015, it was a complete shock to her and her family. While Pomai continued to dream of other worlds, her own had suddenly become riddled with chemotherapy and medical appointments.
Pomai’s mother Lilia heard about Make-A-Wish Hawaii at work and approached her daughter with the possibility of a wish. “It gave her a space to dream and imagine in the midst of chemo and all that comes with that,” she said. “Her eyes would light up and she would just toss around ideas.”
Soon, Pomai met with her wish granters, and something truly magical began to happen as her wish took shape. Pomai wished for a Harry Potter-themed hideaway where she could escape the stress of her illness, stargaze, read and dream about the future.
Construction soon began on Pomai’s hideaway, and, covered by building screens, it became another opportunity for Pomai to dream. What would it look like when complete? What magical retreat awaited her?
With the help of countless donors and volunteers, North Shore-based Noma Home Builders spent months designing and building the magical hideaway. “We want every aspect of it to be amazing and for people to feel a sense of awe and wonder,” said Chris Sutter, who spearheaded the project.
Soon, it was time for Pomai’s wish to come true. Surrounded by family, friends, and all those who came together to make her wish a reality, Pomai was eager to see her imagination come to life.
Amid the palm trees of Hawaii had sprung Hagrid’s Hut, a brass bat perched on the roof. Inside, magical odds and ends lined the room, complete with Harry Potter-themed décor, a skylight to stargaze through, and even a few magic wands–the perfect space for a budding witch or wizard.
“Pomai said to me she would’ve been happy with four walls, a roof and chair,” said Lilia. “To get the product that she did was unexpected, overwhelming and inspiring. The details that went into the design and the attention to the little things that Pomai would love about having a space to get away was magnificent.”
Making the day even more magical, representatives from Brigham Young University Hawaii also joined the reveal and announced that Pomai had been accepted to the university.
Now, Pomai has a place to call her own—a place to dream about the future and envision a life without illness.
As Dumbledore once said, “Happiness can be found even in the darkest of times if only one remembers to turn on the light.”