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Dylan lays down roots in Hawaii

  • Dylan's mom Jennifer, crying while she helps her son plant the Koa legacy tree. Photo Courtesy of Hawaiian Legacy Tours.

  • Dylan sitting with his mom at the spot they chose to plant his legacy tree. Photo Courtesy of Hawaiian Legacy Tours.

“ We would love to get him back to see his tree again and just be in paradise. He’s done really well. We truly believe in miracles and maybe we’ll get ours one day. ”


- Jennifer, Dylan's mom

When Dylan was just 6-years-old he experienced his first seizure. His loving parents took him to the hospital to find out what was wrong, but nothing could have prepared him or his family for the news that was to come.

Doctors came to the conclusion that Dylan had a rare genetic condition called Huntington’s disease that causes the progressive breakdown of nerve cells in the brain. It is so rare that it is only found in 1 in 4 million births. He and his family adjusted to the changes the disease slowly caused including the loss of muscle control in all parts of his body.

Although Dylan has now lost the ability to see and walk, his heart remains strong. “He goes through everything with the biggest, brightest smile on his face” said his mom, Jennifer. And that smile got a little bigger when he was told that his wish to go to Hawaii was coming true! He and his family hopped on a plane all the way from Ohio to the Big Island of Hawaii to swim with dolphins, see a volcano and “lay down roots” on the island.

With the help of Hawaiian Legacy Tours, Dylan planted a Legacy Tree with his dad, mom and sister on the slopes of Mauna Kea. Planting a Koa tree helps preserve the rainforest, but it was much more than just a cultural experience to Dylan, it represented his heart. He and his family will be able to come back to be reminded of not only his wish trip, but of joyful memories and the day they planted an extra seed of hope.

Dylan and his family believe in living life to the fullest and his wish was one experience that none of them will ever forget. Every day they face a new challenge, but through it all they remain hopeful.

“We would love to get him back to see his tree again and just be in paradise. He’s done really well. We truly believe in miracles and maybe we’ll get ours one day" said his mother, Jennifer.

Click here to see KITV's News report on Dylan's touching story. 


He is absolutely a warrior. He is very strong and he's very opinionated, so he’s going to do it on his timeline. ”

— Jennifer, Dylan's mom

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Make-A-Wish® Hawaii
P.O. Box 1877
Honolulu, HI 96805
(808) 537-3118 x100