Graham’s arrival marks the 10,000th wish granted in the State since Make-A-Wish® Hawaii was founded in 1982. Each wish is unique to the child and they range in type from “I Wish To Go, I Wish To Be, I Wish To Have, I Wish To Meet” and “I Wish To Give.” Make-A-Wish Hawaii is one of the busiest of 62 chapters across the country, since Hawaii’s appeal makes it the second most popular wish for kids. Make-A-Wish Hawaii now grants over 1,000 unique wishes a year to children with life-threatening medical conditions.
Graham’s one true wish was to to fly in a plane and see the Pacific Ocean for the first time. He was welcomed at Honolulu airport by Make-A-Wish staff with a special lei reception and given the red carpet treatment by the staff at the Sheraton Waikiki. Graham had a blast riding waves in Waikiki with Hans Hedemann Surf School, his family and special guest Kama the Surfing Pig. Graham’s family visited Sea Life Park to enjoy a Dolphin Encounter and was treated to a VIP tour of Kualoa Ranch, as well as a VIP visit to Dave & Buster’s.
Graham was diagnosed with malignant melanoma and has fought his way through rigorous treatment. His parents credit the wish experience with helping Graham when he was at his lowest, giving him a bright spot to look forward to. “Graham had some hard days and anytime we started talking about his wish and the warm waters of Hawaii, he would light up!” said Graham’s mom, Cheryl Ann, “we are so lucky to have been granted a wish and to have a staff that is based in Hawaii.”
Through community awareness, Make-A-Wish Hawaii has actively sought to increase the referral rate from medical professionals throughout Hawaii, with the vision to grant the wish of every eligible child in the State. As a result of their efforts, the organization is currently planning the unique wishes of over 100 local keiki from across Hawaii. Wishes are made possible with the generous support of private donors, volunteers, local foundations and businesses.
“It is our unique privilege to welcome wish children like Graham to Hawaii and to plan their unique wish experience that will stay with them forever!” said Make-A-Wish Hawaii’s President and CEO Siana Hunt, “we feel so lucky to be celebrating our 10,000th wish this year with such a special boy like Graham!”