LIHUE, KAUAI January 26 – 31 – Make-A-Wish Hawaii recently welcomed ten wish kids from across the nation to grant their greatest wish – to meet professional surfer Bethany Hamilton. To make the experience truly special, Make-A-Wish Hawaii set up a surf camp for the kids to enjoy an entire week of surfing on the island of Kauai. As the Bethany Hamilton Surf Camp started off on Monday, ten wish kids experienced an adventure of a lifetime. Over the course of a week, the wish kids and their families surfed and bonded with their inspiration and idol, Bethany Hamilton.
Bethany Hamilton is a Hawaii-born surfer who is truly an inspiration to millions. On Halloween morning of 2003 during a surf session, Bethany was attacked by a 14-foot tiger shark, which bit off her left arm. Despite the horrifying experience, Bethany continued surfing and in 2007 she realized her dream of becoming a professional surfer. She shared her story of determination, faith and hope with wish kids who are battling life-threatening medical conditions – her inspirational story and positive attitude brought confidence to the young surfers.
As the wish kids arrived in Lihue, Kauai on Monday, January 27, they were invited to a welcome dinner, followed by a group activity craft where they made thank you gifts for Bethany. The next few days were scheduled for surf lessons with Bethany, an autograph signing, an authentic Hawaiian Luau and a viewing of the movie “Soul Surfer” – a movie portraying Bethany’s story and her passion for surfing. The stay was finished off with a proper trophy presentation and farewells for all participants.
The choice of meeting Bethany was for many Surf Camp wish kids more than just meeting a surfer. “Bethany was such an inspiration to Dominic that we truly believe Bethany’s story gave him the strength to get through this critical time”, said mom of wish kid Dominic Sanzone, diagnosed with cancer in 2011.
See more pictures from Surf Camp on our facebook page https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10152192839126552.1073741884.358811311551&type=1