Christian’s eyes lit up with joy when he saw his wish unfold before him - a shiny, camouflage blue Polaris – just what he has been waiting for! It was literally calling his name, thanks to customized design work by Make-A-Wish Hawaii Graphic Designer John Eligio and Car Wraps Hawaii, a local company specializing in vehicle decals and full car wraps.
“Christian’s off-road vehicle looks like none other on the market,” said Make-A-Wish Hawaii President and CEO Siana Austin Hunt of the customization. “This is a special wish that represents fun, freedom, and the ability for Christian to have those moments typical of a teenager; moments that are often stolen by the medical conditions that bring wish kids to our doorstep in the first place.”
Giving those moments of joy is one of the three pillars of the Make-A-Wish mission – alongside hope and strength – to uplift eligible keiki battling life-threatening conditions, better equipping them to overcome their battles. In a 2011 Wish Impact Study, a combined 89 percent of doctors, nurses and health professionals surveyed say they believe a wish experience can influence wish kids' physical health.
Christian, 17, first came to Make-A-Wish Hawaii in 2013 due to a diagnosis of chronic kidney disease. Wish Granting Volunteers have been meeting with Christian to help discover his one true wish and relay it back to Make-A-Wish Hawaii staff. From there, Make-A-Wish Hawaii staff paired with Montgomery Powersports Ltd., who assisted in the special order of his Polaris from the Mainland, and Car Wraps Hawaii for the donated car wrap. Young Brothers Ltd. also took part in this special wish by donating the shipping of his Polaris from Honolulu to the Big Island.
Christian is among 100 Hawaii wishes that will be granted by the year’s end – a record year. There are more keiki living on the Big Island who are eligible and awaiting their one true wish, but Make-A-Wish Hawaii is facing a shortage of wish granting volunteers located on Hawaii Island. If you would like to volunteer to help local keiki in your neighborhood, start by checking out volunteer information online here. You can also contact Make-A-Wish Hawaii’s Volunteer Outreach Coordinator, Kari Bogner, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (808) 537- 3118.