Waipahu “Wish Teen” Sosefina Receives a Wish from Make-A-Wish® Hawaii, Jewelers for Children and Allegiant Air Pilots
March 15, 2016 (Honolulu, Hawaii) – On Saturday, March 12, 2016, a 16-year-old Waipahu “wish teen” named Sosefina learned her wish to visit Six Flags in California was about to come true, but that wasn’t all. Diagnosed with systemic lupus erythematosus, Sosefina has a lot more to worry about than a typical teen should, and when the Jewelers for Children learned of her struggle, they wanted her to shine—with a special gift to last a lifetime.
On Saturday afternoon at Excellent Gems & Diamonds, Sosefina was greeted by Mabel Lau at her store in the Chinese Cultural Plaza, along with co-executive directors Bernard Nunies and Sophia Makaimoku-Young of Hawaii Jewelers Association, to teach Sosefina about what any 16-year-old loves to behold: precious stones. Little did Sosefina know, Mabel is not only a veteran of the jewelry industry of over 43 years; she is also the president of Hawaii Jewelers Association, the local affiliate of Jewelers for Children.
From her illustrious collection of precious gemstones, Mabel encouraged Sosefina to try on a beautiful garnet ring, Sosefina’s birthstone. As Sosefina slipped the ring onto her finger, Mabel, Bernard and Sophia revealed to her that the ring was hers to keep—and would be waiting for her when she returned from her wish trip to Six Flags California. Sosefina was speechless.
As Mabel measured Sosefina’s finger for the perfect fit, Stephen Wheeler, one of Sosefina’s wish granters, walked in to join the celebration. But Stephen is more than a wish granter; in his complete pilot uniform, Stephen announced that he and his fellow wish granter, Andrew Van Haecke, both pilots for Allegiant Air, would be flying Sosefina and her family to Six Flags California themselves—an unusual above-and-beyond undertaking for any wish granter for their wish kid.
Every wish is a unique experience; as unique as the personal struggle a wish child endures during the diagnosis and treatment of a life-threatening medical condition—and this wish is a true gem for a special wish teen, made extra special by the generosity of the Hawaii Jewelers Association and Jewelers for Children. Sosefina will be taking off for Six Flags in California via Allegiant Air with her family, flown by her pilot-wish-granters, to her trip of a lifetime to ride as many roller coasters as she can imagine on Sunday, March 20.
Sosefina is one of over 100 local kids with wishes in progress today. Become involved in granting wishes to the children of our community, like Sosefina, by sponsoring a wish, fundraising, volunteering or making a financial gift by visiting hawaii.wish.org.
About Make-A-Wish® Hawaii: Since 1982, Make-A-Wish® Hawaii has granted life-changing wishes to over 12,000 wish kids and their families. The Hawaii chapter is among the busiest in the nation as it not only grants wishes to keiki on all islands, it also coordinates and hosts the wishes of children from around the world who wish to see Hawaii.
The Make-A-Wish® Hawaii chapter aims to grant the wish of each and every Hawaii child with a life-threatening medical condition, and each year the power of a wish extends beyond the children served, into communities at large. With more than 600 volunteers and more than 200 business partners statewide, wishes bring people together and spread hope, strength and joy to all involved.
Jewelers for Children: Founded in 1999 by the U.S. jewelry industry with the mission of helping children in need, Jewelers for Children (JFC) has donated more than $48 million to programs benefitting children whose lives have been affected by illness, abuse or neglect through many charity partners including Make-A-Wish®. Their nationwide success is due to the continuing generosity of jewelry trade organizations, jewelry and watch manufacturing companies, jewelry retail stores, individual jewelry professionals and jewelry consumers. To discover more about JFC, visit them at www.jewelersforchildren.org.