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Wish Blog

Sharing Aloha with Wish Kids Worldwide

From pink unicorns to sailing the ocean blue with pirates, Hawaii appeals to thousands of wish kids for reasons as unique as each child’s imagination. As a result, Make-A-Wish Hawaii sees about 1,000 wish kids and their families each year while on their wish trips to Hawaii’s beautiful shores – the second most requested wish in the nation!
  • Addison, freeing the butterflies

  • Princess Sparkles

  • Addison names the Unicorn Princess Sparkles

  • Adam talks with the Captain

  • Some of the Pirates

  • Adam looks through the treasure that he found

  • Make-A-Wish Hawaii staff member James, riding waves with wish kid Zinnia.

  • Bethany Hamilton about to paddle into Hanalei Bay to surf with wish kids!

  • Jackson playing polo with the Navy Seals team IN Pearl Harbor

  • Jackson with Navy Seal

  • Mermaids Kariel and Mykayla made many friends in the water and shared stories about the ocean with them

  • Beautiful mermaids!

  • Woohoo! Go Nick!

  • Nick, James, Kama and Kai relaxing on their surfboards.

  • Olivia and her mom

  • Olivia and her best friend Maddie soaking up the sun!

  • Parker floats over beautiful views of the mountains and Ocean.

  • Parker and his brother both flying high in the sky!

  • Jorge snaps a picture while in the air with Parker with his GoPro!

And yes, a pink unicorn fairytale and a pirate’s treasure hunt were among reasons wish kids chose to explore Hawaii in 2014. Addison, 6, braving a battle against acute lymphoid leukemia, came all the way from Georgia to encounter a unicorn – a sight that brought immeasurable joy when a real unicorn pranced in front of her during a fairytale played out by local actors at Oahu’s serene Waimea Valley.  For Adam, 8, battling a malignant neoplasm, his wish trip to Hawaii unlocked a fantasy treasure hunt with the pirates of Hawaii Pirate Ship Adventures LLC, who took him on board as their new mate.

Hosting wish families is how our chapter was founded in 1982. Back then, board members met wish children at the airport, hosted them at their homes and gave them personal tours of the island. Then in 1984, we granted our first wish to a Hawaii child, recognizing that some 100 keiki (kids) in our own islands are newly diagnosed each year. The result? We have grown into a chapter dedicated to granting the wishes of children in our own state, while maintaining our roots of sharing aloha with visiting wish kids.

Despite the popularity of wishes to come to Hawaii, our team treats each individual wish as a unique  opportunity to lift a sick child’s spirits. We plan one-of-a-kind itineraries that tap into their deepest passions. It starts with “why.”  What is about Hawaii that has helped them get through treatment thus far, and how can we bring this vision to life?  

Sometimes that “why” is a vision to see a unicorn, swim with Oahu’s stunning Mermaid Kariel, or surf with Kauai’s own world-famous, professional surfer Bethany Hamilton. In January, we held our 2nd annual Make-A-Wish Hawaii Surf Camp with Bethany Hamilton, where we granted the wishes of 10 brave girls whose shared No. 1 wish was to hang loose with their idol, Bethany! For them, this pro surfer’s story of resilience is one they can relate to.

Others are drawCarln to Hawaii’s rich history. For Carl, he came to Hawaii to re-enact World War II.  A wish to “crash land and survive on a deserted island?” No problem, thanks to all branches of our U.S. military stationed on Oahu who made Carl’s wish come true. For Colin, he set sail back in time with the Polynesian Voyaging Society on The Hokulea – a cultural treasure that Native Hawaiians used to move from island to island using the stars as a guide.

Whatever the reason, one thing that all wish families gain from their time in Hawaii is a glimpse of the Aloha Spirit. Families consistently report how blown away they are by how local businesses and the Hawaii community went above and beyond to welcome their ohana (family) with open arms.  

We currently have more than 200 partnerships with local businesses, hotels, and tour activity companies statewide who help us give these families memories to last a lifetime – memories that mark a turning point in their battles to overcome and start anew.

As originally seen on Make-A-Wish America's Wish Nation Blog.

About this Blog

Wish Blog gives you a behind-the-scenes look at the wonderful work happening at Make-A-Wish® Hawaii. See how the wishes of local keiki battling critical illnesses come together and how they change lives forever. Hear directly from those who work or volunteer here, or from those in your neighborhood who have been transformed by a wish in some way. Discover why we are so committed to achieving our vision of granting the wish of every eligible child, every year.

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