Though most of her patients and wish kids don’t know, Diana relates to their battles all too well. Diagnosed with Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma at just 12 years old, she fought through months of enduring chemo, missing school, her hair falling out, and feeling nauseous all the time.
“The scars on my stomach are still something I don't like to show, but I survived,” Diana said, recalling her fight with cancer. “To be honest, the good memories I have of all the people that helped me outweigh the bad memories of cancer. I know for a fact that going through this has shaped me into the adult I am today.”
When Diana’s social worker referred her for a wish 20 years ago, Make-A-Wish® Delaware was there to help turn Diana’s fear and sadness into confidence and joy.
At first Diana thought that she might like to meet Justin Timberlake, but she has always had a generous spirit and decided to wish for something her entire family could enjoy. She was soon able to experience a life-changing wish at Walt Disney World and even happened to run into one of her favorite nurses while she was there. The experience still comes to mind often, having encouraged her to stay optimistic and strong during an extremely difficult journey.
“It gave me something to look forward to and not think so much about the bad stuff going on,” said Diana. “I think the bigger impact of the wish has come later on in life, when I am now helping others grant their wishes.”
Diana and her husband Tim have been wish granters in Lahaina, Maui for a couple of years, and this compassionate couple does not plan on stopping anytime soon. “I wanted to give back to an organization that gave to me. Make-A-Wish Hawaii was the perfect choice,” explained Diana. Despite her challenging past, Diana says that “being a wish granter is simply the most rewarding experience [she has] ever had.”
“I want people to know that Make-A-Wish is an amazing organization that not only grants kids’ wishes but also gives them hope for the future. It gives them a positive outlook to help them get through their diagnosis,” said Diana.
Diana and Tim recently helped grant 17-year-old Lahaina wish kid Leticia’s wish to go to Walt Disney World. Read more about Leticia’s wish here.
Together with the help of volunteers like Diana, we have been able to grant more than 1,400 wishes to local keiki across the islands. To learn more about joining us in transforming lives, click here.