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Wish Blog

Alaska Airlines welcomes Taz and his 'ohana for a special sendoff

A longstanding partner of ours, Alaska Airlines continually goes above and beyond to make wishes possible for both local and visiting keiki. This holiday season, our partners at Alaska not only flew wish kid Taz and his ‘ohana to Orlando for a Walt Disney World wish come true, but they also helped us surprise Taz at the airport for a special sendoff!

Eleven-year-old Honolulu wish kid Taz is battling a critical heart condition and wished to spend time with his family at Walt Disney World. Just a few days after Christmas, Taz and his family were on their way to Daniel K. Inouye International Airport for their flight. Unbeknownst to Taz, his wish granters, Sam and Sejal, and members of our Hawaii wish team had teamed up with Alaska Airlines staff to make his sendoff truly incredible.

With balloons, lei, and wish signs in hand, Make-A-Wish Hawaii and Alaska Airlines enlisted the help of fellow passengers to welcome Taz to the gate, cheering for him as he made his way toward the plane. Make-A-Wish Hawaii President and CEO Trini Kaopuiki Clark shared the mic with the Alaska team to welcome Taz and share his story with the crowd.

Taz, his sister Victoria, and parents Jaydee and Jolon were then allowed to board the aircraft first, where they were greeted with lei, met the pilots, and took photos in the cockpit before embarking on a life-changing wish come true. Alaska Airlines had even upgraded the family’s seats free of charge.

"To see Taz and his family being sent off with love and aloha from Alaska Airlines was so beautiful," says Sam. "I was so proud to be their wish granter and I know that this wish gave Taz and his family a much needed moment to breathe and simply be a family. Taz is a kiddo of few words, the strong and silent type, so to see his face during his sendoff was a memory I will truly cherish forever."

Says wish mom Jaydee, “We talk about the trip almost daily…it was truly a wonderful experience for us. Thank you for all your work to make it special.”

Make-A-Wish Hawaii would like to thank the entire Alaska Airlines team, including Director of Sales, Community & Public Relations for Hawaii Daniel Chun and Alaska Airlines Honolulu General Manager Cameron Lovelace, for their hard work and heart making this a once-in-a-lifetime experience for Taz. Mahalo also to Rayen Watanabe and Abe McAulton for capturing Taz's sendoff and to wish granters Sejal and Sam for joining.

  • Make-A-Wish Hawaii President and CEO Trini Kaopuiki Clark let waiting passengers know about Taz's special sendoff and asked for their help welcoming him.

  • When Taz and his family made their way to the gate, they were greeted with lei and signs.

  • Fellow passengers cheered for Taz as he made his way through the crowd.

  • Waiting for Taz and his family were Make-A-Wish Hawaii staff and volunteers, including wish granters Sam and Sejal.

  • Sejal embraced Taz in a hug while staff gave the family additional lei.

  • Taz then got to shake hands with the pilot and learn about his upcoming journey to Walt Disney World.

  • Taz and his 'ohana were first to board the plane.

  • The flight attends welcomed Taz on board with even more lei.

  • The pilots on board were eager to answer Taz's and Victoria's questions and show them around the cockpit.

  • The two had a fun, memorable time taking photos in the cockpit before embarking on their journey to Walt Disney World.

  • "We talk about the trip almost daily…it was truly a wonderful experience for us. Thank you for all your work to make it special.” -Wish Mom Jaydee

  • Mahalo to Alaska Airlines for making Taz's sendoff so incredible and for changing the lives of local and visiting wish keiki.

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