Seventeen year-old Apryl has a diverse set of passions, so many that she can’t narrow it down to just one. She loves both cooking and photography, so her wish “to go” brought her to Paris – the City of Light – with its stunning architecture and history, where the food is delicious and the culinary scene is unparalleled!
Apryl moved to the island of Kauai two years ago from Colorado. It was a change to say the least – making new friends at a new school in a new climate would be a challenge for any teenager, but Apryl had significantly more to worry about than just these teenage adjustments. She was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma just a few weeks after she arrived in Hawaii and it was devastating news, but Apryl fought through it.
So began a two-year battle that included many stays in the hospital for treatment and long days recovering in her bedroom. Instead of letting her condition get the best of her, Apryl used this time to study her two greatest passions – cooking and photography. She would watch the Cooking Channel for creative inspiration and she learned more about photography every chance she could get. So it is not surprising that she wished to go to Paris to take cooking classes and to fulfill her dream of having senior picture taken in front of the Eiffel Tower!
But a trip like this wouldn’t be complete for Apryl if she couldn’t bring her best friend Madison along for her French adventure! Madison had been Apryl’s best friend in Colorado and one of Apryl’s greatest supporters from the onset of her illness. She couldn’t imagine going to Paris without her! Madison and Apryl hadn’t seen one another since Apryl’s move to Hawaii, almost two years before. So it was a special moment when the two were reunited. Together, they had the joy of experiencing Paris and everything the grand city has to offer!
It was truly a girls’ trip – Apryl and Madison stayed in their own room at the Hilton Paris and soon they were laughing together like old times. After talking for hours, sharing stories and laughs, the two drifted off to sleep with one thing on their minds – their visit to the Eiffel Tower the next day!
Apryl had always wanted to have her senior year photos taken at this very spot, so a professional photographer from Flytographer came out to capture Apryl enjoying her first day in beautiful Paris, in front of the city’s most iconic monument. The pictures came out perfectly – Apryl’s natural beauty, charm and smile shone through each and every photo.
Following her photo shoot, it was Apryl’s turn to step behind the camera and put her photography skills to work! She met with a guide from Photo Tours in Paris at the Louvre to learn some tricks of the trade. As a budding photographer and a member of the yearbook staff at her high school, Apryl let her creative side shine. With a camera in hand, she snapped away – capturing images and memories to last a lifetime of all the stunning sights of Paris!
Being at the epicenter of culinary world, it was time for Apryl to pursue her other great passion - Apryl was ready to get cooking! La Cuisine Paris’ Market cooking class took Apryl and her family out to the French markets to buy the freshest ingredients the city had to offer. After exploring the cornucopia of variety available and carefully choosing the day’s ingredients, the guide and chef returned Apryl and friends to La Cuisine to learn French cooking techniques.
The entire trip was built around Apryl and her passions – it was an once-in-a-lifetime experience that helped her grow stronger and more confident than ever before! Today, Apryl is in remission and she faces her future with newfound confidence. We wish her a bright future full of hope, happiness and the opportunity to achieve her greatest aspirations!
Special Thanks: La Cuisine Paris, Hilton Paris, Photo Tours in Paris, Wish Granters: Lori & Tina, Dave & Buster’s Hawaii, Tracy Wright Corvo, Flytographer.