You helped Kaimana move past the rough waters of his diagnosis and find healing through his love for the ocean, his culture and his community.
"The canoe is everything to me. Paddling is part of who I am; it's how my ancestors arrived here. Without it, I just wouldn't be," said Kaimana. "I want to share my canoe with my team, my friends and family. Because to me, they are all the same."
This Waianae teen is never too far from the sea; it is his home, his comfort amidst rough waters. When he paddles, surrounded by his team of friends and family, the symptoms from his brain tumor seem to fade. "It was a really difficult time,” said Angela, Kaimana’s mom. “He was in so much pain, but when he was paddling the pain was gone. There was something magical about it.” Feeling the waves roll beneath him brings Kaimana to a place of healing and connects him to his Hawaiian roots. And at the heart of his wish is a longing to share his culture with his community.
On his wish reveal day in April, Kaimana was filled with pure excitement. He stepped out of the car blindfolded, and when he finally got to see his brand new bright red canoe right there before his eyes, he smiled from ear to ear. To him, the canoe represents more than his passion for paddling and his love for his culture; it is a vessel to spread a message of love.
"I wished for my canoe so I can be Jesus' taxi driver," Kaimana explained. "My condition was the greatest thing to ever happen to me. I learned a lot about life; I learned to be patient and treat everyone with respect." This teenager is wise beyond his years and holds a firm belief that guides his every move. Instead of keeping his canoe to himself, he has chosen to use it to bring his community together.
Mahalo for giving Kaimana the opportunity to find his purpose and instill in others a true appreciation for the beautiful culture of Hawaii.
Special Thanks: Jay Dowsett, Kailua Kanu, Jay Dowsettz Fiberglass, Uncle Joe, Royal Metals Company, K Parker Services, Alaka'i Inflatables & Party Rentals, Kialoa, Darcy Fiero Photography, Fastsigns of Honolulu, Blue Planet Surf Shop, Highway Inn Inc., Cookie Corner, Raw Elements USA, Violet Harris, Adept Productions LLC and wish granters Nathan Hummel & Christine Stall.