Twelve-year-old Isiah is used to soaking up the sun and catching waves in warm Hawaiian waters. This time around, our local boy was up for a cool new challenge.
Despite being diagnosed with aplastic anemia, Isiah dared to dream big – he wished to meet professional snowboarder and two-time Olympic gold medalist, Shaun White! After watching Shaun shred the half-pipe on the Winter X-Games, Isiah became fascinated with this daring athlete and the sport of snowboarding.
Isiah’s wish started off with an exciting snowboarding experience! He and his family enjoyed staying at the Northstar California Resort, a premiere destination for winter sports. Complete with 92 ski trails and a variety of snow sports, the resort was the perfect place for Isiah to try out his snowboarding skills. As a sports fanatic and experienced surfer, Isiah was eager to test out his balance in a new environment. He and his family spent an entire day on the slopes of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, learning how to carve down powdery inclines and taking in the views of the breathtaking winter wonderland.
The next day, Isiah had the opportunity to ride the slopes again during a private ski and snowboard lesson with other Make-A-Wish® children. While this was certainly a highlight for Isiah, his day was about to get even better! After the lesson, Isiah and the other wish kids joined the much anticipated Shaun White for lunch – this was by far, Isiah’s favorite part of his wish experience! Isiah had the opportunity to meet his role model and pose for a picture with him, creating a memory that will he will enjoy forever. The skilled surfer even invited the legendary snowboarder to the islands to teach him how to ride waves and hang loose!
Shaun’s dedication to the sport of snowboarding inspired Isiah to never give up no matter how difficult things get. Isiah felt re-empowered by the end his wish experience giving him the strength to look beyond the struggles of his condition. Motivated to slide past his limitations, Isiah grasped new dreams – big dreams carved out of one gnarly wish!
Special thanks: Wish Granters Veronica Kimi, Rowena Eddins and Lisa Maddock, Shaun White and NorthStar Resort