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Colin Wishes to sail aboard the Hokulea!

Colin on his wish

“ He is our star of hope ”

- Nainoa Thompson, Hokulea

Colin has always had a love for the Ocean. His idol and late father was in the Navy, and a Sailor at Heart.

Fourteen-year-old Colin has always been a fighter. Just two years after the teenager’s father had passed, he was diagnosed with Alveolar Rhabdomyasarcoma, a type of cancer that affects the soft tissue. Colin who has always wanted to follow in his father’s footsteps, wished to go to Hawaii to have a sailing experience!

Colin, his mother, his brother Chase and his aunt all flew to Hawaii to experience a joyful and meaningful retreat together. After a long flight to Honolulu from the mainland, Colin and his family were ready to see the beauty of the island – they couldn’t wait to begin their sailing adventure!

The Hokulea leaving Oahu's shore

Colin’s family met the people from the Polynesian Voyaging Society at Sand Island where the historic voyaging canoe, Hokulea, sat waiting to take Colin on a sunset cruise! The crew gave the family an incredibly warm welcome. Many of them understood the struggles of living with cancer and made sure that Colin felt comfortable during the ride. 

The Hokulea is a cultural treasure that Native Hawaiians used to move from island to island using the stars as a guide -it is truly a vessel of the sea. Sailing on the Hokulea gave Colin the opportunity to connect with his father. While under sail a traditional prayer was said and the crew introduced themselves to Colin and his brother. They were treated like special guests and were even given the special honor of helping steer the Wa’a!

The crew shared stories of their time on the Hokulea and their love of the ocean with Colin who listened intently. The scenery was picturesque - the bright orange sun set as Colin breathed in the salty ocean air – he was truly at home. As the canoe reached port, master navigator Nainoa Thompson said to Colin, “you are a star of hope.”

Special Thanks: Make-A-Wish Hawaii would like to extend our deepest thank you's to the Polynesian Voyaging Society and their volunteers for granting this Wish to Colin. This is the first wish that has ever been granted on the Hokulea in the history of our organization. Mahalo!

  • Colin and his family enjoying their time on the Hokulea

  • Colin recieving lessons from the Hokulea crew.

  • Enjoying their Hokulea sail!

  • Colin on his wish

  • The Hokulea leaving Oahu's shore

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Make-A-Wish® Hawaii
P.O. Box 1877
Honolulu, HI 96805
(808) 537-3118 x100