A wish is powerful and can make a HUGE difference. Sixteen-year-old Nick, who is battling Osteosarcoma, created a list of Hawaii adventure must-dos that included flying in a helicopter, fishing and surfing!
Nick, a 16-year old from Arizona, has been battling Osteosarcoma for two years. With the support of his ohana – his mom, dad, brothers, friends, aunt, uncle and cousins – Nick hasn't let either his diagnosis nor his prognosis defeat him. Instead, he took it as a cue to LIVE braver, stronger and better than ever before! Nick, like most of us, has a list of all the things he wanted to experience in his lifetime and he challenged himself to make them come true! It was a challenge that caught the attention of more than just his local community, it touched the hearts of thousands throughout the country.
Nick wanted a Hawaii adventure for his wish trip! So Nick and his family were joined by the team at Hans Hedemann Surf School and Kama the Surfing Pig at Laniakea Beach for some surfing fun! After the long flight to Hawaii, Nick was tired and not feeling up to it. But, with some gentle encouragement from James, one of our Make-A-Wish Hawaii staffers, Nick was in the water and felt the rush of standing up on a wave for the first time in his life! He was stoked!
Nick’s Mom, Tracy, wrote on her Facebook page titled Nick’s Epic Battle to Defeat Osteosarcoma, “James coaxed Nick into the water, promising him he wouldn't even have to do a thing. James rode the waves with my boy perched perfectly right on top of the board. It is a sight I will cherish forever. Just when I thought I couldn't be more blessed, James took a wave, stood up on the board, and then picked Nicholas up into the standing position - Nick was surfing. It was an incredible sight to see. It is a vision I will have etched in my heart and mind forever.” That moment was more than just about surfing to Nick and his family, it was a triumphant moment of Nick’s strength and determination.
Following his first surf session, Nick and his family spent the next day flying high above the island in a Makani Kai Helicopter. “The island is absolutely breathtaking from the air”, said Nick’s mom. Little did she know that so much more adventure was yet to come! Pro Surfer Tai VanDyke and his crew of Volcom surfers welcomed Nick and his family to the Volcom House the following day, complete with live Hawaiian music, fresh coconuts and great company. The house sits on the beach on the world famous North Shore of Oahu, one of the world's surfing meccas. The boys hung out all day and Tai even took Nick out to surf the waves of Pipeline! The waves were bigger than he had ever dreamed of surfing, but with Tai's help, Nick stepped up to the challenge! He bravely rode with the pros, showing the true measure of his courage.
“The day was finished perfectly as we stopped off at a beach and saw a 235 lb. sea turtle basking in the sun right on the beach!” said Tracy. “It was a sight Nick has always wanted to see, she was absolutely beautiful. The end of the day brought me to tears. Today was a day my kids will never forget, ever. They had an amazing time! I have to thank the community of people who are making this trip beyond memorable...you are making it nothing short of breathtaking.”
The last days of Nick's Hawaii adventure included Deep Sea Fishing with Sportfish Hawaii, a visit to the Polynesian Cultural Center and other fun Hawaiian activities. The week was made up of unforgettable memories with amazing people, “We have been more than blessed with the people who have been placed in our paths to make this trip more than magical! We love our new Ohana!” said Tracy.
We can all learn a thing or two from Nick about life. He is an angel who understands what it means to live each day to the fullest! He is an inspiration to so many who have seen his bravery, but most of all, Nick is a blessing not only to his family, but to the thousands of people who he has invited to be a part of his epic journey. Nick and his family have helped others understand the true meaning of love, so keep on fighting Nick – your story continues to bring love & courage into all of our hearts!
Special Thanks: Make-A-Wish Arizona, Sheraton Waikiki, Hawaiian Airlines, Hans Hedemann surf school, Kama the Surfing Pig, Kai Holt, Joseph Libby Photography, Makani Kai Helicopters, Tai VanDyke, Volcom Pipeline House, Pupukea Grill, Polynesian Cultural Center, Mauli Ola, Jamie O’Brien, SportFish Hawaii & Kathy House, Nick Masciangelo, Gavin Beschen, Jason Magallanes & Diane Carroll.