While Anna was going through treatment for a rare brain tumor, she spent months in Tennessee at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. At the start of treatment she was nothing but anxious about what she was going to endure without all of her family by her side. After learning the Make-A-Wish Foundation could make something she dreamed of come true when she completed treatment, she became excited and this changed everything for her!
With her family being split apart in two different states for so long, Anna dreamed of everyone being back together again. Her wish was to spend quality time with her mom, dad, sister and brother in a place she’s dreamt of visiting, Maui, Hawaii.
The thought of taking a trip with the family she missed so much helped Anna push through the hard days recovering from brain surgery and while in treatment. It gave her something beautiful to look forward to and to smile about when she was homesick or just tired of doctors, treatments, tests, pills and pokes.
Make-A-Wish Central New York strived to make the trip perfect for Anna. “We stayed in an amazing resort where we could see whales right from the beach and swam a foot above the coral reef filled with marine life,” said her mom Christine.
Anna’s favorite part of her wish experience was snorkeling among brightly colored tropical fish, sea urchins, eels and coral. Anna even got to touch a huge sea turtle as it swam by. She also got to see beautiful adult and baby whales on a once-in-a-lifetime whale watching trip that her whole family loved.
Anna and her family were VIP’s at an unforgettable luau with authentic Hawaiian cuisine. In their front-row seats, they got to watch a fire show, hula dancers and even received hula lessons. Anna’s sister was invited up on stage to learn some of the traditional Hawaiian dance moves!
“The precious time together has been such a blessing to our family, helping to make up for lost time and encouraging Anna to move forward and just be a kid again after
recovering from brain surgery,” her mom said. “We will forever be grateful for the hope that this wish instilled in our daughter and the memories we got to make as a family. I don’t think we’ve stopped smiling since! We cannot express our gratitude, Make-A-Wish Central New York.”