It has now been almost a month since we got back from our Make A Wish trip to Hawaii.
In case you aren’t familiar with Make A Wish, it is a non-profit fueled by donations and volunteers that makes wishes come true for kids with life threatening illnesses. Obviously, neuroblastoma is a life threatening illness, and so – Niko’s social workers submitted him for a wish. Volunteers contacted us and came to our house to get to know him and find out what his wish is. It was a bit of a challenge for them because – a 3 year old, and especially Niko – thinks that everything is awesome and everything is his favorite. If you ask him what does he like better, a or b? He’ll say – B! And A! I like B and A and A and B… So – our Wish team had some thinking to do. I was expecting to end up in a tent on a cactus plantation somewhere in Arizona, surrounded by people with mustaches… =) But thankfully – cacti and mustaches didn’t even come up. Niko was telling and showing them all his Disney character toys, and talking to them about the beach. Sometime after their visit, I don’t remember how long it was, but there was no rush – since we wanted to finish all of his treatment first – they told us in secret that we were going to go to the Disney resort Aulani in Hawaii. The movie Hotel Transylvania has been a regular in Niko’s rotation while at the hospital so he learned to be excited about Hawaii (in case you haven’t seen it, the main character wishes to experience life outside, among the humans, and – go to Hawaii, so of course he asked me what that was and we would talk about it every time).
The volunteers came again to reveal Niko’s wish to him – they brought him a poster that said “Niko is going to Hawaii” and a treasure chest filled with Disney toys and “Finding Dory” outfit. It was very cute and he still plays with it all the time!
A few days before our trip they visited again, and this time brought him a Mickey in Hawaii cake and a Mickey pizza!! As well as a folder for us with all the information we could possibly need – every phone and reservation number for every piece of the trip, what to bring, what not to bring… As well as spending money – for food and souvenirs. There was also a letter to the crew of the airplane – about Niko and that he was on this trip and – maybe they can let him into the cockpit. But we never even had to get that letter out – everyone on our trip was so amazing!!!!!
A limo came to pick us up in the morning. It was 5 am so – it was very early. But both boys were so excited!!! In fact – Niko didn’t sleep at all the first day. And with the time difference and having woken up at 4 30 am – that was the longest day of his life! At the airport we got to go through the first class check in, and there was an actual agent assigned to us – to escort us from the beginning to the plane! We got to hang out with one of the pilots before the plane got there, and then we got to hang out with all the other pilots on the plane before other people were allowed to board.
There was a greeter waiting for us as we got off the plane, with flower and kukui nut leis, that took us to our taxi.
Niko didn’t fall asleep even on the 40 minute taxi ride!!!!
And this is him after the early wake up, almost 5 hours on the plane, and 2 40 minute car rides… I’m jealous of those energy levels!
Stay tuned to see the rest of our stay!