Kids Wish Network Sends Brooklyn Girl with Life-Threatening Illness on Hawaiian Vacation

New York City –As a part of its commitment to infusing hope, creating happy memories, and improving the quality of life for children having experienced life-altering situations, Kids Wish Network sent 18-year-old Marina Ovanesyan, who suffers from Lupus and Evan’s Syndrome, on an all expenses paid vacation to Hawaii. Kids Wish Network arranged for Marina and her family to stay 6 nights on the island of Waikiki. During their Hawaiian vacation, Marina and her family were treated to multiple complimentary adventures including snorkeling, sailing, a volcano tour, and a Luau.

“Every day we are working to ensure that children facing life threatening experiences are given hope and an opportunity to shine despite the circumstance. With the help of our partners and generous donors, we are working to make a difference in the lives of tens of thousands of children, one child at a time” said Anna Lanzatella, Executive Director of Kids Wish Network.

In 2010, at the age of 15, Marina began experiencing constant headaches and extreme chronic fatigue. After several blood tests, doctors diagnosed Marina with Lupus and Evan’s Syndrome. Both are autoimmune diseases; Lupus is a collection of autoimmune diseases in which the immune system attacks healthy normal tissue causing damage to the skin, kidneys, joints, blood, heart and lungs. Evan’s Syndrome is a rare autoimmune disease; with little know about the cause, in which an individual’s antibodies attack their own red blood cells. Now plagued with relentless blood tests and doctor visits, Marian is in constant pain and experiences bouts of depression.

“This vacation to Hawaii opened Marina’s eyes to the fact that life can be beautiful despite being ill. We couldn’t believe how pretty and tropical it was there, everywhere we went, there was beauty to be found” said Marina’s mother, Olga Ovanesyan.

In Hawaii, Marina’s favorite activities were snorkeling with the dolphins and visiting the inactive volcano sites “I loved seeing the dolphins, they were so graceful in the water, and they were so beautiful. Even the volcano sites were beautiful in their own way! I learned so much on Hawaiian history, I can’t wait to go back” Marina said.

Kids Wish Network would like to thank the following for making Marina’s Hawaiian vacation so memorable: Waikiki Beach Condominiums, Cha Cha Cha Waikiki, Makani Catamaran, Duke’s Restaurant, Dolphin Excursions Hawaii, California Pizza Kitchen, Germaine’s Luau, Waikiki Ocean Club & Dave & Buster’s.

For more information on Kids Wish Network, visit


Every child deserves a chance at happiness; a wish is a way of bringing them that joy. If you would like to sponsor a child’s wish or if you know a child who is suffering from a life-threatening illness and may be in need of Kids Wish Network’s wish granting services, please call 727-937-3600 or toll free 888-918-9004.


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