“Yasmin has inspired not only her friends and family, but her strength, perseverance and fighting attitude has inspired an entire community of people”
Maria (Yasmin) was only 18 months old when she was diagnosed with chronic lung disease and cystic fibrosis, resulting in frequent hospitalizations. At age 2, doctors discovered part of her right lung was severely damaged, and she underwent a lobectomy that removed part of that lung. Yasmin remained in the hospital for three months. She has undergone multiple surgeries and medical procedures since that time.
At 12 years old, Yasmin was granted a wish by Kids Wish Network. Her wish? Going to Hawaii and meeting her idol, Duane “Dog the Bounty Hunter” Chapman!
“It was a dream come true for her”, says her mother Heather. “The second best [part of her wish] was climbing and conquering Kokohead Mountain. It was the most amazing accomplishment, not only for Yasmin, but for all of us! It took a little time, but we made it to the top just as the sun was rising. It was absolutely amazing, and to see our daughter just breathe in the fresh air; the calm on her face was absolutely priceless.”
Yasmin and her family traveled to Hawaii where they experienced all the tropical culture and met Duane and Beth Chapman, at their popular store.
“It was such an honor and pleasure to meet Yasmin and her family. She’s a beautiful young lady with a bright future ahead of her because she’s a real fighter,” said Duane.
Kids Wish Network caught up with Yasmin and her family recently, to find out how she is doing.
Her mom, Heather reports:
“Yasmin had a rough winter with her lungs. She has been hospitalized twice since our wish trip to Hawaii. Currently, her lung function is back up to her baseline and she is breathing great this week. Over the past couple of months, she has been very sick with other complications, as well. She’s missed two months of school, due to hospitalizations, but Yasmin continues to stay on the honor roll. She is a leader in her school, sports teams and in her community. She hopes to one day become a pediatric pulmonologist that helps cystic fibrosis patients cope and deal with their disease better. A doctor told her recently that she would not be able to work in the medical field because it was too much risk to work along diseases and sicknesses that she could easily pick up. For an instant, it brought her spirits down … but very quickly she said, if it turns out that she is unable to do that, she will still work hard at becoming a pulmonologist and work in research or teaching in the field of curing cystic fibrosis. We are hoping for a cure prior to that but if it doesn’t happen, I know that my smart girl will achieve her dreams regardless.”
Yasmin is currently on 19 medications a day and also on percussion therapies at home to help with her breathing.
Heather continued to say, “I certainly believe that her wish gave her hope for her future. Yasmin wrote a speech for the sixth consecutive year and spoke in front of thousands at one of the biggest local cystic fibrosis fundraiser events in the nation, called Super Dance 40th Anniversary. It was her sixth year speaking at this event, and each year, her speech is even more fabulous! Yasmin has inspired not only her friends and family, but her strength, perseverance and fighting attitude has inspired an entire community of people. I feel that going to visit Hawaii and conquering her life-long dream in climbing Kokohead has shown her that she can fight and conquer any battle that is put in front of her!”
Yasmin, Kids Wish Network continues to wish you all the best. We agree with your mom, you ARE an inspiration! Keep up the good work … and keep us posted on your accomplishments.