HONOLULU, Hawaii. (May 2019): “I liked everything, but I really liked surfing,” said Samuel Omane who experienced something that he never thought possible. He has cerebral palsy, a congenital movement disorder that affects movement, muscle tone, balance and posture. He relies on a wheelchair to get around, also has epilepsy, and is legally blind. Riding a surfboard in Honolulu was part of his extraordinary wish from Kids Wish Network, a children’s charity that grants wishes for kids with life-threatening illnesses.
It all started with a reveal… Samuel received a special gift package containing three shirts with clues hinting that his dream would be coming true in Hawaii. His family was also greeted with aloha spirit, receiving exotic flower leis from Sweet T Flowers.
Kids Wish Network flew Samuel, his mom and sister to Honolulu. They stayed in spacious accommodations fit for Hawaiian royalty – an oceanfront suite at the luxurious Sheraton Waikiki, just steps from Waikiki Beach. “We never expected such a beautiful room,” said his mom Beth. “I was surprised about the entire trip.” The hotel also graciously gave Samuel a gift bag to pick out souvenirs at the gift shop.
His surfing outing with AccesSurf, made his Hawaii experience his greatest adventure. An instructor accompanied Samuel on a specially adapted surfboard with handles, giving him a new freedom of gliding through the water. “I liked the surfing,” said Samuel. “It felt great.”
“He keeps talking about surfing a lot,” said his mom. “We had an amazing experience and appreciate everything that you did for us.”
During the wish, his family also enjoyed memorable dining at the Hard Rock Café who surprised him with a shirt signed by restaurant staff, and indulging in his favorite pasta at The Old Spaghetti Factory.
“His amazing wish enabled him to experience something that he never imagined he could do,” said Kids Wish Network Executive Director Tam Lai. “We were so excited to plan something so special for Samuel, showing him that anything is possible.”
Kids Wish Network is a national charitable organization dedicated to infusing hope, creating happy memories, and improving the quality of life for children with life-threatening conditions and struggling with life-altering situations. KWN provides trip expenses, meals, accommodations and additional spending monies to all wish families whenever traveling as applicable. Visit www.kidswishnetwork.org to learn about our different programs, and find out how you can help make dreams come true and sponsor a wish for a deserving child.