When the door to the plane opens, the first sensation Chris experiences is the heat. In January, the average temperature in Oahu is 80 degrees, 33 degrees warmer than his hometown in Livermore.
But Chris welcomed the heat and chose Hawaii for his wish because of the good memories he had of going there once before. “I knew that if Make-A-Wish sent me there, the memories would be awesome” wrote Chris in a thank you letter to us.
His battle with leukemia took a big toll on him. Missing more than a year of school made him feel isolated and depressed; their life “was turned upside-down” says his mom, Michelle. The wish “gave him something good to look forward to and something special to dream about. It would have been so much harder if he didn’t have that distraction to help him through the worst of things.”
Hawaii was the perfect antidote to a grueling year. Chris spent a whole day just building sandcastles, which he loves. After all that hard work, he refueled with a “double cheeseburger in paradise” at Jimmy Buffett’s Restaurant. Snorkeling in a coral reef and a luau followed the next day, but the highlight of his trip came at Sea Life Park. The park is home to the only two wholphins in captivity. Don’t know what a wholphin is? It is a cross between a bottlenose dolphin and a false killer whale. And Chris hitched a ride with one of them. Says Chris, “It meant a lot to me that Make-A-Wish sent me to Hawaii. It was a light in the dark when I had to go through all my treatments.”