“When a child has cancer, it’s a crisis for the whole family” says Lyndsey’s mom, Kristine.
When they discovered Lyndsey’s brain tumor at age 11, it was a “heart stopping, 18-month long transformative journey that no family should ever have to endure.” Surgery, 31 radiation treatments and 9 rounds of chemo followed. And it all came just as she was “experiencing her first taste of independence,” which made it that much harder.
But her wish “represented not only an opportunity to take back some of that control over her own life, it allowed her to close a dark chapter and open a bright new one,” says her mom. It was the one thing that lifted her spirits. What she longed for was to return to the Big Island of Hawaii. Earlier in her life she had experienced the wonder of seeing a sea turtle crawl out of the ocean and sit next to her on the beach there, and it was there that she had “discovered an adventurous spirit that lives within her.”
Lyndsey’s wish, which her mom describes as her “Big Island Adventure” was the perfect antidote to her cancer for an active, athletic girl. Her family joined her in parasailing over Kailua-Kona, horseback riding through pastures in Waimea and ziplining through trees in Kohala. The wish “not only kept us on our toes, it kept us smiling as we watched our active, spunky daughter move away from being a cancer patient and embrace being a regular teenage girl.”