Just before his 9th birthday, Matthew got a wonderful gift: a very positive EKG. This is not something that an average almost 9 year old would think about, but for him it meant that not only could he focus on celebrating his birthday, but he could start dreaming about his wish trip to Oahu.
Two things rose to the top of his list of things he was excited about: a shark tour and drinking pineapple smoothies on the beach. “Matthew is fascinated with sharks and is really excited at the chance to swim with them,” says his dad, who shares the same name. “Ever since we found out that Matthew's wish to go to Hawaii had been granted it has brightened everyone's spirits so much. This will be our first real family vacation together.”
Throughout the trip, Matthew “had a grin from ear to ear” as he got to start it by being invited into the cockpit to meet the pilots. His family spent a day snorkeling in Hanauma Bay and learning about the life in a coral reef, and although he had set his hopes on swimming with sharks, a bout of seasickness prevented him from going. Instead, he got to enjoy seeing them from above as they swam near the boat. A visit to Pearl Harbor gave him and his brothers and sisters a chance to honor those who “paid the ultimate price for our freedoms and those who are still serving” says his dad. Besides sightseeing, he and his siblings enjoyed simply sitting on the beach at Waikiki, swimming and enjoying a cool drink.
He was so happy the entire time we were there.
Matthew's dad, Matthew Sr.