Cole was four years old when he was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia a few days before Christmas in 2013. As he began what would become 3 ½ years of chemotherapy, he had to adapt in many ways. “As a child he endured so much for a long time, and we as a family did, also,” says Cole’s mom Christine.
Daydreaming helped Cole to face tough days in the hospital. He liked to picture himself playing carefree in the water, without his chemotherapy port to worry about. He also loved imagining his family on fun vacations. So, when he learned that he was eligible for a wish, he started to piece his daydreams together.
Cole decided that cruising the waters off of Hawaii, where his great-great-grandfather was born, would be the perfect wish-come-true! And he decided to time his wish trip to be a celebration of the end of his treatment, and honed in on the month of his birthday – it would be a big birthday present to himself!
One week after he turned eight years old, Cole and his family were sailing the seas of the Pacific. During their trip, they observed sea turtles, snorkeled with marine life, walked over lava rock, and witnessed an active volcano.
“Make-A-Wish enabled my family to have an unforgettable vacation and relive the enthusiasm of what life should be, especially for Cole who has been ill for so long,” shares Christine. “Cole’s wish gave us a sense of normalcy again. It was like the grand prize that he waited so long for, because it meant finally the end of all treatment.”