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Make-A-Wish Partners For Ohana

The Okimoto ohana (from left): Kelsie, mom Jennifer and dad Devin holding Kyler with their customized van at King Windward Nissan. The dealership, along with GoldenBoy Mobility and Make-A-Wish Hawaii, teamed up to help the family as Kelsie has a life-threatening condition and is wheelchair-bound. Photo from Make-A-Wish Hawaii.

The Okimoto ohana (from left): Kelsie, mom Jennifer and dad Devin holding Kyler with their customized van at King Windward Nissan. The dealership, along with GoldenBoy Mobility and Make-A-Wish Hawaii, teamed up to help the family as Kelsie has a life-threatening condition and is wheelchair-bound. Photo from Make-A-Wish Hawaii.

The ability to hop in a car and go for a drive isn’t quite so simple for those in wheelchairs. But it will be easier for Kelsie Okimoto and her family, thanks to the combined efforts of King Windward Nissan, GoldenBoy Mobility and Make-A-Wish Hawaii.

Seven-year-old Kelsie has a life-threatening medical condition and must use a wheelchair to get around.

“It’s been hard. The way we’ve been doing it so far is by lifting her up and taking her from the wheelchair and putting her in the backseat,” explained mom Jennifer at a ceremony at the Kaneohe dealership.

So the three groups stepped in to help.

“King Windward worked directly with the family to offer a generous discount for the vehicle purchase. Then, (Make-A-Wish Foundation) stepped in and paired with GoldenBoy Mobility to customize this van to be wheelchair accessible,” explained Jenna Blakely of Make-A-Wish Hawaii.

“Among our three organizations, it was an amazing collaboration to bring this wish of independence to this family.”

King Windward also provided a temporary handicapped-equipped vehicle to the Okimoto family while their van was being set up.

“We’re really overwhelmed and thankful for the generosity of the people here,” said Jennifer. “(Kelsie’s) a trooper, and we just take our strength from her.”

Make-A-Wish Hawaii will have granted 100 wishes to children in Hawaii by the end of 2014, and it will grant its 1,000th wish in January. To find out how to help children through Make-A-Wish Foundation, visit hawaii.wish.org.