Partnering To Make Wishes Come True
By Siana Austin Hunt, executive director, Make-A-Wish Hawaii and David W. Heywood, vice president, UnitedHealthcare of Hawaii
Granting heartfelt wishes for children is a year-round activity for Make-A-Wish Hawaii. Thanks in part to the support of UnitedHealthcare of Hawaii, which has partnered with the organization, more of these wishes have come true for Hawaii’s keiki. Make-A-Wish Hawaii grants wishes for children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich their lives with hope, strength and joy. Make-A-Wish Hawaii is celebrating 30 years of granting wishes for local keiki, and has touched the lives of more than 700 wish children throughout the state.
Since 2007, UnitedHealthcare and its employees have donated more than $7.5 million to the Make-A-Wish Foundation nationwide. UnitedHealthcare employees take the mission of helping people live healthier lives to heart and have become enthusiastic supporters of Make-A-Wish Foundation, whether it’s with their time or their donations.
During the past four years, the UnitedHealthcare partnership with MakeA-Wish Foundation has funded more than 1,250 wishes for children across the country from meeting celebrities to shopping sprees, and from bedroom makeovers to travel.
In Hawaii, the partnership has resulted in the adopting of wishes for many keiki
like 6-year-old Rosco of Kalihi, who was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Last June, Rosco’s wish to see his favorite cartoon characters come to life at Disney World was a dream come true. He and his family spent a week at the Give Kids The World Village and enjoyed exploring the area theme parks.
On Friday, 10-year-old Tedd of Honolulu, who is battling medulloblastoma (cancer of the brain), will be heading off on his UnitedHealthcare-sponsored trip to Italy. During his year of treatment Tedd became fascinated by all things Italian, including Roman history and gladiators of the great Colosseum. Thursday, UnitedHealthcare employees will throw Tedd an Italianthemed party at Buca di Beppo to send him off in style.
Make-A-Wish Hawaii is grateful for the support and leadership of companies like UnitedHealthcare of Hawaii.
To get involved, join the Make-A-Wish network of volunteers to serve as wish granters, fundraisers or special events assistants or donate to make wishes come true for our Island keiki. Together, we can all share the power of a wish.
For more information, visit hawaii.wish.org or call 537-3118.
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