For 8-year-old McKenna, weekends usually are meant for sleeping in. But when McKenna’s mom woke her up bright and early one Sunday morning last October, McKenna had no idea she was about to experience a day she would never forget.
“I thought we were just going to the Walk!” McKenna said to her mom when she was surprised on stage at the Make-A-Wish Arizona Walk For Wishes in Phoenix with the news that her wish to go to Hawaii with her family was coming true.
McKenna’s surprise wish reveal happened in front of the thousands who attended the event, and featured a special gift from Walk for Wishes sponsor CheapCaribbean.com.
“She was so surprised,” said McKenna’s mom, Stacey. “It was so special because all of our family and friends were there to watch her reaction and be part of the excitement.”
McKenna, who was diagnosed with a life-threatening heart condition, wished to go to Hawaii so she could swim with dolphins and see hula dancers. She had been talking about her plans in the months leading up to her trip.
“The beach and the ocean are my favorite places to go so I couldn’t wait to go on my wish!” said McKenna.
“It all happened so fast after the big reveal,” said Stacey. “Pretty soon our family was heading to Hawaii for an amazing trip.”
McKenna, her siblings and her parents were excited to arrive in Honolulu. McKenna was especially happy her whole family was able to come on the trip with her.
“She loves her brothers more than anyone, they have a bond I don’t see in many siblings,” Stacey said. “This made the trip even more meaningful!”
Throughout their trip, McKenna and her family went to a luau, visited the Dole Pineapple Plantation, and enjoyed hula lessons. They also spent a day at Sea Life Park, where McKenna loved seeing the many different types of animals.
“I got to go in a big area where I fed the birds and pet a turtle,” said McKenna. “There were so many animals and we all went in the water and swam with the dolphins.”
Sea Life Park was also one of McKenna’s favorite memories from her trip because that is where the movie 50 First Dates was filmed.
“It’s one of her favorite movies,” said Stacey. “She watches it all the time now since we’ve been back.”
Not only does McKenna now have a new favorite movie, but memories of an amazing trip with her entire family. That early morning at the Phoenix Walk For Wishes helped bring McKenna’s one true wish to go to Hawaii to life!