For gymnast Adri, one of the hardest parts of her cancer diagnosis was having to give up her favorite sport. During Adri’s hospital stays, she would distract herself by watching videos of hula dancing lessons, dreaming of attending a luau.
She had no idea that she would soon be in Hawaii for her wish trip, attending a luau and doing cartwheels across the sand.
“Adri wished to go on a Hawaiian cruise and everyone treated her like a V.I.P.,” Adri’s mom, Angela said. “Adri was named honorary cruise director for the week, and enjoyed going on the stage before shows, refereeing games on the deck, and attending a private party with the captain.”
Adri loved her cruise director role, as well as the opportunity to eat spaghetti whenever she wanted while relaxing onboard.
“I loved being able to see the ocean every morning when I woke up. Every night, there was a towel animal somewhere in our room! It was fun surprise,” Adri said.
Yet, the best part of the trip was the Hawaiian luau. “I got to show off my hula dancing moves that I learned while in the hospital,” Adri said.
“Adri has been slowly getting back into tumbling, but she pretty much had to start over. When we were at the luau, she was coming toward us when suddenly she just did a cartwheel. She hadn’t done that since before her treatment. I immediately started crying. It is something I will never forget,” Angela said.
Throughout the rest of her trip, Adri visited multiple places in Hawaii and went on some fun adventures.
“I saw so many fish in Hawaii when I snorkeled and went on a submarine ride. It was really cool to be swimming right next to them,” Adri said. “My wish was amazing. I got to do so many things and I can’t wait to go back to Hawaii again!”
Since Adri’s wish, her family has continued to support Make-A-Wish Arizona by fundraising for the Walk For Wishes. “The walk is so much fun! Last year, I met mascots, played games, and even was on the news,” Adri said.
For Adri’s family, the Walk For Wishes is an opportunity to celebrate the hope Adri gained from her wish.
“Our family has been through so much. Adri’s wish took the whole family out of the hospital environment and Adri was able to just enjoy the trip and have no worries,” Angela said. “The Walk For Wishes is so important because every dollar raised goes toward giving another family a chance to experience that hope.”
“Most importantly, the Walk For Wishes is a great time! You see volunteers, donors, wish kids, and families together and everyone there is having fun and supporting Make-A-Wish. There is such a positive energy. You feel it the moment you arrive and it stays with you long after the walk is over,” said Angela, who is excited to participate in the 2019 Walk For Wishes with Adri and her family.