Wish kid Noah has never let his fight with myeloid leukemia stop him from what he loves most in life: learning.
Noah was diagnosed at the young age of 2 with Pediatric Myelodysplastic Syndrome, and at the age of 3 ½ years old, he had to undergo a bone marrow transplant. When Noah finally was given medical clearance to go on his wish, it was clear what he wanted. And he was excited.
Noah wished to go to Hawaii to learn about sea animals, specifically sea turtles. So it was set, Noah would have a trip filled with learning in various topics of interest such as baby sea animals, snapping turtles, sea urchins, Hawaiian native history, and even Pearl Harbor.
"Awesome! I was super excited to go to the zoo and learn about sea turtles!" said an enthusiastic Noah when asked what it was like knowing his wish was coming true.
Noah's mom, Nancy explained how nice it was to go on a vacation not having to worry about being close to a major hospital. "We have been on a few trips, but all had to be within driving distance, so being able to get away and not worry was much needed for the family."
"Having two children who both love animals means our family has been to several zoos but this time, it was special; we had private tours and opportunities to learn in a way Noah would have never thought possible," explained Nancy.
The Sea Life Park was one of Noah's favorite places on the trip. "I went in the water and played with the dolphins!" said Noah, whose favorite part of the whole trip was being able to pet the dolphins.
The family even had a private tour of the aquarium, which is home to many baby animals; it was a big hit with Noah. "Going to the aquarium and learning about all his favorite animals is something we will always remember," said Nancy.
Other unexpected exciting events happened on Noah's wish, "Peacocks! They tried to steal my food!" a shocked Noah explained when describing how the sneaky animals tried to steal his French fries.
Noah also vividly remembers all the fun sugary drinks he tried. "I got to drink sweet punch on my trip… yeah I had a lot of that…" recalled Noah.
On their free day, Noah decided he hadn't learned enough! Taking advantage of the location, the family opted to tour Pearl Harbor. Wearing his favorite wish kid t-shirt, Noah was treated to a private tour of the U.S.S Missouri, going behind the scenes and into the captain's quarters.
Noah is eager to share the fun facts he learned on his private tour; "people can't go into some of the rooms on the U.S.S. Missouri because it still has harmful gas in it!" Noah said.
Leaving Hawaii, Noah took away more than a lifetime of memories. He gained a pen pal, a local Hawaiian who lives in Maui but was visiting Oahu; and made some new friends, fellow wish kids!
"It was so nice to meet other wish families and being able to talk to each other, and relate to what they are going through," said Nancy.
According to Nancy, Noah had the perfect wish come true for him. It was a week spent learning about all his favorite things, plus some new ones. And it’s a week he shares with anyone who will listen.
“He talks about his wish to everyone,” said Nancy. “He will be sharing all his new knowledge for years to come.”