June 27, 2012
old KenDerrick Rainer has been battling nasopharyngeal carcinoma, a cancer of the pharynx, for several years. After undergoing multiple rounds of chemotherapy, enduring doctor’s visits and missing out on the everyday joys of being a teenager, another obstacle was placed into the lives of KenDerrick and his family. One of the largest tornado outbreaks in history ripped through Tuscaloosa, AL, destroying his home and taking away much of the hope that he and his family had been clinging to during his medical challenges.
However, in the midst of the tornado aftermath, KenDerrick received good news. Make-A-
Wish® wanted to grant his most heartfelt wish; and KenDerrick knew just what he would wish for—a chance to get away from it all.
KenDerrick had seen Honolulu, Hawaii on television before being contacted by Make-A-Wish®
and had always wanted to see the 50th state in person. This spring, his wish was granted. KenDerrick and his family were flown to Hawaii for a weeklong vacation. Their trip started with a lei-greeting and a day of sightseeing. The following day was spent snorkeling and swimming with the dolphins. KenDerrick was also able to test his fisherman skills during a deep sea fishing excursion. The highlight of the vacation was a trip to the scenic Paradise Cove, where KenDerrick and his family tried their hand at traditional Hawaiian games, lei-making, and hula dancing. The evening was topped off with a dinner show and an authentic Hawaiian Luau.
This vacation was a much needed break from the everyday stress of battling cancer and rebuilding. This trip provided a time for KenDerrick and his family to get away, relax and just be a family; a getaway they will surely remember for years to come.
Make-A-Wish Georgia and Alabama is the local chapter of the national Make-A-Wish network. We grant the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy. According to a 2011 study of wish impact, most health professionals surveyed say that a wish come true can affect a child’s health outcomes. We have granted over 5,000 wishes locally, and seek to grant 450 wishes this year. To learn more about Make-A-Wish, visit us at www.ga-al.wish.org and discover how you can share the power of a wish®.