Very luckily, Kauai is the spot for the wonderful Make-A-Wish Foundation to bring children, who are facing life-threatening illnesses and whose wish is “To Go To Hawaii.”
This past week, they were here at Hanalei and they — children, parents and staff — had a tremendous time and they were filled with joy. It is correct to say that their stay here was made possible by the world-class generosity of the Wilcox family.
The Wilcox family made the plantation house — and its beautiful grounds — plus more of their homes right on Hanalei Bay — open to them for the entire week and the children, parents and staff all thought that the accommodations were fantastic. I think the Wilcox family does this every year. Events were centered on water sports and luckily, our weather was good. The children came from almost every state in the Mainland.
Last Tuesday, the Hanalei Canoe Club had many canoes ready for the children and their parents to paddle up the Hanalei River — with a group in the morning and with another group in the afternoon. Every child paddled (except for one who was in a wheelchair and did not go out) and they did very well and had a great time. The youngest child was 4 years old and he would often hit the canoe edge with his hand as he paddled. He was crying and his mother told him that he did not have to paddle. Through his tears, the child replied: “No, we are supposed to paddle. I want to paddle.”
As the afternoon group came in, a father asked his daughter, “How was it?” She looked around and replied: “This is paradise.”
The joy that these children displayed was contagious and filled all of our canoe members with joy and a feeling of love. After the afternoon paddle, as the children, parents and staff were getting ready to leave, one of our most considerate members, Craig Rogers, said: “Let’s form a tunnel of love.” Our club members did and the children, parents and staff all ran through the tunnel of love. It made a perfect ending to a great afternoon.
As we think about these children and our prayers go out to them, many of us often pray for the youth among us who are facing major health challenges. The Garden Island — to its great credit — features many of them, such as the front page article on Sunday titled “One ‘Tough Girl.’” Many of us pray for these individuals in the hope that they will survive.
There are, however, many cases of severe injuries — among locals and visitors — that are reported, but are not followed up. An example would be in last Thursday’s paper titled “Passenger in Critical Condition after crash” where a driver of a pickup crossed the yellow lines on the highway and crashed into a car, critically injuring a passenger — a 28-year-old girl.
She was taken first to Wilcox Memorial Hospital and then medivaced to Queen’s Hospital in Honolulu. Many of us pray that she will live and recover, but for our local newspaper, it seems that being medivaced to Queen’s is the end of the story — like going into a black hole. It’s not the end of the story. We want to know the name of the person, where he or she is from and the current condition — such as did he/she die, or still on life support, or is he/ she recovering. A good place to start would be letting us know the followup facts of this person in the car crash.
Joe Frisinger is a resident of Princeville