After watching Shark Week on the Discovery Channel, 6-year-old Emilio developed an interest in sharks and the ocean, and has been obsessed ever since. Hammerhead sharks, great white sharks, killer whales, dolphins, you name it! He wears shark shirts and shark hats, plays with shark toys and has always dreamt of going to the beach and seeing real sharks for himself one day.
Emilio was also diagnosed with leukemia when he was 3 years old. His family had never been on a vacation before and spent most of their time focused on Emilio’s treatment and health. When Make-A-Wish® Colorado came along, Emilio could hardly contain his excitement telling them about his love for the ocean! Before long, the trip was planned for the family to go to Hawaii.
The flight there was the first time Emilio or his brother had ever been on an airplane, but they weren’t nervous at all. They could only think about how many new things they were going to do! Once they landed in Hawaii, the first day was all about seeing the beach for the first time. Emilio immediately fell in love with it and spent tons of time playing in the sand and water. The following days were filled with great activities like swimming with dolphins, sightseeing and, of course, a luau. But it was the day out on a boat with the sharks that Emilio of course loved the most. He saw all his favorite sharks swimming in the water and wasn’t scared at all! He’s one fearless kid!
The entire experience was unforgettable. “The trip helped him open up. He’s not scared to try new things now,” said Emilio’s mom. She said Emilio talks about his wish trip all the time and he loves telling all his friends about his time with the sharks. He and the whole family are thankful and will never forget the memories and hope Make-A-Wish gave them.