Twelve-year-old Caroline has a “gnarly” connection with professional surfer Bethany Hamilton. They both were born in Hawaii, love to surf and have triumphed over personal tragedy. Caroline’s dad even treated Bethany in a hospital after her shark attack, teaching her to tie her shoe with one hand. These strong similarities were why Caroline, who has a nervous system disorder, wished to meet and surf with Bethany in Hawaii.
After arriving in her birthplace, Kauai, Caroline went to a surf camp orientation dinner where she received a swag bag loaded with surf gear and island goodies, a beach bag full of treats and a basket of local Hawaiian fruit. The next day she was given a personalized surfing lesson with Bethany’s coach, following a day in the ocean with Bethany and other pro surfers at the Make-A-Wish® Hawaii Surf Camp.
At the luau that night, she was gifted with her very own ukulele. Caroline got to spend some quality time with Bethany at a meet-and-greet. To top it off, Caroline watched Soul Surfer, the movie inspired by Bethany’s story, as Bethany’s brother gave live commentary about each scene.
Hearing how Bethany overcame life’s obstacles brought a smile to Caroline’s face. “I love Kauai, and I love Bethany Hamilton!” she said.
Wish Granters: Janet Ingraham & Heidi Starr
Referred by Elba Necega, her social worker
Wish adopted by Finker-Frenkel Legacy Foundation, Inc.