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HPU professor grants wishes

by Kalamalama staff


Seven-year-old Sammi, of Ewa Beach, wanted to meet a princess. The request was an unusual one for the Hawai‘i Make-a-Wish Foundation, which grants about 40 wishes a year to Hawai‘i youngsters with life-threatening illnesses—from swimming with dolphins to trips to Disneyworld.

Not wanting to let her down, Make-a-Wish President and HPU Assistant Professor Cynthia Quinn volunteered to don a dress worthy of a princess, along with a very special tiara and a wand filled with stars for Sammi.

Click on image for photos


“I truly believed she thought I was a princess. When I waved my magic wand, all I kept hearing out of her was ‘wow!’” said Quinn, who teaches law and is in her second year as president of the organization.

The Make-a-Wish Foundation has 77 chapters across the nation. The Hawai‘i chapter hosts one of the largest number of wish assists, or kids choosing Hawai‘i as a destination wish. Quinn estimates her office hosts an average of 500 out-of-state kids a year. “Our job there is to assist in fulfilling the wish of a Hawaiian vacation, beginning with a traditional aloha greeting at the airport,” said Quinn.

Hawai‘i is also fortunate to have one of the highest recovery rates for terminally ill children, 50 percent. Quinn attributes this success to advances in medical technology now available and to the fact that kids in Hawai‘i are generally healthier than their mainland counterparts.

Quinn, however, believes it is the wishes that have a larger part in a child’s recovery.

“ We grant wishes to give them hope, strength, and joy. I believe that’s what gets them through chemotherapy and other difficult treatments,” said Quinn. “I’m humbled to be a part of it.”




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