Maui News

Donors Grant Wish of Videography Equipment to Maui Teen Battling Cancer

December 23, 2020, 9:21 AM HST
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  • Wish granting for Wailuku teen. PC: Anna Kim Photography / Make A Wish Hawaiʻi.
  • Wish granting for Wailuku teen. PC: Anna Kim Photography / Make A Wish Hawaiʻi.
  • Wish granting for Wailuku teen. PC: Anna Kim Photography / Make A Wish Hawaiʻi.
  • Wish granting for Wailuku teen. PC: Anna Kim Photography / Make A Wish Hawaiʻi.
  • Wish granting for Wailuku teen. PC: Anna Kim Photography / Make A Wish Hawaiʻi.
  • Wish granting for Wailuku teen. PC: Anna Kim Photography / Make A Wish Hawaiʻi.
  • Wish granting for Wailuku teen. PC: Anna Kim Photography / Make A Wish Hawaiʻi.
  • Wish granting for Wailuku teen. PC: Anna Kim Photography / Make A Wish Hawaiʻi.
  • Wish granting for Wailuku teen. PC: Anna Kim Photography / Make A Wish Hawaiʻi.
  • Wish granting for Wailuku teen. PC: Anna Kim Photography / Make A Wish Hawaiʻi.

In partnership with generous community donors and local Maui volunteers, Make-A-Wish Hawaiʻi recently granted the wish of a Wailuku girl battling cancer.

Interested in content creation, 15-year-old Puanani, who goes by the name “Pua,” wished to have her own videography equipment. Due to COVID-19, Make-A-Wish Hawaiʻi staff on Oʻahu were unable to attend the wish granting, so two Maui volunteers worked to bring her wish to life.

The two volunteers, Jennifer McNeff and Nikki Yamamoto, conducted virtual visits with Pua and her family over the past few months to discover her wish.

Thanks to a donation from local donors Steven and Karen Sato, Make-A-Wish Hawaiʻi then purchased a suite of videography equipment and had it shipped to Maui, where McNeff and Yamamoto wrapped each piece.

Pua and her family arrived at The Westin Nanea Ocean Villas, Kāʻanapali shortly after for a socially distant wish reveal with Jen and Nikki, where Pua unwrapped and tested out her new equipment on the grounds of the hotel.

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Since the wish granting, Pua has already been hard at work creating content, including a short video for her school to use for a fundraiser in Pua’s honor.

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“Pua lit up with the possibilities: she was ready to dive in to film, to edit, to fly the drone and to create content all at once,” said Pua’s mother, Ellen. “The wonder and excitement was and is great when she gets into creating content. She is able to push through her nausea because she wants to finish her edits and audio. This is a life-changing and life-energizing experience.”

“Although there have been challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, Pua’s wish is a prime example of how our community is continuing to find safe, innovative ways to grant life-changing wishes for Hawaii children with critical illnesses,” said Make-A-Wish Hawaiʻi Director of Mission Delivery Kari Bogner. “We couldn’t be prouder of Jen and Nikki for all the dedication and heart they showed in executing this wish for Pua.”

Make-A-Wish Hawaiʻi extended a special thanks to Steven and Karen Sato, Jennifer McNeff and Nikki Yamamoto, The Westin Nanea Ocean Villas in Kāʻanapali, Nathan Strubhar and Sunlit Films, Anna Kim Photography and associate Nicole, and all who came together to make Pua’s wish possible.

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