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Adventure in Hawaii Helps Teen Move on From Cancer

Mark's Hawaii Adventure

“ It was nice to let go of the pain ... ”

Mark is a driven, intelligent and well-liked 17 year old who lives in Rockton. His drive not only helps him achieve athletically in tennis, and socially as class president, but also physically which was apparent during his battle with cancer.

Diagnosed with Burkitt's Lymphoma, Mark learned that he would be eligible for a wish experience. An intrepid guy, Mark knew that he wanted to go somewhere that he could find action, adventure and beauty. He also was looking to spend time relaxing on the beach. After seeing some pictures of Maui, Mark knew that was the place where his wish would come true.

While the family spent their trip doing many action packed things such as zip lining, cliff jumping and snorkeling, Mark's favorite memory was something a bit more cerebral.

“One day we got up at three in the morning and went to the top of Haleakala, a dormant volcano, to see the sunrise over the tops of the clouds,” Mark recalls. “Then we rode bikes down the whole way, and you could see the entire island it was so cool.”

According to Mark’s mom, the wish allowed the family to have time together, where they just had fun and could focus on the enjoyment . She said it was also nice to let go of the pain and emotions that had dictated so much of their lives for so long, and it provided a really nice start to moving on from Mark’s diagnosis and recovery.

“While I was going through treatments, life kind of sucked,” Mark shared. “But, a trip to Maui was something I could look forward to, an exciting thing waiting for me. It was cool spending time with family not in the hospital.”

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