CRAIG T. KOJIMA / CKOJIMA@STARBULLETIN.COM
Flanked by mother Ann Walden, left, brother David Walden and father Jeff Williams, Kyle Williams prepared to ride through Diamond Head Crater yesterday. The Make-a-Wish Foundation arranged for the bike ride for Kyle, 12, who has acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
A boy with leukemia gets his wish with a visit to Hawaii
Peddling on his BMX bicycle through Diamond Head crater with his family in tow, 12-year-old Kyle Williams' wish finally came true.
The Make-a-Wish Foundation, with the help of the Hawaii Bicycling League, brought to fruition yesterday Kyle's dream to ride his bike in a volcano.
"In all reality, it's a miracle he's with us," said Kyle's mother, Ann Walden.
Last week, Kyle's Hawaiian vacation plans were nearly suspended again when he caught chickenpox.
"I just really wanted to go to Hawaii."
Kyle Williams / Diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia
Diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia, a cancer that attacks infection-fighting cells, Kyle has been in recovery, waiting for more than a year to visit Oahu.
"I just really wanted to go to Hawaii," he said.
Kyle is one of about 100 children who asked to visit Hawaii in the month of June alone, according to an official with Make-a-Wish Foundation of Hawaii.
Since 1986, the Make-a-Wish Foundation in Kyle's home state of Washington granted 3,500 wishes to children with life-threatening medical conditions.
"Until the time there are no more kids who get sick, I can't imagine one kid going through what they do and not getting a really fabulous wish," said Audrey Seale, a volunteer with the Washington chapter.
She met the Williamses in 2006 when Kyle was at the Ronald McDonald House preparing for a bone marrow transplant.
To grant wishes like Kyle's, the foundation depends on a community of people.
Alaska Airlines flew Kyle's family — his father, mother and brother — from Washington state. Airline officials also waived fees to fly Kyle's BMX bike, which he received last summer at a luau in Washington.
Seale says the people of Hawaii really worked to make everything possible for Kyle.
"Everybody just really had that spirit of aloha to make it happen," said John Climaldi, events manager with the Hawaii Bicycling League. The league provided three bikes for the Williamses, but Climaldi credits the state Department of Land and Natural Resources for arranging yesterday's Diamond Head bike ride.
Ann said flying to Hawaii was what Kyle had wanted for a while. "I think it's important because, you know, it's an opportunity that he might never have had before," she said.
In total, Kyle's wish is estimated to cost $5,800. But despite popular belief, the Make-a-Wish Foundation is not well funded, according to a statement released by the foundation. Children typically wait about four months before their wishes are granted.
Kyle's dream does not end with the bicycle ride. His family will visit Hanauma Bay, the Polynesian Cultural Center, Pearl Harbor and Matsumoto Shave Ice in Haleiwa before returning home.