Natalie, who lives in the small town of Wheatland, has big travel dreams: She hopes to one day visit all 50 U.S. states. As she strategized, she realized that some states might be more difficult to check off the list than others. So when it came time to choose her one true wish, Natalie decided she wanted to go on a Hawaiian cruise.
The cruise was intended to offer Natalie and her family a chance to see Hawaii from the water and enjoy its islands and beaches. But before they even boarded the ship, her family couldn’t stop smiling – they knew the trip would offer days of joy for Natalie, who had struggled with a kidney condition for years.
The vacation was full of unforgettable moments. Natalie found sea turtles while snorkeling, walked along beaches and zip-lined through treetops. While the time away together as a family was priceless, Natalie also valued the months leading up to the trip, as it gave her “something to look forward to and dream about,” she shared. The Hawaiian adventures exceeded Natalie’s highest expectations. Her mother described the trip as “a great dream (Natalie) wishes she didn’t have to wake up from.”
But the benefits didn’t end there. The wish trip represented a turning point for Natalie, who realized under the Hawaiian sun that “her condition doesn’t have to hold her back,” her mother remembered. Natalie’s experience left her feeling rejuvenated and optimistic – and now, she can check Hawaii off her must-visit list and take that aloha spirit with her as she continues her quest to visit all 50 states.