Three-year-old Veda took a bite out of the Big Apple for her wish. She and her family toured Ellis Island and saw the Statue of Liberty, played around in Central Park and enjoyed the rides at Coney Island.

Three-year-old Veda took a bite out of the Big Apple for her wish. She and her family toured Ellis Island and saw the Statue of Liberty, played around in Central Park and enjoyed the rides at Coney Island.

Veda wishes to go to New York City.

Before their daughter, Veda, was even born, Rock and Ali were told that she had Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome, a heart condition that left the left side of her heart underdeveloped. Now 3, Veda continues to require regular checkups to monitor her heart, but she remains strong with the support of her mom, dad and two older sisters who are always there to make her smile.

veda_20160424_01

The kind of strength Ali and Rock possess isn’t physical, but emotional. Together, they have faced challenges that would be difficult for any parent, but they bravely continue to come through it all with a positive outlook. And not too long ago, they were approached with something magical to look forward to: a wish for Veda.

With the help of wish granters, Melissa Sousa and Tiffany Ceniceros, Make-A-Wish Hawaii planned Veda’s wish to go to a place far away from Hawai`i, a place that Veda had seen on TV and in her storybooks, a place nicknamed “The Big Apple.” New York City was calling Veda and her family and they couldn’t wait to visit the Empire State Building, walk through Central Park and catch a ferry ride to Ellis Island to see the Statue of Liberty!

veda_20160424_03

New York City was like a whole new world. Being born and raised in Hawai`i, Veda and her two older sisters had never seen anything like it. The big city had so much to do and so much to see! But Veda’s favorite part of her wish was something any 3-year-old would love: going to Coney Island and riding all the thrilling roller coasters at Luna Park! A close second was hanging out at the playground at Central Park with her family. Although sightseeing in New York was amazing, the best moments of Veda’s wish turned out to be the simple ones. Th e day she couldn’t stop smiling as her mom pushed her the swing in Central Park, the hours spent going on roller coasters on Coney Island and special moments spent laughing and playing with her sisters on the subway are ones her entire family will remember forever.

Special Thanks: Wish granters Melissa Souza and Tiffany Ceniceros, iTrampoline, Down to Earth, HI Cravings and Walmart.

To learn more about Make-A-Wish® Hawaii, log on to hawaii.wish.org.