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I wish to meet Bethany Hamilton!


“ "It was incredible. We felt like we were part of her family the entire time." ”

- Gina's Mom

Gina is not your average girl. She’s stood strong and proud through something that most kids her age…or most people in the entire world…never have to deal with. Gina has been diagnosed with a life-threatening medical condition that has taken her childhood and filled it with hospital visits, doctor appointments, medical treatments, and above all else, time away from the things and people she loves.

But Gina hasn’t let her condition hold her back one bit - in fact, she took it on as one of life’s many challenges, with a smile on her face and a determined heart! Gina is a girl that people around her look up to, wishing to be more like. Her courage and “can-do” attitude are an inspiration to so many people who know her.

When Gina was given the opportunity to have her one true wish come true, she had just recently watched a film about passion, dedication, and never giving up. That movie was “Soul Surfer,” the true story of Bethany Hamilton. Gina was so moved by this film and embraced it closely as she continued to battle her own life’s struggles, that she decided her one true wish was to meet Bethany Hamilton herself and experience that passion and dedication first-hand.

Gina and her family travelled to the beautiful tropics of Hawaii to spend a week in paradise. They were greeted with flower leis at the airport, kicking off the family vacation just right. But this was just the beginning! Gina and her family not only got to meet Bethany in person, but Gina was given a 3-hour surf lesson with her coach! Gina and her family spent hours with Bethany, her parents, and her brothers and their families. It was an incredible experience to feel like part of the “Soul Surfer” family and truly be welcomed by such an inspirational group of people.

But above all else…above the chance to spend days with a celebrity whom Gina looks up to, above a week-long vacation in paradise, and above the relaxation that the Hawaiian sun can give…Gina and her family were able to close a chapter in their life book and begin a new one. For Gina, this was truly a wish come true!

  • Gina in the car with Bethany

  • Gina surfing

  • Gina and her brothers

  • Gina's parents "hang loose"

  • A view of Hawaii

  • Gina's hotel

  • Gina and Bethany on the beach

  • Gina, Bethany, and two other Wish Kids

  • Bethany surfing

  • Bethany with all the Wish Kids

  • Gina and Bethany

  • Pacific Ocean

  • Gina "hangs loose"

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Make-A-Wish® Connecticut
126 Monroe Turnpike
Trumbull, CT 06611
(203) 261-9044
Toll Free (877) 203-9474