Most six-year-old children would be terrified to swim alongside sharks, but not Dean. That is just one of the many reasons why he is such an extraordinary kid. Dean was diagnosed with cancer at a young age, but that has never stopped him from seeking out adventure.
Through his wish, he was able to swim with sharks and explore all that Hawaii had to offer.
Dean was nine-months-old when the doctors found tumors in both of his eyes causing him to be considered legally blind. He went through countless rounds of chemo and laser treatments. When Dean learned that his wish to swim with sharks was granted “it gave him a new fighting spirit to never give up and it created an even tighter bond with his brother,” explained Melissa, Dean’s grandmother.
While in Hawaii, Dean and his family climbed Diamond Head Crater, cage dived with sharks, and had the opportunity to pet and feed sharks at the marine park. Dean’s grandma said he normally worries about being somewhere new, because of his eyesight challenges, but the trip gave him a new confidence and an even stronger passion for sharks.
The entire wish experience left the family feeling complete again after years of uncertainty.
“It took away a big fear we had of traveling with him. It showed us that he is willing to embrace the unknown and have fun. I truly believe he will travel a lot more as he gets older and he will eventually do something involving marine life for sure,” said Melissa. “Dean still to this day says that it was the best day ever.”