Maka's Story.

A picture of a smiling boy with kind eyes hangs on the wall in a living room. His name is Nahokukamakaokalani, which in Hawaiian means “the eyes of heaven”. Everyone just called him Maka for short.

Nalani says she was blessed to have Maka; to be the lucky one he called, “mom.” “Homes, jobs, money can be replaced,” she says, “but you cannot replace a child.” And so she made it her priority to be there for Maka every step of the way.

He was just three years old when the doctors first detected a tumor in his brain. But they were able to treat it and for a decade, the tumor remained in remission. When Maka was 14, the tumor returned and was treated, only to return again when he was 16.

So that Maka could receive the very best care, Nalani called Navian Hawaii. The next day the pediatric care team arrived to surround Maka and his family with love and support. A hospital bed, oxygen, pain medications, a wheelchair; whatever Maka needed, Navian Hawaii provided it.

Through the “Little Things, Big Differences” program, Navian Hawaii brought the community together to fulfill Maka’s bucket list: a fishing pole, a stay at Aulani Resort with his family, and a trip to Arizona to see his dad one last time.

Maka couldn’t stop smiling as he fished with his new pole at Maili Beach Park. He sat next to his mom at Aulani Resort as they enjoyed a sunset. He held his father’s hand in Arizona as his dad told him stories about fishing, the sport Maka loved.

On a peaceful Saturday morning, Maka passed away in his bedroom, surrounded by the many family and friends who had come to say, “goodbye.” It is a month later and Nalani is sitting on her sofa with Maka’s picture smiling above. “I have faith that one day, I will see him again,” she says. Until then, the boy with the kind eyes will be watching his mom from high among the stars.