Make-A-Wish family survives hard landing on Maui
WAIHEE, Maui (HawaiiNewsNow) - The Fraser family is all smiles after surviving a hard landing in Waihee, Maui.
It's an easier task than the hard times Anne Marie has been going through though.
The 17 year old is battling Ewing's Sarcoma, a rare bone cancer.
After enduring months of chemotherapy, the Make-A-Wish Foundation sent Anne Marie on her dream trip.
"Her wish was to come to Hawaii. And she picked Maui as her island," said her mom Susanne.
Tuesday morning, the Frasers were about ten minutes into a flight with Sunshine Helicopters over the ocean when it happened.
"Like a horn went off in the helicopter, like a honking noise. Me and my husband kind of looked at each other like what was that," Susanne said.
That noise was the alarm signaling engine failure.
"The whole engine, he said at 2,000 ft, went out on him. And he didn't want to scare anybody and he said that we were at the height where he could kind could have controlled the guide a bit. If we were lower, it would have been harder," she said.
Susanne says the pilot calmly turned the chopper back toward land and made an emergency landing on a grassy bluff.
Francis Cerizo happened to be watching from nearby.
"It looked like survivors pretty much kinda walked out on their own and soon after that they all took off, the rescue guy left," Cerizo said.
Everyone walked away unharmed.
In fact, the Frasers are continuing their vacation as planned with their next stop on Oahu.
"That's why we're here today…because of her and honor her fighting the cancer. Something she's always wanted to do. She's a beach girl. She likes the sun, beautiful sunsets and sunrises."
A strong young woman defying the odds of death in more ways than one with more beautiful Hawaiian sunsets in her future.
Susanne encourages everyone to donate to Make-A-Wish Foundation because she says they truly do make children's wishes come true.
Make-A-Wish President and CEO Siana Austin Hunt released this statement:
"Make-A-Wish® Hawaii learned of the incident this morning involving our wish family visiting from Illinois and has confirmed the safety of all participants and crew on board the helicopter. Sunshine Helicopters is a trusted partner for Make-A-Wish® Hawaii, and we have been in communication with the tour company and are confident in their professional handling of the incident. We will continue to ensure our wish family is treated to a once-in-a-lifetime wish experience."
This month there are more than 130 wish children and their families traveling to Hawaii to experience a wish filled with aloha as part of more than 1,000 wishes granted to visiting children each year in Hawaii. We are grateful for the support and generosity of our community Statewide."
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