Broward School Makes Student’s Dream of Hawaii Trip Come True While Battling Leukemia

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  • She’s now gained 600 new friends at the Pembroke Pines school after they surprised her with a big check for her trip to Hawaii.

Big dreams came true for an eight-year-old girl from Plantation Friday after students and staff at Panther Run Elementary raised more than $5,000 for her Make-A-Wish dream.

Charlotte Nathanson has always dreamed of visiting Hawaii and learning how to surf. The Nathanson’s moved to South Florida from Chicago just a year ago. Six weeks later, they received dreaded news – Charlotte was diagnosed with leukemia.

“I was in the hospital for five months,” said Charlotte. “I couldn’t start school, and I didn’t have any friends.”

She’s now gained 600 new friends at the Pembroke Pines school after they surprised her with a big check for her trip to Hawaii and surfing lessons.

Charlotte already has a to-do list.

“Walking in the volcanoes, swimming underwater falls, zip lining, swimming with turtles, and swimming with dolphins,” she said.

It was all Max Gutierrez idea, after he learned about make a wish’s Kids for Wish Kids Program.

“I feel like she’s going to have such a fun time and she’s going to be so carefree,” said Gutierrez.

The Panther Run student teamed up with his principal to make it all happen for Charlotte, who they didn’t even know. Charlotte is doing much better now, and will be taking off to Hawaii in just one week. Her mother, Natalie, couldn’t be more thankful.

“We are just so grateful. We learned a lesson about just finding joy in life every day no matter what,” she said.

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