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Koehn Meets Bethany Hamilton

Bethany Hamilton and Koehn

“ She has blond hair and scars like me! ”


- Koehn

13 wish kids from across the nation shared an unforgettable week on Kauai surfing with the one and only Bethany Hamilton and 20 other talented surfers from across the islands!

  • Bethany Hamilton and Koehn

  • Bethany Hamilton and Koehn

  • Bethany Hamilton and Koehn

  • Bethany Hamilton and Koehn

  • Surf Camp

  • Surf Camp

  • Surf Camp

  • Surf Camp

  • Surf Camp

  • Surf Camp

Often when wish kids are asked to dream, they begin to think of something or someone that has served as a source of inspiration throughout a tumultuous battle. For the 13 children who attended Make-A-Wish Hawaii’s Surf Camp, that someone is Bethany Hamilton. The new mother and pro surfer is well known for her dedication to the sport of surfing, even after losing her left arm in a shark attack in 2003.

7-year-old Koehn from Derby, Kansas, knows what it’s like to face a battle. He lives with chronic kidney disease. Bethany's incredible story of resilience resonates with him, and when life gets overwhelming, he looks to her for inspiration. "I wanted to meet her [Bethany] because she has blond hair and scars just like me,” said Koehn. Because he can identify their similarities, he can find hope in her story.

The shared wish among these 13 wish children was to meet and surf with the world-famous, Kauai-born surfer — but what they experienced was much more than a meet-and-greet; it was a week of new friendships, life-changing experiences and island respite with other children who understand their unique struggles.

Special Thanks: Bethany Hamilton & Family, Studio Red, KORE, Hanalei Fire Department, Captain Kurt Leong, Darcy Fiero, Evan Valiere, Kalani Vierra, Kaimi Kaheholani, Krystl Apeles, Nage Melamed, Rochelle Ballard, Russell Lewis, Kandace Wolshin, Rip Curl, Xcel Wetsuits, Hurley, Billabong, DaKine, Mauli Ola Foundation, Fortress Eyewear, Body Glove, Project Aloha, Pura Vida Bracelets, Sun Bum Sunscreen, [ Ki - ele ], Kanile'a Ukuleles, Scott Hawaii, Happy Haliewa, D3 Designs, Brice Yamashita, HiSky, Tats4Now, Surfer Girl Jewelry, Beach Wahine, Leighton Lam Designs, Nohea Beauty Bar Hawaii, North Shore Soap Factory, Hanalei Surf Co – Backdoor, Bubble Shack Hawaii, Kawa Kookies, Honolulu Cookie Company, Snorkel Bob's, Hanalei Trading Co., Moses Hamilton, Hanalei Land Company, Hawaii Life Property Management, Chicken in a Barrel, Bubba's Burgers, Friends of Bethany, Hanalei Surf School, Pualani Hawaii, Noah Hamilton, Keith Ketchum, Bryce Johnson, Dianne Reynolds, Gina Pope, Sarah Hill, Koral McCarthy, Mary Mair, Pualani Hanalei, Garden & Valley Isle Seafood, Fresh Island Fish, M & H Kaneshiro Farm Inc.

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Make-A-Wish® Kansas
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