Like many of you, I often read or watch the news in the morning. And most of the time, I briefly skim over turbulent political affairs and dive straight into sports. Of course, I always turn to SportsCenter which pretty much covers every major sport and always has a very diverse and entertaining collection of the day’s top plays. However, during my pancakes and coffee, the normal segment I usually watch wasn’t on. Instead, it was something much more rewarding and valuable: the “My Wish” segment.
ESPN’s “My Wish” series is a collaborative effort with the Make-A-Wish Foundation and grants sports-related wishes to children living with life-threatening illnesses, generally by pairing them up with one of their heroes. This episode featured the story of an eight-year-old girl named Kendall Curnuck, suffering from leukemia. Her dream was to surf and her teacher was none-other than professional surfer, Bethany Hamilton.
If you don’t know Hamilton’s story, on Oct. 31, 2003, at age 13, Hamilton suffered a life-threatening shark attack during a morning surf in Kauai, Hawaii, resulting in the loss of her left arm. Though she lost her arm in such a traumatic attack, it didn’t stop her from pursuing her goals and surfing again. It also hasn’t prevented Hamilton from inspiring others and teaching them how to overcome any difficulties they may face. The “My Wish” segment was a perfect example of that, as both Hamilton and Kendall have found strength as individuals through the help of others that truly want them to achieve their dreams.
In 2004, Hamilton wrote about the shark-attack and post-injury life in her 2004 autobiography, “Soul Surfer: A True Story of Faith, Family, and Fighting to Get Back On the Board.” Additionally, her remarkable story was recently adopted in the April 2011 documentary, “Soul Surfer.”
Amazingly, Kendall was able to spend three days with Bethany. But from just the brief program, you get the sense it was an experience neither of them will ever forget. For Bethany’s continued passion for providing hope and inspiration to others, including Kendall, The Good in Sports proudly rewards her with a Gold Star and hope she continues to help make wishes come true.
- For more information on Bethany and her visit with Kendall, visit her website at: BethanyHamilton.com