CHAPTER HIGHLIGHTS A wish has the power to draw a family closer – to each other, and to an ever-widening circle of love and support. In 2016, five-year-old wish child, Lina, who was diagnosed with a spinal tumor when she was just six weeks old, participated in the annual Children’s Wish corporate fundraising event, Exile Island BC. Lina, sister Frieda and mom Kati were teamed up with Naz, Jason, and Carol from BC Mortgage Professionals. Little did any of them know they’d be making friends for life. Says Naz, “We met at a restaurant in North Vancouver a few weeks before the event. From the moment the three of us met the three of them, we absolutely fell in love.” In a nod to Lina’s wish to visit New Zealand, the team sported Haka face paint during the event. Since then, this new “family” has stuck together, taking trips to Whistler, going to see the movie Moana and cheering on the New Zealand All Blacks (from the front row) during the Rugby Sevens in Vancouver. Naz sums it up beautifully, “The bond we have built in such a short time has been nothing short of a blessing. It’s a reminder of what matters in life: the relationships we have and the people we keep close.” Now, as Lina looks forward to her wish trip to New Zealand, she has a whole new tribe around her to share in her excitement. Family Bonding on Exile Island British Columbia and Yukon Territory Chapter A wish has the power to draw a family closer. 5