Broward County

An 8-year-old with cancer was talking to students. She got the surprise of a lifetime.

Eight year old with cancer surprised with trip to Hawaii

Charlotte Nathanson was surprised by Panther Run Elementary School in Pembroke Pines and Make-A-Wish Friday with dream trip to Hawaii.
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Charlotte Nathanson was surprised by Panther Run Elementary School in Pembroke Pines and Make-A-Wish Friday with dream trip to Hawaii.

When 8-year-old Charlotte Nathanson strolled into Panther Run Elementary School in Pembroke Pines on Friday, she thought she was going to give a speech about cancer.

It turned out to be much more.

Little did the young girl know that the 600 children and faculty sitting before her would soon be making her biggest dream come true — a surfing excursion in Hawaii.

The school had raised funds all year long to sponsor and pay for the Plantation resident’s wish to learn to surf in Hawaii, and on Friday handed her the $5,000 check, enough to underwrite the cost of Charlotte’s tropical dream.

“I think I’m gonna fall a lot, but I think it’s gonna be worth it,” she said, chuckling. “I feel special. It’s gonna be a really good experience. I wasn’t surprised, I was thankful and happy.”

Sherri Gutierrez, a Make-A-Wish spokesperson, said granting wishes like Charlotte’s “is not just something that’s nice, it’s necessary.”

“While doctors spend so much time trying to heal their bodies, Make-A-Wish really works to heal their souls,” she said.

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