West Maui businesses help make an end-of-life dream come true
LAHAINA – Coconut Condos, once again, had the privilege of working with Dream Foundation and generous donations from businesses of West Maui to make an end-of-life dream come true.
Colorado resident Sandra Lahmann has terminal adenocarcinoma. Her dream was to accompany her daughter, Tory Sigmond, an avid off-road triathlete, to Maui to support Sigmond in the 2016 XTERRA World Championship race.
“Tory gave up her job, career, home, friends and life in Bangkok, Thailand to return to Colorado to care for me. Even beyond that, Tory thought she was going to have to give up her triathlon goals, as she had qualified for the XTERRA World Championship but we had no money to get her to Hawaii for her to compete,” said Lahmann.
“Then you all gave us this amazing gift of a trip to Hawaii so I could see Tory compete in the XTERRA World Championship, and so she and I could run the XTERRA 5K together with Tory as my support person.”
The highlight of the trip for Lahmann was the opportunity to share the XTERRA with Sigmond, and with thanks to a generous ticket donation from Janet Clark, president of TEAM Unlimited/XTERRA, to attend the two celebration dinners with Sigmond.
“I don’t think I fully understood XTERRA until this trip. I didn’t realize the international flavor of this event – how XTERRA pulls people together from many cultures and many countries, all supporting each other, encouraging each other through ten-foot waves and muddy trails. Because I got to run the 5K with Tory, I got to see a little of the triathlon trails, and after running through two creeks, over and under many downed trees and up and down hills of mud, I now have a little better understanding of what it takes to get through an XTERRA triathlon,” stated Lahmann.
Susan Barron of Hina Mana Salon donated a massage to Lahmann – one that left her feeling “more relaxed and cared for than I’ve felt in a long time,” she said.
Lahmann and Sigmond were able to recover and spend the week in the comfort of a donated week at Puamana through the generous donation of Valerie Waldrop and Mark Kornmesser.
“Our condo at Coconut Condos was absolutely perfect… I have to say the second we walked into our condo, it felt like home. We were surrounded in peace,” said Lahmann.
Thrifty Rent a Car donated two free days for a car rental, and the Puamana Association provided complimentary resort fees for the week.
The dream trip for Lahmann and her daughter didn’t end there. Lahmann had never been to Hawaii and had very little experience in the ocean, but she wanted to snorkel and experience that part of Maui’s environment. Lahmann’s first-ever experience snorkeling was as a result of a generous donation from Eric Lee and The Snorkel Store.
“It took a little extra effort to teach me to snorkel because of my physical challenges, and for most of this snorkel trip, Eric had to tow me around because I couldn’t quite coordinate breathing and kicking. But Eric was so patient and so supportive, and as a result that first snorkel was magic for me,” said Lahmann.
Following Lahmann’s first snorkeling experience, Trilogy Excursions donated a sail and snorkel for her and Sigmond to enjoy as well. Lahmann felt more comfortable in the water and was able to enjoy the marine life around her a bit more independently.
Lahmann and Sigmond also attended the Drums of the Pacific Luau at the Hyatt Regency Maui Resort & Spa, where they both enjoyed the food as well as the performances courtesy of Monica Chihara at the Hyatt.
Lahmann commented, “I’ve always enjoyed dance, but never before have I seen dance so beautifully reflect an entire culture. The most fun part of the luau was when Tory had the opportunity to go up and dance on stage with the professional dancers.”
This trip was one of a lifetime for Lahmann and Sigmond and one that won’t quickly be forgotten.
“This is what I learned while I was in Hawaii: the culture of Hawaii, the culture of ‘aloha,’ is a culture of giving and caring and community. Tory and I came thousands of miles away from Colorado, yet you all embraced us with your culture and welcomed us into your community. We didn’t just come away with the usual tourist stories and photos and souvenirs; we came away the recipients of the amazing gifts of hope and caring and community. You guys have given us the very tools we need to keep fighting through this cancer journey. You’ve given us something to believe in,” Lahmann remarked.
If you are interested in partnering with Coconut Condos and Dream Foundation, contact Lisa Meadows at (808) 419-1000.
Coconut Condos, established in 2011, is a family-owned vacation rental management company located in West Maui. They manage vacation rentals at Aina Nalu, Puamana, Lahaina Shores and others. For more information, visit www.coconutcondos.com.