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West Maui businesses help fulfill end- of-life dream for Washington resident

By Staff | Aug 24, 2017

Brent Schlea of A&B Photography took photos of the Zucati family during their visit to West Maui.

LAHAINA – Coming to Maui is a dream for many, but for Nick Zucati, coming to Maui was a wish fulfilled. Zucati’s end-of-life dream, granted through Dream Foundation, was a time he and his family could focus on something other than his illness for awhile.

Nicholas Zucati, a 51-year-old husband and father from Auburn, Washington, was diagnosed with terminal colon cancer almost three years ago. The family recently received news that the treatments were no longer working and that the cancer was spreading aggressively, making this vacation all the more important.

Zucati and his wife, Rebecca, have four children: Dylan, Jonah, Emma and Tucker. “I would very much love to have a family vacation with all of my children,” Nick expressed. “I am interested in something that is relaxing and quiet for myself, but which would be a fun experience for the family as well. I thought a trip to Hawaii would fit this description.”

Thanks to the West Maui community, the Zucati family was able to enjoy days in paradise, making memories that they will cherish during the tough road ahead.

Nick is the eighth dreamer that Coconut Condos has had the privilege of hosting, and several dreamers ago, Brent Schlea of A&B Photography reached out and volunteered his services as a photographer.

Rebecca had expressed her desire of having family photos taken, but timing hadn’t worked out with her older two children in college.

“This was an incredible gift given to us,” said Rebecca of Schlea’s generosity. “We will cherish not only the pictures, but the memory of the special places shared with us.”

The Zucatis stayed in Aina Nalu H104 in Lahaina, thanks to the generosity of Coconut Condos owners Megan McDevitt and Brad Knee.

“The grounds at Aina Nalu were a real treat. We felt like we were in paradise whenever we stepped out the door,” said Rebecca.

Aina Nalu developers Jerry Lynch and Jon McManus also donated complimentary parking for the duration of their stay.

Drums of the Pacific Luau and Monica Chihara donated four VIP tickets to the Zucati family. Coincidentally, Rebecca’s birthday was the same day as the luau, and Chihara made sure to recognize her celebration with a birthday dessert and announcement.

“I had an outstanding day ending with a luau,” said Rebecca.

Not knowing how Nick would feel, the Zucatis didn’t want to plan too many activities. Once they were here, however, Nick expressed interest in a sailing trip. Trilogy Excursions and Assistant Sales Manager Taryn Johnson came through at the last minute and helped the Zucati family sail into the sunset on a Deluxe Kaanapali Sunset Sail.

Nick was able to enjoy his relaxing and quiet time at the beach while his children were able to explore the ocean with a beach bundle donated by The Snorkel Store for the six days they were staying on the West Side. Micah Wolf, co-founder of The Snorkel Store, stated, “We wanted to enhance the father’s relaxation and comfort with this bundle. It sounded like this vacation to Maui was a powerful experience for the family.”

The family was grateful for their time in Maui. “What can we say? Everyone really treated us like royalty and helped create memories for us to treasure,” stated the Zucati family.

Dream Foundation is the only national dream-granting organization for adults with terminal illnesses. “We believe that everyone deserves to have their final days filled with inspiration, comfort and closure,” said Senior Program Coordinator Megan Turley. “Because of the commitment of generous companies, we have been able to help tens of thousands of individuals make the most of their remaining days.”

If you would like to partner with Coconut Condos to help make another dream come true, contact Stephanie Kirkham at stephanie@coconutcondos.com or (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.