Lev's wish: to chase chickens in Hawaii
LYNNWOOD -- Kids know how to dream big, so the Make A Wish Foundation hears grand wishes, from meeting celebrities to taking exotic trips. But when it was time for 6-year old Lev to make his wish, he wanted a return to simpler times.
Lev is fast on his feet. He and his dance partner Anna are two of the youngest competitive ballroom dancers in the region. While it isn't a typical hobby for a six year old, dancing is fun - and therapeutic - for Lev.
In 2010, he was diagnosed with leukemia. Most of Lev's life has included chemotherapy, doctors and hospitals. Medication makes Lev's legs and feet stiff. Dancing helps loosen his joints and sharpen his mind.
When he had the opportunity to make a wish, Lev wanted to use those limber legs and relive a moment that happened before he was sick, when his family travelled to Hawaii and Lev chased chickens.
"He wanted to chase those chickens on Kauai island and he wanted to swim with the turtles," explained Lev's mom Irina Kouilenko. "That was very sad for me as a parent. He was missing out on the things a child would do. And that vacation was excellent to remind him, there is other side of this life."
Make a Wish arranged the flight and dream vacation. There was a luau, a boat ride for snorkeling and Lev's wish.
"We went out and checked the beach and then we saw the chickens and we chased them," Lev said. You can feel his joy.
"I was wishing for a long time just to see a smile on his face," Irina said. "And to see him swim, smile, run after the chickens, it's amazing. My child was normal again."