Meet SKYLAR SOARES, hear her powerful story of hope and healing

skylar_soaresIn the first segment, we feature Skylar Soares, a 12-year-old Maryknoll School student, who at age 11, opened her own business – HI Sky. Her story involves Angels, miracles, a golden retriever and a community.

Skylar has faced three serious illnesses during her short life, including Lupus, Hemophagocytic Lymphohistiocytosis (HLH) as well as Hyper IgE also known as Jobs’ Syndrome, each that qualified her as a Make-a-Wish Foundation wish recipient. Only two children in Hawaii have survived HLH, Skylar being one of those miracle children.

When Skylar was 7, doctors at Kapiolani Medical Center were unable to diagnose why she was not conscious and a priest came to give Skylar “Last Rights,” a Catholic sacrament administered the dying.

Skylar saw Angels in the hospital room and then flat lined twice. Doctors had all but given up on saving her, until Tucker, a remarkable golden retriever hospital service dog, was able to get a response from Skylar.

When Make-a-Wish Foundation offered Skylar a wish in 2012, Skylar asked to give each student at Maryknoll School a sun-safe hat, to promote sun safety, as she needs to be protected from the harmful rays of the sun because of Lupus. Skylar also opened a hat retail business, HI Sky.

Skylar was awarded the Small Business Hawaii Entrepreneurial Education Foundation’s Young Entrepreneur of the Year award in 2013 and is the youngest inductee to the American Business Womens Association.

While Skylar still has many health obstacles, she has a bright future. After being inspired by the many amazing doctors at Kapiolani, She wants to become a doctor.

Meet MO MAURER, who brings joy and independence to many

Screen shot 2014-02-23 at 1.46.29 PMMo Maurer’s story involves superhero dogs, the superheroes they serve, and remarkable tales of courage.

As a child, Mo Maurer spent four years in the hospital, and that’s where she encountered her first service dog. As an adult living in the mainland and then in Hawaii, Mo was a successful accountant, but her life didn’t feel complete. She and her husband Will in 1995 began to help people as she had been helped all those years ago – with service dogs. They founded Assistance Dogs of Hawaii in 2000, which has trained more than 100 service dogs, including Tucker, the Kapiolani Medical Center service dog who helped save Skylar. Deemed the “Dog Whisperer”, Mo seems to understand what each dog is thinking, their special talents, and how they can best help those in need.

Screen shot 2014-02-23 at 1.44.48 PMAssistance Dogs of Hawaii located in Makawao is involved in a pilot program to train dogs to detect disease, such as cancer, or kidney and bladder infections and also trains service dogs to help with people with a wide array of disabilities including the blind and deaf or suffering from seizures, and others who are confined to a wheelchair or cannot speak. Their social therapy dogs provide love and companionship at hospitals, nursing homes and other facilities. Mo does not charge her clients, because she knows they have tremendous medical and living expenses.


Screen shot 2014-02-23 at 1.41.29 PMMeet Delorese Gregoire, who has inspired thousands of teenagers with her strength, courage and perseverance

There is no doubt Delorese Gregoire is a winner. She has dedicated the last 30 years of her life to what many parents dread – teenagers – at her Winners’ Camp in Hawaii Kai.

Since founding Winners’ Camp nearly three decades ago, Delorese molded 14,000 teenagers and 600 support staff into leaders through her 7-day camps, by helping them to discover and use their talents.

Delorese convinced landowner Kamehameha Schools to let her move Winners’ Camp to a three-and-a-half acre property on the edge of Kamehame Ridge. The dilapidated facility had four main buildings covered with cracks, weeds, graffiti; the buildings had broken windows and no doors; and the surrounding areas were consumed with brush, rubbish and old tires. But Delorese saw only the great potential of the camp, which sits on the edge of an emerald mountain range overlooking a stunning view of the sunrise over the Pacific Ocean. So she gathered volunteers who helped with the clean-up effort and donations and today the camp sparkles with the potential she envisioned.

The story of this vivacious entrepreneur involves incredible strength, courage and perseverance. Delorese, who was born in Salem, Massachusetts, lived in 13 foster homes as a child and was severely abused. In the process of all the trials and abuse she faced, Delorese learned the importance of enhancing the lives of children, of reminding them of their value, and giving them the tools they need to succeed and stay on the right path. Delorese has big plans for the future and wants to start a camp for kids ages 7 to 12 and expand the existing site.


How did these three remarkable women overcome great odds to be successful? Learn their secrets of courage, strength, perseverance, love, hope and healing in this first episode of You’ve Got the Power. They know we all have this power to overcome challenges life brings, because the power is within us.

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