“I was born with gastroschisis, which is a sickness. So your intestines are on the outside of your body. I was staying in the hospital for four months of my life,” she said.
Kaiya had six operations to correct the problem, two of them last year. That meant trips to mainland specialists and extended stays.
During her surgeries, Ronald McDonald House Charities in San Francisco helped her family with lodging.
“The families who stay at the Ronald McDonald House and all the services that we provide, we do not charge anything,” said Jerri Chong, RMHC Hawaii president.
Kaiya’s father, Jonny Mack, said that took a lot of pressure off his family during a stressful time.
“Thank God they opened their doors for us because it’s really expensive to fly over there for an operation and to find someplace to stay for a couple months is hard,” he said.