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The late Greg Couture created the Mahana Magic Foundation with a group of supportive friends after he was diagnosed in the fall of 2008 with stage 4 cancer. While being treated at Fletcher Allen Health Care, Greg received wonderful emotional care through the Cancer Patient Support Program (CPS). However, he felt that his diagnosis was really a “family diagnosis,” often referring to it as “our cancer.” So, while he received the caring support through CPS, he became concerned of where his daughters, Makena & Hana, would find the support they needed. Greg recognized how cancer created fear and uncertainty for children and their need for an outlet to express their emotions. Thus Mahana Magic was born – in honor of his two daughters, Makena and Hana, with their names combined to create Mahana, meaning “to create warmth.”

Through CPS’s referral, Makena and Hana engaged themselves in exploring art as an outlet to express their inward emotions. They created a pictorial essay book “My Dad Has Cancer” for their Dad which has won a Moonbeam Children’s Book Award. Makena and Hana also enjoyed the confidence building activity and peer support of a ropes course activity provided by On Belay Art therapy and Ropes Course Activities are two of the main focuses which Mahana Magic offers kids.

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