A family is turning the sudden death of their three-year-old son into a chance to help other children.
A rare condition took the life of Legend Pestana two days before Christmas.
Even as his family mourns, through their sadness they’ve found purpose, to honor their son’s memory by giving other children the opportunity to enjoy one of Legend’s favorite things.
Nick Pestana and his family are coping with their loss by creating an opportunity for children to have fun.
“Legend just absolutely loved (skateboarding),” Nick Pestana said. “From the moment he was born he would crawl up to a skateboard. Once he could crawl and tap on that thing, (he’d) want to ride it.”
Pestana said his son grew up skateboarding.
“Both my girls, they picked it up at a young age. Surfing as well. We were always at the beach… Legend just picked it up right away. He was already beginning to try and stand up by himself.”
“Legend was just right there, I mean, even one of the biggest hills at the skatepark at Keolu,” Pestana remembered with a proud smile on his face. “He would go down on his knees and just charge it and go full speed.”
Pestana and his family will cherish those memories forever.
Little Legend passed away two days before Christmas. He had a rare condition called brain arteriovenous malformation or AVM.
“It’s malformity of the blood vessels where they don’t, they don’t form correctly in his brain,” Pestana explained. “And it’s a one percent of children in the world who have this condition.”
According to the Mayo Clinic website, the cause of AVM is unclear and many with AVM don’t have any symptoms.
“It was something nobody could have detected and it happened so fast,” Pestana said. “The doctors did everything they could to keep him here, but Legend went.”
Legend’s passing was so sudden and unexpected, but the Pestana ohana hasn’t lost faith.
“There’s been a lot of purpose that we’ve been finding through this quick thing that all of a sudden happened to us,” Pestana said.
Now, they have found their purpose. They are on a mission to share Legend’s love of skateboarding with other kids.
“We just wanted to start this foundation in light of Legend,” Pestana said. “It’s going to be called the Legend Foundation and it’s a scholarship for kids who want to apply for it and give them the opportunity to get into skateboarding.”
“That’s where leaps and bounds are made when kids do things they don’t think they can do,” Pestana said. “And that’s what’s great about skateboarding.”
There will be a silent auction on Instagram @shakasforlegend this Monday.
One hundred percent of the proceeds will go to the Legend Foundation.
Pestana stood near the wall watching his two daughters as they skateboarded around Keolu Skatepark. Legend’s oldest sister dropped-in on a steep hill riding Legend’s skateboard, the one with a picture of Jaws on the deck.
“We love him, we miss him and we will live in his light every single day so he’s not forgotten,” Pestana said.