We grant the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy.
Each wish is more than just a dream come true for a child in need. It is a bright spot on the horizon for the entire family to guide them through some of their darkest days. It is a unifying force for building stronger communities.
For children battling cancer, pediatric AIDS, cystic fibrosis, Duchene’s muscular dystrophy and other illnesses, hospital and doctor visits become the central focus of their everyday lives. By granting a child’s most heartfelt wish, we are able to positively impact that child’s life and provide a life-affirming experience for the entire family. Many of the children we serve go on to lead healthy lives and cite their wish experience as a key turning point:
“Mikayla has been through so much over the past 8 months and as a Mom I have felt utterly helpless to make it better. She is the bravest little girl that I know and on more than one occasion has reminded me to “be strong.” Throughout her chemo treatment we often reminded her and ourselves of her upcoming Make-A-Wish trip and looked forward to it with eager anticipation. The trip definitely lived up to all of our dreams. Your organization gave us an opportunity to celebrate the end of treatment, to forget about being sick, and to look forward to the future with hope. A mom’s wish come true!”
Anecdotally, we have seen the power of the wish experience since we granted our first wish. However, it is important to quantify our impact. A recent in-depth Wish Impact Study identified three major areas that the wish process clearly appears to improve:
Impact on Health Status: A wish come true helps children feel stronger, more energetic, more willing and able to battle their life-threatening medical conditions. For many of them, it marks a turning point in their fight against their illnesses.
Impact on State of Mind: A wish improves a child’s state of mind, replacing fear with happiness and helping him/her to feel like a normal kid again. Through their wish experience, wish kids feel less isolated and more empowered to take back control of their lives. And while wishes help kids who get them, it helps their families, as well.
Life-threatening medical conditions impact parents, siblings, and other family members on mental and emotional levels. Parents report that wish experiences help repair and strengthen their families through a return to normalcy, and that feelings of hope and optimism replace fear and stress.
Impact on Community: The act of wish granting serves to strengthen communities. When volunteers help to grant wishes, they report feeling an increased sense of compassion and desire to help others, and a greater faith in humanity. They become more trusting in others and more optimistic in the future. These changes in volunteers ultimately lead them to make greater long-term commitments to philanthropy, creating a ripple effect of social value.
Phase II of the Wish Impact Study will be released this fall.