Since the very first wish in 1980, The Walt Disney Company and Make-A-Wish® together have granted more than 120,000 life-changing wishes for children with critical illnesses. In 1983, the Metro New York chapter of Make-A-Wish granted its first two wishes, one of which was a wish to go to Walt Disney World® Resort. Today, 1 in every 2 wishes granted in Metro New York is granted by our friends at Disney.
The numbers alone, however, do not tell the entire story of Disney’s transformative support of wish kids and their families. Each Disney wish is a reminder of the power of a wish to invoke a child’s imagination and the mental stamina that it provides a child to think beyond their illness to what is no longer impossible. Wish Kids’ imaginations are endless and Disney’s dedication to granting even the most innovative wish is priceless for a child fighting a critical illness. Afterall, innovation is at the heart of Disney’s business and Wish Kids can prove it.
For Wish Kid Gillian, her imagination is at the forefront of her incredible artistic ability. An avid drawer, when asked about her wish, being a Pixar animator for the day was at the top of her list. In April, Gillian and her family traveled to San Francisco to visit Pixar Headquarters and get a behind the scenes look at the innovation behind Pixar. She met animators, toured Pixar studios and even got a preview of a yet to be seen movie! Her mom described the power of Gillian’s wish as a trip that inspired the entire family to start looking to the future with hope after a really tough year.
Each Disney wish is special. Whether it’s a wish to go on the Disney Cruise Line to spend time with family or simply for a change of scenery after completing medical treatment; or to go to Walt Disney World® Resort to invite Belle to their birthday party and even attending the Star Wars Premiere in Los Angeles – wish kids’ have endless imaginations. And because of our longest-standing partner, when each Disney wish is granted, a child replaces fear with confidence, sadness with joy, and anxiety with hope. Make-A-Wish’s gratitude for every cherished hug from a Disney princess, long-awaited meet-and-greet with Mr. Potato Head and the Toy Story cast and life-changing moment at the Happiest Place on Earth, goes to infinity and beyond. We simply couldn’t do what we do without the dedication and innovation of our friends at Disney.