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Wish Blog

Jun 11, 2019

Your go-to guide for questions about wish referral.

Our mission at Make-A-Wish is to make sure every eligible child with a critical illness has their
wish granted. We know that eligibility can be confusing.
We get questions all the time like, “Are wishes only granted to children with cancer?” or “How do I get my child’s wish granted?” This is going to be your go-to guide for all questions about wish referral.

Q: Who is eligible?
A: A child with a critical illness who has reached the age of 2 ½ and is younger than  18 and who has not had a wish granted before. We work closely with the child’s medical team to ensure we gather enough information to determine eligibility.

Q: Who can refer a child to get a wish?
A: Medical and psycho-social health care professionals, parents/guardians, family members and the child themselves can refer for a wish at

Q: Why would I want to refer a child to get a wish?
A: Wishes are an important part of the child’s treatment journey. Wishes provide kids hope when they need it most, and research shows they have effects on children’s overall well-being and health outcomes. When a wish is granted, a child replaces fear with confidence, sadness with joy, and anxiety with hope.

Q: How does a family know their child is going to have their wish granted?
A: Make-A-Wish America works closely with your local chapter help to determine the child’s medical eligibility. We work with the treating physician to find out if the child is diagnosed with a critical illness and if it is safe for the child to go on a wish. Once medical eligibility is confirmed, we call the families to welcome them, and gather more information about the child and family. We then connecting them to our enthusiastic volunteers, so they can help us learn about the child’s wish.

Q: What kinds of wishes can be granted?
A: while most wishes fall into the five major categories, the possibilities are endless. The child’s  imagination is the driving force in determining, designing, and coordinating this life-altering wish experience. The five categories are: I wish to go… I wish to be… I wish to meet… I wish to have… I wish to give…

To find out more about how to refer a child and the wish granting process, visit

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