Since its founding in 1980, Make-A-Wish has granted over 300,000 wishes. Yes, in the very beginning, the children who received wishes were terminally-ill. However, that expanded very early on to include kids with a variety of critical, but not necessarily life-ending, illnesses.
While it remains true that some wish kids do not survive their illness, a majority do. Most wish kids go on to lead fulfilling lives after their Make-A-Wish experience, just like me. In fact, medical research is now showing that wishes have proven physical and emotional benefits that can give children with critical illnesses a higher chance of survival! Having something exciting to focus on and look forward to can help build the strength they need to fight their illness.
When I was three, I was diagnosed with rhabdomyosarcoma, a form of cancer, and referred to Make-A-Wish. My wish was to go to Disney World with my family.
Because I was so young, I don’t remember many of the details, but I know it was a happy break for me and my family from cancer treatments and doctor appointments. The wish gave us optimism and a positive attitude to get through the illness I was fighting.
I’m now a healthy 22-year-old and working as a Make-A-Wish intern. I’m happy to have the chance to be a part of this organization and to impact others with my story of challenge and survival. I am living proof that Make-A-Wish is not just for terminal kids. And I have a couple of hundred thousand fellow wish alums to back me up!
Learn more about the Make-A-Wish referral process and medical eligibility.