Make-A-Wish America traces its inspiration back to 7-year-old Chris Greicius, a child with leukemia who wished to be a police officer. In 1980, a group of caring individuals came together and made his wish come true. The impact of Chris’ wish was felt throughout his community and was the inspiration for what is now Make-A-Wish. Little did he know that his wish would create a movement that would transform millions of lives.
As the largest wish-granting organization in the country, Make-A-Wish has granted hundreds of thousands of wishes to children battling critical illnesses. Wishes replace a child’s fear with confidence, sadness with joy and anxiety with hope. Wishes give children renewed energy and strength, bring families closer together and unite communities.
Make-A-Wish® plans every wish with one goal: to transform a wish kid’s life by surpassing every expectation. Care and attention is given to every little detail, from arranging a one-of-a-kind wish party to capturing the experience in a personalized photo book. Your donation supports the wish-granting needs of Make-A-Wish, where it can help grant a variety of wishes and empower the kids we serve – letting them know we stand with them in their fight to overcome their critical illness.
Every dollar counts. These are some milestones that are made possible by your generous support.
Helps purchase party supplies and cake for a celebration before the wish is granted.
Provides a year’s supply of food, leashes
and bowls for a kid’s wish for a new puppy.
Purchases a limousine ride for the wish kid to meet his/her favorite celebrity, or a customized jersey for a wish kid to wear to meet his or her favorite sports team.
Provides a wish kid a special outfit for a wish to celebrate a special occasion in his or her life.
Make-A-Wish® has the unique ability to transform a child and family’s life during some of their most difficult trials. That’s because a wish creates an opportunity for hope and the chance to experience life beyond illness.
For children with critical illnesses, a wish can help them feel better and give them the strength they need to fight – and even overcome – an illness. A wish replaces a child’s fear with confidence, sadness with joy and anxiety with hope. It’s why health professionals use a wish as part of their treatment plan. It unites families in life-changing moments that help them cope and grow stronger. And it brings together caring communities of people who improve children’s lives.
On average, every hour, three children are diagnosed with a critical illness. Every one of these kids needs a wish to give them renewed energy and strength. Your donation helps grant these wishes.
Thank you for believing in the power of a wish! Your support is opening the door to endless possibilities for kids and their families when they need it most.
Zayden’s heart condition has required four open-heart surgeries and dozens of catheterizations. Although he faces daily challenges, “he is full of life,” said his dad, Zackery. “He doesn’t have a great physical heart, but when you see him you feel a different spirit. Through it all, he has been stronger than [his mom and I] were, put together.”
Zayden is fascinated with outer space and stars, and his imagination is out of this world. His wish would prove the impossible is possible, with the help of virtual reality and 3D animation studio TRICK 3D and former NASA astronaut Cmdr. LeRoy Chiao.
After some "astronaut training," Zayden blasted off to a virtual Saturn, complete with BeeBo the alien, who Zayden imagined would live there. Once his mission was complete, Zayden asked, “Can we do that again?”
“Sawyer needs something that he can still believe in. I think that the power of the mind can heal anything. Something as simple as making a wish come true can change his life.”
While 3-year-old Sawyer was in the hospital fighting leukemia, he deeply missed his beloved pet chickens back home: Daisy, Fluffy, Snowflake and Rotisserie.
Since Sawyer’s family was unable to build them a proper coop, the birds had to sleep in a 10-by-10 dog kennel. Despite everything he was enduring, Sawyer worried that his feathered friends would be raided by a fox. When he learned that Make-A-Wish® could grant his one true wish, Sawyer immediately wished to have a chicken coop to keep his chickens safe.
“The look on his face as that coop was coming together was something I’ll never forget,” said Sawyer’s mom, Shelley. Today, Sawyer’s new coop houses 17 chickens. Now, instead of feeling anxious about his treatments, Sawyer excitedly brings the doctors a carton of eggs at every visit.
Who can receive a wish?
Children who have reached the age of 2 1⁄2 and are under the age of 18 must be referred to Make-A-Wish® and determined to be medically eligible for a wish by their physician. The child’s treating physician makes the final determination of whether the medical condition qualifies the child for a wish.
Does a child’s condition have to be terminal to quality for a wish?
No. Many of the children who qualify for a wish go on to lead healthy lives. We grantthe wishes of medically eligible children (i.e., those diagnosed with critical illnesses – a progressive, degenerative or malignant condition that has placed the child’s life in jeopardy).
Are there any restrictions on a wish?
Each Make-A-Wish chapter follows specific policies and guidelines for granting a child’s wish. The physician also plays a major role in determining whether the child’s condition will permit a particular wish to be coordinated safely. Make-A-Wish staff members work closely with the wish kid’s physician to determine the most appropriate time to grant the wish, keeping in mind the child’s treatment protocol or other concerns.
Does the family have to pay for the wish?
No. All wish expenses are fully covered, including all travel and spending money when appropriate. The Make-A-Wish objective is to create a memorable wish experience for both the child and family that is not clouded by financial concerns.
How much does wish granting cost?
The cost associated with coordinating a wish varies depending on the type of wish, but as of 2018, the average cost of a wish was $11,161.
Does the wish family have to meet income qualifications before a child can receive a wish?
No. Family income is not a consideration in determining whether a child is eligible to receive a wish.
Do you grant wishes to adults?
No. Make-A-Wish only grants wishes to children who have been referred to the organization and determined to be eligible for a wish before their 18th birthday. However, there are other wish-granting organizations that grant wishes to adults.
How can I connect with my local Make-A-Wish chapter?
Make-A-Wish serves every community in the U.S. and its territories through a network of 60 chapters. Find your local Make-A-Wish chapter by visiting wish.org/local-chapters and enter your zip code or state.