Every 20 minutes a child is diagnosed with a critical illness in the U.S.
Every 34 minutes a child is granted a wish somewhere in the U.S.
Only 60% of the children who are eligible for a wish are being reached. Please help us to close that gap.
By Jaime Wintringer
Ella’s wish was granted two years ago, but Make-A-Wish is still a part of her life – in more ways than one. Even long after our days on the beach in the Bahamas, the impact of her wish lives on. It is a power I truly believe in.
Experiences shape who you are as a person, and a wish experience is truly different than any other. It gives children renewed energy and strength – something we’ve seen firsthand before the wish and after.
Most recently, Ella went into the hospital for a major reconstructive surgery. She was expected to be hospitalized for at least one month – she was out in less than a week and a half. Her surgeon was floored, and didn’t understand how she did it. He was stunned, at a loss for words; he’d never seen anything like it. I definitely believe it’s because of the wish. It gave her the power to be able to fight. Those memories excited her. She had something to reflect on, and to motivate her to want to get home.
Even after his wish, it helps his morale. It gives him support. It helps him fight through everything he’s still going through. For all the kids that Make-A-Wish has helped, it truly does wonders for them.
This is something that’s always going to stick with me… Kids will always feel it for the rest of their lives. I was 18 when I was diagnosed, and the diagnosis, the treatments, they just stick with you, always. Although I have a career with a separate non-profit now, I will always hold Make-A-Wish near and dear to my heart for what they’ve done for me. They gave me so much, and now I’m determined to give back to others.
How does one quantify suffering? Living in the world of pediatric illness, with the unknown and uncertainty. Watching your family unravel, completely powerless. I don't believe there are words that could make those fortunate enough to be untouched, truly understand. Joy, however, is easy to understand. Make-A-Wish and your supporters have given our family a chance to laugh together. To make happy memories together, and to try to leave the monster behind. I watched and listened to the sounds of true joy as all my children got to heal a little from the unseen scars of pediatric illness. While Abraham has yet to hear the words "remission" or "cure," you have given our family renewed strength, and more importantly, beautiful memories. Memories that will get us through the dark and difficult times, for that I will always be grateful!
When you live day-to-day for almost three years in the childhood cancer bubble, you somehow adjust to a new normal. You don’t notice how pale, bald and skinny your child is. You adapt to being isolated and don’t miss socializing — and you don’t realize the full extent of non-medical impacts that illness has on your child and your family. And even when the treatment is complete, you don’t just snap back to your old life. For our family, the wish represents the capstone to Jack’s journey: both an end and a new beginning. It inspired such a positive attitude and outlook in him. I can now say that, unless you have experienced it yourself, you can't really comprehend the sheer joy and transformational power a wish truly has.
"Make-A-Wish really allowed my son to give back in such an amazing selfless way. I still can't believe the great things that Make-A-Wish allows these kids to do."
"Make-A-Wish is an integral part of our Brooklyn Community. We couldn't be happier to have Make-A-Wish in our Brooklyn!"
“I’m thankful to Make-A-Wish. I’ve met so many compassionate and amazing people who are clearly motivated to help make a difference in the lives of kids and their families. I want other kids who are facing a tough time - like me – to be able to look back on that specific moment where they can say, ‘That was the day my life changed. That was the day I felt empowered. That was the day I regained the hope I thought I’d lost.’”
“Evelyn was happy... a kind of happy I've never seen before. Her mom and dad were the same. To see her with smiles and joy in her eyes was totally rejuvenating for all of us. To this day she loves when we talk about her wish trip. We can never thank you enough."