Make-A-Wish Metro New York and Western New York | October 2018
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Transform lives, one wish at a time.

Wishes help children replace fear with confidence, sadness with joy, and anxiety with hope.

How to Help

Become a Monthly Donor

Your monthly contribution will have a direct impact on the life of wish kids - we can't do it without you.

Volunteer Your Time

Only volunteers grant wishes! Join a caring community and see firsthand the power of hope when you help transform the life of a child.

Raise Funds

The only limit is your imagination. Host an event, donate your birthday, start a dress-down day at the office... the opportunities are endless!

Physician Spotlight – A Conversation With…

Jeffrey H. Wisoff, MD, Pediatric Neurosurgeon, Professor of Neurosurgery and Pediatrics at NYU Langone Medical Center, and esteemed member of the Make-A-Wish Metro New York Medical Advisory Council.

 

Q: What role can wishes play in the care of children with critical illnesses?

 

A: Anytime a child is ill, the whole family structure is impacted. A child’s illness takes an emotional, and often physical, toll on everyone – parents, siblings, grandparents.

 

It’s difficult to help repair the family but so important because kids draw so much of their strength from their parents and extended family. The wish is always fun and exciting for the child, but I think it’s even more special for the family as a whole. It helps to heal the brokenness that occurs anytime a child has a serious illness. It provides a sense of unity for the family and helps heal fractured relationships that illness and disease so often bring to a family.

 

Q: Why do you think wishes are important to the children you treat?

 

We want to treat children holistically. I may be a neurosurgeon and I may be concentrating on two square inches of the brain under a microscope during an operation, but you can’t forget there’s a whole person underneath. In the recovery process, and thankfully, most kids with these serious illnesses do recover, you have to try to bring them back to the wholeness of their life before the illness. I think the wish is absolutely unique in that sense because it almost allows them to live out a fantasy of what life would be at its best after often coming through life at its worst.

 

Wishes have proven physical and emotional benefits that can give children with critical illnesses a higher chance of survival.

15 Things Parents of a Child with Cancer Want You to Know

“It’s cancer.” Hearing those words from your child’s doctor will shake any parent to their core.

 

HuffPost reporter Caroline Bologna asked families affected by pediatric cancer to share what they wished people understood about their struggle and how to help. She offers a range of ways you can be supportive, but certain themes emerge: Do less talking. More doing. And more listening.

 

Don’t ASK what you can do. OFFER to do something – anything. Make dinner, mow the lawn, go food shopping. Families are so overwhelmed that they may not even know what they need.

 

Leave the medical advice and platitudes at home. Your opinions on their treatment plan or how they should pursue a “miracle cure” based on an article you read online are not helpful. Leave that to the doctors. Nor is it helpful to say, “It will be ok” or “God doesn’t give people more than they can handle.” Yes, it is more than they can handle and you’re making them feel bad about feeling overwhelmed.

 

Stay present in their lives. And listen. Just because you don’t know what to say doesn’t mean you should stay away. They need to talk and be heard. It’s the only thing that matters to them right now. They don’t expect you to fix anything.

 

 

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.

 

-LESLI CREEDON, CEO OF MAKE-A-WISH MID ATLANTIC

 

 

 

Make-A-Wish events are a catalyst —they bring people who need help together with people who want to help. 

Wish Impact

Research shows, and physicians agree, wishes can help improve a child’s quality of life and produce better health outcomes. Learn more about the real impact of a wish.

Blog

A wish transforms the lives of children, families, volunteers, medical professionals and entire communities. Read stories from life-changing wishes and beyond.

Event Calendar

Read more about local events benefiting Make-A-Wish in our community.

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