What is the Mission of Make-A-Wish®?
Make-A-Wish grants the wishes to children with life-threatening illnesses to enrich the human experience with hope strength and joy.
Who is eligible for a wish?
Any child who is between the ages of 2 1/2 and 18 years of age and has been diagnosed with a life-threatening illness is eligible for a wish. The child's treating physician determines from criteria passed down to us by Make-A-Wish America, whether the child is medically eligible and able to participate in a wish. The child cannot have received a wish from any other wish granting organization.
Who can receive a wish?
There is an incorrect perception in the general public that a wish is for dying or terminally ill children. Make-A-Wish is about giving hope, strength and joy to all children who are fighting a life-threatening medical condition. We want these kids to know that wishes do come true. A wish is a dream that will help a child through their medical condition and instill hope.
Who can refer a child?
Wish referrals can be made by one of three sources:
- The child
- The child's parent(s) or legal guardian(s)
- The medical professional treating the child; such as a doctor, nurse, social worker or child-life specialist
What is a wish?
A wish is created solely through the imagination of the child. A trained volunteer wish team visits the child and asks the simple question: "If you could have one wish, what would it be?" It is very important for the wish to be the child's, our Wish Granters work with the child and the parents to ensure that the child's true heartfelt wish is found. We strive to include the entire immediate family in the wish at no cost to the family. A child's illness affects the entire family and we aim to make the wish an event that will create lasting memories for all of them.
Are there are any restrictions?
As you might imagine, we have a few requirements before we can grant a wish. All wishes must be approved by both Make-A-Wish and your child's physician. In addition, all wishes must be age appropriate for the wish child and cannot involve undue hardship or danger to your family.There are a few wishes that are against National or local policies, and therefore cannot be granted. Some examples include: monetary gifts, payment of medical expenses or treatments, wishes involving firearms, swimming pools and motorized vehicles.
How long will it take before my child's wish is granted?
Many things come into play when determining when the wish will happen. We always work at the family's convenience in fulfilling a wish. The family, the doctor and the Make-A-Wish office take a team approach in determining the timing of a wish. We always take into consideration for the doctor's approval and the family's work and school responsibilities. In fact, an important part of the wish is the wonderful anticipation the child experiences as wish day approaches.
How can a wish help my child?
A wish can give a child insight to new beginnings. It can give a child the hope to look beyond the hospital or treatment room. It can give a child the strength to move toward that magical wish day and it can bring the joy that can uplift the spirit to know that wishes do come true.