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What is the impact of granting wishes?

A wish is much more than just a nice thing. And its reach extends far beyond a single event, or moment in time. Wish kids, parents, medical professionals, volunteers, and others say that wish experiences can change the lives of everyone involved, forever.

We don’t grant wishes for short-term smiles. We grant wishes to positively impact long-term health results*.

Make-A-Wish was the subject of a study to measure how wish-granting experiences influence the medical outcomes of children with cancer. Sixty-six children were evaluated using three different verified, respected, widely used assessment tools. The tools quantify hope, positive emotions, health-related quality of life and anxiety.

“It is possible that wishing enabled these children to dream about that seemed unobtainable, out of reach, and thus created an experience of achieving the impossible,” researchers wrote.

And if the impossible can happen once, kids can believe in their ability to live with or even overcome their illnesses. That’s the real purpose of a wish.


*Shoshani, A. Mifano, K. Czamanski-Cohen, J. (2015). The effects of the Make a Wish intervention on psychiatric symptoms and health-related quality of life of children with cancer: a randomized controlled trial. Quality of Life Research, 25(5), 1209-1218. doi 10.1007/s11136-015-1148-7

 

Darrien, 7, neurofibromatosis, "I wish to be a policeman."

Darrien, 7, neurofibromatosis, "I wish to be a policeman."

General Wish Facts

  • Make-A-Wish grants a wish, on average, every 34 minutes.
  • Every wish experience is driven by the wish kid’s interests, creativity and personality.
  • In fiscal year 2016, Make-A-Wish granted more than 15,300, the most in its history.
  • To qualify for a wish, a child with a critical illness must be older than 2½ years and younger than 18 (at the time of referral) and must not have received a wish from another wish-granting organization.
  • A child can be referred by a parent or guardian, a health professional, or by the child.
  • Following referral, a certified medical professional must verify that the child has a critical illness. There are no other qualifications based on sex, race, religion, socioeconomic status or any other demographic category.
  • Make-A-Wish chapters serve every community in the United States and its territories.
  • Make-A-Wish has more than 33,000 active volunteers in the United States.
  • Make-A-Wish needs 2.5 billion frequent flier miles to meet all the travel need for wish kids and their families.
  • Nearly 75 percent of wish experiences involve travel.
  • The Walt Disney Company is involved in approximately half of the wishes Make-A-Wish grants.

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Make-A-Wish® Central & South Texas
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