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WISH IMPACT


The Dr. Patel Wish Impact Study

We are on a quest to bring every eligible child's wish to life, because wishes are an important part of a child's treatment journey. Wishes provide kids hope when they need it most, and research shows they have effects on children's overall well-being and health outcomes.

In fact, wishes have proven physical and emotional benefits that can give children with critical illnesses a higher chance of survival. When a wish is granted, a child replaces fear with confidence, sadness with joy and anxiety with hope.

We've known anecdotally about the transformational power of a wish, and now a first-of-its-kind study from Nationawide Children's Hospital (NCH) is opening the door to possibilities of medical and financial benefits. 

A team of researchers, led by Anup Patel, MD, Director of the Complex Epilepsy Clinic at NCH, examined quality of life and health care utilization among patients who received a wish and a control group who did not. The study found patients who were granted a wish were more likely to have fewer unplanned hospital and emergency department visits. 

Watch the video below to hear Dr. Patel talk about the true power of a wish and learn more about the study here.

More Than Medicine

When children are battling a critical illness, so much of normal childhood is taken away from them — it is exhausting, both emotionally and physically. A Wish is something that gives kids the opportunity to look outside their illness — it restores a sense of childhood back to the child and normalcy back to the family.

Research shows, and physicians agree, wishes can help improve a child's quality of life and produce better health outcomes. Members of the Make-A-Wish Medical Advisory Committee share the life-changing impact wishes have — beyond just medicine — on their patients and their families.

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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