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Wish Facts and Impact

Wishes are powerful. A lot of work goes into granting them.

Here are some facts and figures that will give you a behind-the-scenes look at Make-A-Wish® and its work in the United States and its territories*.

Health Status

  • The wish experience can improve a wish kid’s physical health.
  • A wish come true can mark a positive turning point in the child’s battle for health.
  • A wish come true makes kids feel stronger and more energetic.
  • The wish experience helps them comply with difficult, but vital, treatment regimens.
  • In addition, a strong majority of adult former wish kids say that the wish experience helped to save their lives.
  • 83 percent of adult former wish kids say they experienced improved physical health and strength.
  • A combined 89 percent of nurses, doctors, social workers and child life specialists surveyed say they believe that the wish experience can influence wish kids’ physical health, and 83 percent of adult former wish kids surveyed confirm they did experience improved physical health and strength.
  • 71 percent of adult former wish kids believe the wish experience contributed to saving their lives.
  • 97 percent of adult former wish kids say they experienced improved mental and emotional health.
  • 74 percent of wish parents observed that the wish experience marked a turning point in their own children’s response to treatment. 79 percent of adult former wish kids confirm that their wish experienced marked a turning point in their treatment and recovery.
  • 81 percent of parents observe an increased willingness by their wish kids to comply with treatment protocols, and 76 percent of adult former wish kids agree that their wish experience helped them with protocol compliance. 58 percent of medical professionals observed this behavior in the most recent wish child they treated.

State of Mind

  • Wish kids and their parents alike experience more happiness and less fear in their lives.
  • Wish kids are less isolated from friends, and feel a return of self-confidence that comes with feeling “normal” again.
  • The wish experience gives them a “can-do” attitude, and inspires many of them to take up challenges they had thought were not possible.
  • They are empowered to take back control of their lives, and to keep up the fight against their life-threatening medical conditions.
  • Parents say their family units – often strained to the limit by stresses of the illnesses – are repaired and strengthened through the shared experience of the wish process.
  • 99 percent of parents reported that the wish experience gave their children increased feelings of happiness.
  • 97 percent of adult former wish kids report improved mental and emotional health because of their wish experiences.
  • 91 percent of parents and 75 percent of health professionals observed that the wish experience decreased their child’s depression or sadness.
  • 98 percent of parents felt the wish experience gave them the opportunity to be a “normal” family again.
  • 96 percent of parents said the wish experience strengthened their families.
  • 92 percent of parents saw their children experience re-empowerment to take back the ability to make decisions in their lives.
  • 87 percent of adult former wish kids say their wish experience gave them the courage to pursue opportunities that were difficult or impossible before they received their wish.
  • 77 percent of adult former wish kids say their wish experiences gave them direction on what they wanted to do with their lives, and another 77% were inspired to pursue careers helping others.
  • 71 percent of wish kids credit their wish experience as inspiring them to further their own education.
  • 85 percent of parents observed a decrease in their children’s anxieties or fears.
  • 92 percent of parents observed a reduction in fear and anxiety among wish kids’ siblings.

Strengthened Communities

  • Volunteers feel an increased sense of compassion and desire to help others in their community.
  • They feel a renewed faith in humanity.
  • They trust others more and feel more optimistic about the future.
  • Volunteers and adult former wish kids alike feel a greater long-term commitment to philanthropy.
  • Adult former wish kids, wanting to “pay forward” the positive experience they received in their wishes, say they are choosing careers that empower them to help others.
  • 97 percent of volunteers reported feeling more grateful and thankful as a result of helping to grant a wish.
  • 95 percent of community volunteers reported an increased sense of compassion.
  • 92 percent of volunteers felt an increased desire to give back and help someone else’s family.
  • 92 percent of volunteers, 94 percent of wish parents, 84 percent of medical professionals and 86 percent of adult former wish kids expressed a deeper commitment to philanthropy and/or volunteering.
  • 94 percent of adult former wish kids, 84 percent of volunteers and 92 percent of medical professionals feel an increased faith in humanity.
  • 98 percent of adult former wish kids feel an increased sense of compassion toward others.
  • 92 percent of wish parents, 64 percent of volunteers, and 77 percent of medical professionals felt increased trust in others.

*Wish Impact Study Results – Phase IV (consolidated results),  July 29, 2013.

Zoey wished to be a princess

Katherine wished for a play set for her backyard!

Make-A-Wish® Mid-Atlantic, Inc.
5272 River Road
Suite 700
Bethesda, MD 20816
(301) 962-9474
After Hours Nightline (301) 962-9474
Make-A-Wish® Mid-Atlantic, Inc., Baltimore Field Office
9475 Deereco Road
Deer Park Center, Suite 306
Timonium, MD 21093
(410) 453-9430
(410) 453-9430