Does “life-threatening” mean “terminal?”
No! Make-A-Wish® has sometimes been incorrectly portrayed as an organization that grants wishes to children who are terminally ill. Our eligibility criteria stipulate that a child must be diagnosed with a life-threatening medical condition, not a terminal condition. Many wish kids go on to lead fulfilling lives after their Make-A-Wish experience. The wish process is a way to honor the difficult journey they’re going through and the courage they’ve shown to face it. It’s a very life-affirming process that enriches the human experience with hope, strength and joy. Our wish children who are now adults would attest to this!
Who is eligible for a wish?
To be eligible for a wish from Make-A-Wish, a child must be between the ages of two-and-a-half and under the age of 18 years at the time of referral and have a life-threatening medical condition that will be verified by their physician. Any child who has already been granted a wish by Make-A-Wish or another wish-granting organization is not eligible for a second wish.
Are a family’s income or financial resources considered?
The income of a family plays no part in determining a child’s eligibility for a wish.
What can a child wish for?
Wishes typically fall into one of four categories
* An experience wish: I wish to be…a ballerina, a model, a superhero, a police officer…
* A travel wish: I wish to go… to Orlando, Hawaii, Europe, on a cruise...
* A celebrity wish: I wish to meet…a sports idol, a favorite band, a movie star…
* An object wish: I wish to have…a shopping spree, room makeover, my very own computer…
All wishes must be appropriate for your child’s age and medical condition. The Foundation will make every effort to make your child’s primary wish come true; however, we do ask that the child have a secondary choice in mind in the event that we cannot grant the first one.
What's the most unusual wish you've ever done?
There have been several - we've sent a child to visit "where eagles live," had a child experience a landing and take-off from the deck of an aircraft carrier, granted a request for a dinosaur statue, made it possible for a child to be a football player for a day and finally, made a little boy into a superhero.
Doesn't Make-A-Wish just send kids to Walt Disney World®?
No, Disney wishes are just 56% of all the wishes we do. Other popular requests include computers, shopping sprees, trips to Hawaii, celebrity meetings and swimming pools.
Are there restrictions on a wish?
A wish is limited only by the child’s imagination. To be sure that each child gains the maximum benefit of a wish experience, we work with the child’s physician to determine the appropriateness and the timing of the wish.
What if the child becomes sick again? Can they have another wish?
No, every eligible child may have one wish from Make-A-Wish. In addition, if a child has received a wish from another wish granting organization, they are ineligible to receive a wish from Make-A-Wish.
Are all wishes publicized?
No, families can choose whether they will allow publicity of the wish. We always respect their need for privacy.
What if a child has special medical needs during a wish?
If a child has special medical needs during a wish, they are discussed with the physician and family beforehand and provided for by Make-A-Wish as needed.
Does Make-A-Wish participate in chain letter wishes?
No. Each day, Make-A-Wish and its chapters receive hundreds of inquiries about chain letters claiming to be associated with Make-A-Wish and featuring sick children. However, we do not participate in these kinds of wishes. Some names associated with these wishes are: Jessie Anderson, Shane Bernier, Chad Briody , Amy Bruce, Jeff DeLeon, Rhyan Desquetado, Anthony Hebrank, LaNisha Jackson, Nikisha Johnson, Craig Sheldon, Craig Shelford, Craig Shelton, Craig Sheppard, Craig Shergold, Bryan Warner and Kayla Wightman. Please click here if you’d like more information about chain letters.