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The healing impact of a wish

Wish Impact

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.

According to the results of a 2011 Wish Impact Study that surveyed wish parents, health professionals, and Make-A-Wish® volunteers, a wish come true empowers children with critical illnesses to fight harder against their illnesses. When wish kids are granted a wish, they get more than just a great experience for a day, two days, or a week. That experience improves the quality of life for them and their entire family.

Health professionals treating them say the wish experience is an important adjunct to medical treatment, and they observe their patients feel better and comply more readily with treatment protocols when they experience their wish come true. And the community volunteers who grant wishes say the wish granting process heightens both their ability to see the best in others, and their commitment to actively help more people in need.

Improved Health Status

  •  Health professionals who treat wish kids, including nurses and doctors, overwhelmingly believe that the wish experience can improve a wish kids’ physical health.

  •  Most health professionals say a wish come true has the potential to be a positive turning point in the child’s battle for health.

  •  Parents and volunteers observe that a wish come true makes kids feel stronger and more energetic.

  •  Wish kids are more willing to comply with difficult, but vital, treatment regimens.

  •  Parents and medical professionals alike describe the wish experience as a frequent turning point in wish kids’ battles for health.

 A combined 89 percent of doctors, nurses and health professionals surveyed say they believe a wish experience can influence wish kids' physical health.* 

 Enhanced State of Mind

  •  Children and their parents alike experience more happiness and less fear in their lives.

  •  Children are less isolated from friends, and feel a return of self-confidence that comes with feeling “normal” again.

  •  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.

 Ninety-nine percent of parents reported that the wish experience gave their children increased feelings of happiness and 96 percent said that the wish experience strengthened their families. *

 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.

  • They feel a greater long-term commitment to philanthropy.

 Ninety-five percent of community volunteers reported an increased sense of compassion and 84 percent felt an increased faith in humanity. *

 * “Wish Impact Study Results – Second Phase: Jan. – Aug. 2011” (consolidated results), Nov. 2, 2011.

Alyssa wished to meet One Direction

Alyssa met the band One Direction

Alyssa met the band One Direction

General Wish Facts

  • Every wish experience is driven by the wish kid’s interests, creativity and personality.
  • 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 medical 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.
  • As an entire organization, Make-A-Wish® grants a wish, on average, every 33 minutes somewhere in the US and its territories.
  • Make-A-Wish granted nearly 15,800 wishes globally in 2019.
  • Make-A-Wish Philadelphia, Delaware & Susquehanna Valley granted 319 wishes in fiscal year 2019 (fiscal year September 1-August 31)
  • Make-A-Wish Philadelphia, Delaware & Susquehanna Valley serves the southeastern district of Pennsylvania and state of Delaware and includes the following counties: Bucks, Chester, Cumberland, Delaware, Dauphin, Lancaster, Lebanon, Montgomery, Perry and Philadelphia (PA) and New Castle, Kent and Sussex (DE). 
  • Since 1986 Make-A-Wish Philadelphia, Delaware & Susquehanna Valley has granted more than 7,00 wishes
  • Make-A-Wish has more than 34,000 active volunteers in the United States, and over 200 in our territory
  • As of August 2019, the average value of a wish for Make-A-Wish Philadelphia, Delaware & Susquehanna Valley was approximately $11,000.

Connor wished to see marine life

Decontee wished to go to Hawaii

Decontee wished to go to Hawaii

Make-A-Wish® Philadelphia, Delaware & Susquehanna Valley
5 Valley Sq, Suite 210
Blue Bell, PA 19422
(215) 654-9355

Make-A-Wish® Philadelphia, Delaware & Susquehanna Valley, Susquehanna Valley Office
1054 New Holland Avenue
Lancaster, PA 17601
(717) 283-4880

Make-A-Wish® Philadelphia, Delaware & Susquehanna Valley, Delaware Office
100 W. 10th Street, Suite 106
Wilmington, DE 19801
(302) 482-4467