Having a wish fulfilled is a desire everyone keeps, but granting one is a special characteristic of a chosen few. Such is the ideology of the Make a wish foundation. This simple, but powerful belief is what drives the Make-A-Wish foundation. For children who must face the uncertainty of a tomorrow, due to their rapidly deteriorating health, a wish is more than just a desire. It’s a hope. Hope is what carries us out of the darkest of slums, to keep going. To face a tomorrow. Make-A-Wish is committed to granting the wish of every eligible child. They do this believing that wishes can make sick children feel better, and sometimes, when they feel better, they get better. Since the spring of 1980, they have been granting the wishes of children diagnosed with a life-threatening medical conditions. The make a wish foundation has the ability to not only unite a society as whole and further the awareness of life threatening illnesses, but also gives hope to individuals and a community as a whole.
Founders of the organization, Frank Shankwitz and Scott Stahl, had not originally set out to begin what today is one of America’s biggest non-profit organizations. They were merely trying to fulfill the wish of their close friends dying son, Chris. Chris who was 7 years old had been diagnosed with leukemia and had always wished to be a police officer. Frank Shankwitz and Scott Stahl gathered the funds and support they needed in giving Chris a day he would never forget. Chris spent his day as a police officer. He received a customized police uniform, a badge, which once belonged to a retired lieutenant and became Arizona’s first and only honorary DPS officer. As word spread, more and more people wanted to take part in bring forth a smile to a dying boy. On May 2nd 1980 Chris passed away. Shortly after his funeral the Make-A-Wish foundation had taken its first breaths.
The process to having a wish granted begins with first determining eligibility. A child with a life-threatening medical condition who has reached the age of 2½ and is younger than 18 at the time of referral is potentially eligible for a wish. Next, the wish child must go through a referral process where medical professionals, parents, legal guardians, family members with detailed knowledge of the child's current medical condition or even the wish child themselves can initiate the referral process. Once the referral form is filled out or the local chapter has been contacted, the wishing process can begin.
In ensuring that each child receives the highest level of service, each Make-A-Wish chapter follows specific policies and guidelines for granting a child’s wish. The child’s physician also plays a major role in determining that the child’s condition is taken into great account while carrying out the wish safely. Make-A-Wish works...