Every fulfilled wish represents a unique collaboration between wish families, medical professionals, volunteers and donors. Wish granting truly is a magical, yet comprehensive and dynamic process. The magic of wish granting usually begins with a referral call to the chapter office by a physician or social worker. However, the family or even the child himself may do the referral. A wish referral form is completed with relevant information about the child.
After the Make-A-Wish Foundation has been contacted, a medical authorization form is sent to the child’s primary physician. Upon medical approval, a team of volunteers will schedule an initial wish visit to discover the child’s wish. Then chapter staff and volunteers work the magic for the child’s wish to come true.
There are four steps to granting a wish. Each step builds on the next to help create the amazing experiences that delight wish kids and their families. A wish experience is frequently a source of inspiration for children undergoing difficult medical treatments and a positive force that helps them overcome their obstacles.
Most wish requests fall into four major categories:
“I wish to go…”
Some wish children want to travel to their favorite theme park, an exotic beach, go on a cruise, see snow for the first time, or attend a major sporting event or concert.
“I wish to be…”
Children search the depths of their imagination when they wish to be someone for a day, such as a fireman, police officer or published author.
“I wish to meet…”
Many want to meet their favorite athlete, recording artist, television personality, movie star, politician, or public figure.
“I wish to have…”
Children often wish for a special gift, such as a computer, a play set, a shopping spree, or a new puppy.
Steps To Granting a Wish
Step 1: Referral
To protect the privacy of potential wish kids, we only accept referrals from medical professionals, parents and children themselves. Children who have reached the age of 2½ and are under the age of 18 at the time of referral who have not received a wish from another wish-granting organization may be eligible for a wish.
Step 2: Medical Eligibility
We determine a child’s medical eligibility with the help of the treating physician. To receive a wish, the child must be diagnosed with a life-threatening medical condition – i.e., a progressive, degenerative or malignant condition that has placed the child’s life in jeopardy.
Step 3: Finding the true wish
We send one of our enthusiastic wish teams to learn the child’s one true wish. These passionate volunteers connect with wish children and help explore their imaginations for the experience that will delight and inspire them.
Step 4: Creating joy
Our wish granters create an unforgettable experience driven by the child’s creativity. It’s an incredible experience that enriches not just the lives of the children and their families, but often an entire community.