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Wish Mom Giving Back With Time

Sandi Worona

By Sandi Worona

Over a decade ago, engulfed in the greatest adversity our family ever faced, Make-A-Wish Northeast New York provided respite and calm.

Shortly after our youngest daughter had been diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer, we were contacted by wish granters who offered love, support and an opportunity to briefly disconnect from the terror we faced. For her wish, our daughter chose to go on a beach vacation. Our time away proved purely magical.

During this time, I decided to become a wish granter and assist families finding themselves in a similar situation. I determined when I retired as a special educator, serving on a more full-time basis would be my next true calling.

I received my training, and learned the volunteers and staff were selfless and altruistic warriors. I found comfort in people devoted to doing good without need for praise or accolades. I saw that in this deeply divided political world, where almost all subject matter is ripe for argument, the Make-A-Wish family is united in purpose to provide kindness and love to people in need.

The wish granters I’ve had the privilege to work with have been inspiring. Just as uplifting are the wish families in their courage and determination to see their children healthy and happy.

Assisting such families at the most stressful point in their lives also provides a meaningful gift to wish granters. I know my life is made more worthy of purpose in working as a wish granter. After more than a decade in the role, I’ve been asked what drives me to continue. I suppose the simple answer is, I’m hooked.

I’m hooked knowing that although we cannot ever guarantee a family that their children will regain their health, we can promise there are people I am honored and humbled to work with who stand ready to provide comfort and a healthy reprieve.

My own family’s story had a happy ending: Our daughter not only survived her health crisis but is thriving. Make-A-Wish was there for us, and words cannot express how thankful I am to be able to give back the most precious commodity I can: my time.

Sandi Worona, a wish granter and wish mom, was this year’s recipient of the chapter’s Wish Champion Award for her volunteer work.

Nov 18, 2019

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