The Difference Make-A-Wish® Supporters Create in Our World
By Sarah Ford on October 22, 2015
Wish kid Kellan never got the chance to know a life without disease. While healthy babies were born all over the world, Kellan had to fight for what others came to naturally: survival. His small, defenseless body was suffering from a cancerous tumor that transformed his childhood into one marked by chemotherapy, extensive treatment, and paralysis. At 3 years old, he was wheelchair-bound.
Caring people in his community offered him a chance to have anything, meet anyone, be anyone or go anywhere. And Kellan’s wish was to have a path to his backyard so that he could truly “run” around just like his siblings.
The Make-A-Wish experience exists for children like Kellan, who deserve to know a normal childhood … and for his parents, who must find other ways to celebrate his growth. It exists because we cannot stand by while the prospect of a child’s future is dimmed or, in some cases, extinguished.
But what if, as a society, we decided to turn away from Kellan? What if he woke up every day of his life watching the other children leap and fall and twist and dance, but was never able to follow? One day, he grows up. If his life is even a little less hopeful, if he doesn’t have the memory of a community inspired by his courage, if he never got to experience the basic freedom of moving without assistance around his home, then we have failed him.
One of the core Make-A-Wish values is community, because it takes the talent, time and care of so many people to serve seriously ill children. The Make-A-Wish vision is to someday be able to grant the wish of every eligible child. But as of now, there are still so many children who have yet to receive that kind of support.
“When a child faces a serious illness, the entire family lives with constant fear, doubt and instability,” says David Williams, president and CEO of Make-A-Wish America. “Our supporters make it possible for us to help families feel like they can overcome the obstacles before them.”
Over 27,000 volunteers believe in the Make-A-Wish vision and in 2014 contributed their determination to grant more than 14,200 wishes. Together, the Make-A-Wish community works toward a mission that captivates and inspires innovative volunteering initiatives. Donations at every level contribute to the special additions and flair that can transform a child’s initial wish idea into a surprising and joyful experience, from $4 a month providing a Make-A-Wish kid with a send-off party to a one-time gift of $250 enabling a family to attend a luau on a Hawaiian wish.
Together, we can acknowledge the meaningful lives of every child like Kellan through our combined imagination and creative determination. In transforming their futures, we transform our own. His father put it best when he stated, “In a time when you see such sad news stories … we have this. A story about a little boy and a community coming together to give him independence.”
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Our thanks to Make-A-Wish® for sharing their mission and impact with us. You can learn more about their work by visiting their website at wish.org. To support their efforts, please donate to Make-A-Wish America through your company's workplace giving program (CFC #11375 if you're a Federal employee participating in the Combined Federal Campaign).
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