“I have a more inside understanding knowing how much that wish meant to my sister,” Kevynne said. “Just to see that smile on her face and see how special it was to her, I feel honored every time I make a referral.”
Family Experience Inspires Medical Professional
Kevynne Chawla, MS, CCLS, has worked as a child life specialist in hematology and oncology at Advocate Children’s Hospital in Park Ridge for over ten years. She helps children cope with a diagnosis through education and family support. Since 2008, she has referred 152 children to Make-A-Wish Illinois, including 41 this past year.
“I love working with kids because they are so resilient, and how they view the world is so inspiring,” she said. “Anytime that I have a kid I think could be eligible, I refer them to Make-A-Wish. I like easing the burden on families during a difficult time.”
Kevynne understands the impact of a wish and enjoys talking with her patients after theirs has been granted. She recalls one of her patients who recently returned from a wish trip to the Bahamas. The wish child’s mom kept telling her that “their family was so happy.”
“A wish can give a child inspiration, hope, something to look forward to and something to remember forever,” Kevynne said. “It gives them that light before and after, and it gives them a memory to hold onto for the rest of their lives.”
Honored for Impacting Wishes
In June 2019, Kevynne was recognized as a 2019 Women Impacting Wishes Honoree at Women, Wine, & Wishes, an annual event hosted by Make-A-Wish Illinois. The event honors women within the medical field who have demonstrated continued dedication as referral sources for Make-A-Wish.
“I was honored to be a Women Impacting Wishes Honoree,” she said. “I feel like it is an honor to refer a child and be the person that gets the process started. It felt unnecessary to receive an honor for it, because I feel honored every day.”
PHOTO: Kevynne (right) with last year's honorees Jackie Wolak and Angela Berger.