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Wish Blog

Sister's Wish Journey Inspires Medical Professional

Kevynne with 2018 Women Impacting Wishes Honorees
When her sister was diagnosed with cancer at 13-years-old, Kevynne Chawla first encountered Make-A-Wish. Her sister wished to travel to Hawaii and meet the stars of 50 First Dates. Now, 15 years later as a child life specialist, Kevynne is motivated to help every eligible child feel the transformative power of a wish that she witnessed firsthand.

“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.

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