When our family connected with Make-A-Wish, my son had just finished 17 months of treatment for stage 4 neuroblastoma and the fear of recurrence was still very front and present for us. As parents, we were trying so hard to help our son move on and live a normal life again.
Little did we know that his life, as well as ours, was going to change.
Our Make-A-Wish volunteers arrived one day to help our son Charlie discover what his one wish in the world was. His answer was, to see elephants and dinosaurs!
The wish provided incredible joy for our son and healing for our family. It opened up many opportunities for him to explore the world outside the hospital. He was so excited to ride on a plane. He loved going behind the scenes at the zoo and feeding the zebra, giraffes, and elephant! Charlie also loved the dinosaur museum where he got to dig up fossils.
Having a wish experience brought him out of his shell. He continues to talk about the trip and we love seeing him so happy again.
We no longer linger in the past, instead, we look forward to what the future holds. We are focusing on the future.
Regina and Eric of Chicago are the parents of wish child Charlie who is 5 years old and has cancer. Charlie was granted his wish in 2016 to visit the animal parks in San Diego through a referral from his medical team at the University of Chicago Comer Children's Hospital.
Every year in Illinois, nearly 1,200 children are diagnosed with a critical illness that would qualify them for a life-changing Make-A-Wish experience. However, only 60-percent of eligible kids are currently being referred. We’ve always known that hope is medicine and now there’s promising new research that hope makes a real difference. Refer children whose illnesses may qualify today so they can have an edge in coping with their illnesses.