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Christina Praskovich

Make-A-Wish Buttons: 16,000 and Counting

Count Your Buttons Day
Not only is today Back to the Future Day, but did you know it is Count Your Buttons Day as well? You’re probably thinking, “What?!” Yes, it is an actual day set aside on the calendar. No one seems to know how it started or why, but what better way to celebrate than to count all of the Make-A-Wish and Give Kids the World buttons our kids wear?

Make-A-Wish and Give Kids the World buttons are no ordinary buttons. They open up a world of possibilities for children with life-threatening medical conditions – a world where they can have fun, forget about their illnesses and focus on being kids.

Oct 21, 2015

Make-A-Wish Buttons: 16,000 and Counting

Count Your Buttons Day
Not only is today Back to the Future Day, but did you know it is Count Your Buttons Day as well? You’re probably thinking, “What?!” Yes, it is an actual day set aside on the calendar. No one seems to know how it started or why, but what better way to celebrate than to count all of the Make-A-Wish and Give Kids the World buttons our kids wear?

Make-A-Wish and Give Kids the World buttons are no ordinary buttons. They open up a world of possibilities for children with life-threatening medical conditions – a world where they can have fun, forget about their illnesses and focus on being kids.

May 06, 2015

What Make-A-Wish Means to Moms

Make-A-Wish moms
As Case enjoyed a wonderful week in Walt Disney World ®, his mom had flashbacks to the hardest times of his life, grateful for a week of memories with her four-year-old son diagnosed with a life-threatening genetic condition.

“I watched his sisters and the joy they experienced during our week of magic and remembered their tears, their frustrations while I was at the hospital with their brother, their fears of what he'll have to go through next,” wrote his mom on the Facebook page, A Very Special Case. “It's such a heart tugging, joy making, blessing counting experience we will NEVER FORGET.”

May 06, 2015

What Make-A-Wish Means to Moms

Make-A-Wish moms
As Case enjoyed a wonderful week in Walt Disney World ®, his mom had flashbacks to the hardest times of his life, grateful for a week of memories with her four-year-old son diagnosed with a life-threatening genetic condition.

“I watched his sisters and the joy they experienced during our week of magic and remembered their tears, their frustrations while I was at the hospital with their brother, their fears of what he'll have to go through next,” wrote his mom on the Facebook page, A Very Special Case. “It's such a heart tugging, joy making, blessing counting experience we will NEVER FORGET.”

Apr 29, 2015

Celebrating 35 Years of Wishes

World Wish Day 2015
If you could go anywhere, have anything, be anything or meet anyone, what would it be?

This is the question we ask when we first meet a wish child. Today, we celebrate the more than 350,000 children who have answered this question and have been granted a wish in the last 35 years. On April 29, 1980, Chris Grecius, a seven-year-old boy living in Arizona, was given the chance to be a police officer for a day and forget about the challenges of battling leukemia. Although Chris passed away shortly after, discussions began about creating a wish granting organization. Make-A-Wish was born.

Apr 29, 2015

Celebrating 35 Years of Wishes

World Wish Day 2015
If you could go anywhere, have anything, be anything or meet anyone, what would it be?

This is the question we ask when we first meet a wish child. Today, we celebrate the more than 350,000 children who have answered this question and have been granted a wish in the last 35 years. On April 29, 1980, Chris Grecius, a seven-year-old boy living in Arizona, was given the chance to be a police officer for a day and forget about the challenges of battling leukemia. Although Chris passed away shortly after, discussions began about creating a wish granting organization. Make-A-Wish was born.

Shiver Me Timbers -- It's Talk Like a Pirate Day!

Reid captain of his own pirate ship
Ahoy, mateys! Shiver me timbers -- it's Talk Like A Pirate Day! Arrr, at Make-A-Wish, our young lads have enjoyed swashbuckling adventures over the years. Among their booty-- hope, strength and joy. Ye can read their tales herrre:

Sep 19, 2014

Shiver Me Timbers -- It's Talk Like a Pirate Day!

Reid captain of his own pirate ship
Ahoy, mateys! Shiver me timbers -- it's Talk Like A Pirate Day! Arrr, at Make-A-Wish, our young lads have enjoyed swashbuckling adventures over the years. Among their booty-- hope, strength and joy. Ye can read their tales herrre:

Jul 02, 2014

Wish Wednesday: Wishes that Won't Be Forgotten

Elizabeth enjoying a carefree day at the beach
There's pretty much a day for everything. If you look on "bizarre holiday" website calendars, you'll find Hug a Newsman day, Pig in a Blanket day, Clean your Refrigerator day, even a Wiggle Your Toes day (just to name a few). Today is "I Forgot" Day. While the intent of the "holiday" is to make up for all those forgotten birthdays and anniversaries, I couldn't help thinking of our wish families. They experience many days that they would rather forget. Make-A-Wish helps to replace these days of sickness, pain, doctor visits and hospital stays with unforgettable, joyful experiences. Wish kid Zack, who was granted his wish for a T-rex dinosaur in 2005 while battling cancer, now holds an annual event for Make-A-Wish and often thinks about his wish day.

"Make-A-Wish made a big difference in my recovery because it gave me a day of hope," said Zack. "It was a day I didn’t have to think about hospitals and being sick."

Many wish kids and families like Zack's have renewed hope after being granted a wish. So let's take a look at some wishes that kids and families tell us will stay with them forever.

Jul 02, 2014

Wish Wednesday: Wishes that Won't Be Forgotten

Elizabeth enjoying a carefree day at the beach
There's pretty much a day for everything. If you look on "bizarre holiday" website calendars, you'll find Hug a Newsman day, Pig in a Blanket day, Clean your Refrigerator day, even a Wiggle Your Toes day (just to name a few). Today is "I Forgot" Day. While the intent of the "holiday" is to make up for all those forgotten birthdays and anniversaries, I couldn't help thinking of our wish families. They experience many days that they would rather forget. Make-A-Wish helps to replace these days of sickness, pain, doctor visits and hospital stays with unforgettable, joyful experiences. Wish kid Zack, who was granted his wish for a T-rex dinosaur in 2005 while battling cancer, now holds an annual event for Make-A-Wish and often thinks about his wish day.

"Make-A-Wish made a big difference in my recovery because it gave me a day of hope," said Zack. "It was a day I didn’t have to think about hospitals and being sick."

Many wish kids and families like Zack's have renewed hope after being granted a wish. So let's take a look at some wishes that kids and families tell us will stay with them forever.

Jun 13, 2014

Celebrating Renewed Family Bonds

Brendan and his dad after shooting off the fireworks at Walt Disney World
When we talk about wishes, we often think of the positive, lasting effects they have on the wish kids. But often times, the wish has a life-changing impact on siblings and parents, too. For families, who are often separated by hospital stays and doctor appointments, the wish experience brings them back together again. Whether it be a day, two days or a week, the wish gives them a time to enjoy each other's company, laugh, have fun and not think about the stresses of an illness. In honor of Father's Day weekend, let's take a look at special wishes that help renew family bonds.

Jun 13, 2014

Celebrating Renewed Family Bonds

Brendan and his dad after shooting off the fireworks at Walt Disney World
When we talk about wishes, we often think of the positive, lasting effects they have on the wish kids. But often times, the wish has a life-changing impact on siblings and parents, too. For families, who are often separated by hospital stays and doctor appointments, the wish experience brings them back together again. Whether it be a day, two days or a week, the wish gives them a time to enjoy each other's company, laugh, have fun and not think about the stresses of an illness. In honor of Father's Day weekend, let's take a look at special wishes that help renew family bonds.

A New Chapter of Life Unfolds for Graduating Wish Kids

Graduating wish kids with Pittsburgh Pirates President Frank Coonelly. Make-A-Wish President and CEO Judi Stone, Chief Operating Officer Ann Hohn and Development Coordinator Andrea Ballas at the Kurt R. Weiss Reception at PNC Park
While reading the goals, dreams and stories of the 50 graduating wish kids who recently applied for our chapter's Kurt R. Weiss Scholarship, I couldn't help thinking of a quote from American author William Arthur Ward -- “If you can imagine it, you can achieve it. If you can dream it, you can become it.” The diagnosis of cancer or a life-threatening illness could be a reason for anyone to give up. However, these wish kids scholarship recipients wouldn't let their diagnoses define them. For many, their wish experience gave them a “can-do” attitude, and inspired many of them to take up challenges they hadn't thought possible. In the coming weeks, these kids will be graduating from Pennsylvania and West Virginia high schools, ready to start a new chapter in their life and conquer a new challenge -- college.

May 28, 2014

A New Chapter of Life Unfolds for Graduating Wish Kids

Graduating wish kids with Pittsburgh Pirates President Frank Coonelly. Make-A-Wish President and CEO Judi Stone, Chief Operating Officer Ann Hohn and Development Coordinator Andrea Ballas at the Kurt R. Weiss Reception at PNC Park
While reading the goals, dreams and stories of the 50 graduating wish kids who recently applied for our chapter's Kurt R. Weiss Scholarship, I couldn't help thinking of a quote from American author William Arthur Ward -- “If you can imagine it, you can achieve it. If you can dream it, you can become it.” The diagnosis of cancer or a life-threatening illness could be a reason for anyone to give up. However, these wish kids scholarship recipients wouldn't let their diagnoses define them. For many, their wish experience gave them a “can-do” attitude, and inspired many of them to take up challenges they hadn't thought possible. In the coming weeks, these kids will be graduating from Pennsylvania and West Virginia high schools, ready to start a new chapter in their life and conquer a new challenge -- college.

Wish Wednesday: Photos Worth a Thousand Words

Tyler get a lick from his new puppy, Bruce
Ever since Joseph Nicephore Niepce made the first photographic image with a camera obscura on a summer day in 1827, photos have been a way of capturing special moments in time -- moments to be cherished. They tell a story in a way that words never could -- capturing the emotion of a person during a milestone event or the beauty of a scene that the photographer doesn't want forgotten.

At Make-A-Wish, photos help tell our story. The story of kids and their families who have been through unimaginable challenges experiencing hope, strength and joy that once seemed out of reach. No matter how we can try to describe the impact of a wish, nothing expresses it better than a photo of a joyful kid with a smile that goes from ear to ear or a photo of a family enjoying each other's company and having a chance to forget about their worries for the first time in months or maybe even years.

In honor of National Photography Month, here are just some of our favorite photos that truly convey the impact of a wish.

May 14, 2014

Wish Wednesday: Photos Worth a Thousand Words

Tyler get a lick from his new puppy, Bruce
Ever since Joseph Nicephore Niepce made the first photographic image with a camera obscura on a summer day in 1827, photos have been a way of capturing special moments in time -- moments to be cherished. They tell a story in a way that words never could -- capturing the emotion of a person during a milestone event or the beauty of a scene that the photographer doesn't want forgotten.

At Make-A-Wish, photos help tell our story. The story of kids and their families who have been through unimaginable challenges experiencing hope, strength and joy that once seemed out of reach. No matter how we can try to describe the impact of a wish, nothing expresses it better than a photo of a joyful kid with a smile that goes from ear to ear or a photo of a family enjoying each other's company and having a chance to forget about their worries for the first time in months or maybe even years.

In honor of National Photography Month, here are just some of our favorite photos that truly convey the impact of a wish.

Feb 20, 2014

A Child's Best Friend

Alfonso and Jaden first meet
Helen Keller once said, "I would rather walk with a friend in the dark, than alone in the light.” A friend is just what our wish kids need -- someone to help them get through the tough times. When we ask our kids what their fondest wish would be, many answer a trip to Walt Disney World or a shopping spree to help get their minds off of their conditions. But others wish for a furry best friend. In honor of Love Your Pet day, here are the stories of a couple adorable wish kids who wanted a new puppy pal for their wish.

Feb 20, 2014

A Child's Best Friend

Alfonso and Jaden first meet
Helen Keller once said, "I would rather walk with a friend in the dark, than alone in the light.” A friend is just what our wish kids need -- someone to help them get through the tough times. When we ask our kids what their fondest wish would be, many answer a trip to Walt Disney World or a shopping spree to help get their minds off of their conditions. But others wish for a furry best friend. In honor of Love Your Pet day, here are the stories of a couple adorable wish kids who wanted a new puppy pal for their wish.

Feb 05, 2014

Wish Wednesday: Impact of a Wish

Sydnee and her bear
One of the most rewarding parts of my job is getting to read the letters from families about the impact of their wish.

Feb 05, 2014

Wish Wednesday: Impact of a Wish

Sydnee and her bear
One of the most rewarding parts of my job is getting to read the letters from families about the impact of their wish.

About this Blog

This blog brings Make-A-Wish Greater Pennsylvania and West Virginia to you -- sharing first-person stories of the Make-A-Wish experience and the impact of a wish from the perspectives of wish families, volunteers and staff. This blog highlights wishes come true and the special people in Pennsylvania and West Virginia helping to make magical experiences possible for every eligible child.

Make-A-Wish® Greater Pennsylvania and West Virginia, Inc.
The Gulf Tower
707 Grant Street, 37th Floor
Pittsburgh, PA 15219-1938
(412) 471-9474
Toll Free (800) 676-9474
Make-A-Wish® Greater Pennsylvania and West Virginia, Southern West Virginia Office
888 Oakwood Centre
Suite 330
Charleston, WV 25314
(304) 342-9474
Toll Free (800) 664-9474
Make-A-Wish® Greater Pennsylvania and West Virginia, Northern West Virginia Office
913 Canyon Road
Morgantown, WV 26508
(304) 292-5600
Toll Free (888) 808-9474
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