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Jul 30, 2015

Wish Kids in the Limelight

Emma in Clearwater, FL
Throughout the summer, quite a few of our wish kids have been the stars of their hometown newspapers, where their courageous and heartwarming stories are told to the local community.

Here are some sunshine-filled, summertime stories that we hope you’ll love just as much as we do.

Jul 30, 2015

Wish Kids in the Limelight

Emma in Clearwater, FL
Throughout the summer, quite a few of our wish kids have been the stars of their hometown newspapers, where their courageous and heartwarming stories are told to the local community.

Here are some sunshine-filled, summertime stories that we hope you’ll love just as much as we do.

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.

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.

The Impact of An Internship I Never Expected

Marketing/Communications Intern Aileen Ryan
I began my internship at Make-A-Wish® in the spring of my sophomore year, but I was no stranger to this amazing organization before that. During my freshman year at the University of Pittsburgh, I was eager to be a part of something bigger than myself so I joined the sorority Chi Omega. This decision ended up changing my life in more ways than one—ultimately leading me to my internship here.

Jun 26, 2014

The Impact of An Internship I Never Expected

Marketing/Communications Intern Aileen Ryan
I began my internship at Make-A-Wish® in the spring of my sophomore year, but I was no stranger to this amazing organization before that. During my freshman year at the University of Pittsburgh, I was eager to be a part of something bigger than myself so I joined the sorority Chi Omega. This decision ended up changing my life in more ways than one—ultimately leading me to my internship here.

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.

Apr 10, 2014

The Power and Strength of a Wish from A Sibling's Perspective

Donna and Joe with Snow White
While wishes help the kids who receive them, they also have a profound impact on the wish kids' siblings and families. Wish siblings are often separated from their brothers or sisters while they are in the hospital and feel powerless as they watch them go through pain, treatments and doctor appointments. Make-A-Wish brings families back together again and helps replace fear and stress with optimism, hope and joy.

At Make-A-Wish Greater PA and WV, we have two wish siblings on staff who have witnessed the power of a wish. In honor of National Sibling Day, Wish Assistant Donna Heisler and Northern West Virginia Regional Manager Leandra Hickman reflect back on how Make-A-Wish positively impacted their siblings and families.

Apr 10, 2014

The Power and Strength of a Wish from A Sibling's Perspective

Donna and Joe with Snow White
While wishes help the kids who receive them, they also have a profound impact on the wish kids' siblings and families. Wish siblings are often separated from their brothers or sisters while they are in the hospital and feel powerless as they watch them go through pain, treatments and doctor appointments. Make-A-Wish brings families back together again and helps replace fear and stress with optimism, hope and joy.

At Make-A-Wish Greater PA and WV, we have two wish siblings on staff who have witnessed the power of a wish. In honor of National Sibling Day, Wish Assistant Donna Heisler and Northern West Virginia Regional Manager Leandra Hickman reflect back on how Make-A-Wish positively impacted their siblings and families.

Mar 05, 2014

Wish Wednesday: Working for Make-A-Wish A "Rewarding Experience"

Lisa at work!
“There is no exercise better for strengthening the heart, than reaching down and lifting people up.” – John Holmes

That is just what our wish kids need—a positive chance to dream, that will lift their spirits and outshine draining medical treatments that are seemingly unfair for just a small child. Our wish kids deserve an opportunity to have a huge imagination and an enthusiastic dream. They deserve an extraordinary vision within reach. A vision that gives them the strength and hope that they can beat their illness. Some way. Somehow. That they can keep fighting and make it through such difficult times. That they can embrace the joy of just being a kid again.

Mar 05, 2014

Wish Wednesday: Working for Make-A-Wish A "Rewarding Experience"

Lisa at work!
“There is no exercise better for strengthening the heart, than reaching down and lifting people up.” – John Holmes

That is just what our wish kids need—a positive chance to dream, that will lift their spirits and outshine draining medical treatments that are seemingly unfair for just a small child. Our wish kids deserve an opportunity to have a huge imagination and an enthusiastic dream. They deserve an extraordinary vision within reach. A vision that gives them the strength and hope that they can beat their illness. Some way. Somehow. That they can keep fighting and make it through such difficult times. That they can embrace the joy of just being a kid again.

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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