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Wishing Well Blog

Great Kindness in Small Package

Dana with Dominic and kids
As much as a written story tries to capture the joy of a wish-come-true, it just can’t compare to seeing a wish come true right before your very eyes. In my decade working at Make-A-Wish, I have had the privilege of witnessing many wishes come to life firsthand. But four-year-old Dominic’s wish will stay with me for a long time. You see, Dominic wished for a shopping spree but not entirely for himself.

Jun 30, 2014

Great Kindness in Small Package

Dana with Dominic and kids
As much as a written story tries to capture the joy of a wish-come-true, it just can’t compare to seeing a wish come true right before your very eyes. In my decade working at Make-A-Wish, I have had the privilege of witnessing many wishes come to life firsthand. But four-year-old Dominic’s wish will stay with me for a long time. You see, Dominic wished for a shopping spree but not entirely for himself.

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 18, 2014

Wish Wednesday: Summertime and the Livin's Easy

Abby on the beach
Time to bring out the beach towels and bathing suits – summer is finally here! And here at Make-A-Wish®, that means the height of wish travel season has begun. From beach vacations and swimming with dolphins to Orlando theme parks and Hawaii get-a-ways – our wish kids truly know how to dive into the summer sun as they forget about their illnesses and experience their most heartfelt wishes-come-true.

Jun 18, 2014

Wish Wednesday: Summertime and the Livin's Easy

Abby on the beach
Time to bring out the beach towels and bathing suits – summer is finally here! And here at Make-A-Wish®, that means the height of wish travel season has begun. From beach vacations and swimming with dolphins to Orlando theme parks and Hawaii get-a-ways – our wish kids truly know how to dive into the summer sun as they forget about their illnesses and experience their most heartfelt wishes-come-true.

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.

Jun 06, 2014

Flashback Friday: Sports Wishes that Give Hope

Teddy, Coach Tomlin and Troy
After the great weather this past weekend and more in store, it may be safe to say that summer is finally here. With clear skies and a bright sun, children are more eager than ever to go outside and play.

Beginning June 1, Sports America Kids Month is celebrated to promote healthy thinking and physical fitness among children. Although sports seem to suggest the lessons of winning and losing to children, they provide much more than that. Sports offer physical fitness, mental fitness, sportsmanship, confidence and self-esteem.

Jun 06, 2014

Flashback Friday: Sports Wishes that Give Hope

Teddy, Coach Tomlin and Troy
After the great weather this past weekend and more in store, it may be safe to say that summer is finally here. With clear skies and a bright sun, children are more eager than ever to go outside and play.

Beginning June 1, Sports America Kids Month is celebrated to promote healthy thinking and physical fitness among children. Although sports seem to suggest the lessons of winning and losing to children, they provide much more than that. Sports offer physical fitness, mental fitness, sportsmanship, confidence and self-esteem.

Celebrating Life with Wish Kid & Past Make-A-Wish Intern Erika Moul

Erika and family in Hawaii
Did you hear? There was a worldwide celebration – a Celebration of Life. Millions of survivors united this past Sunday to show the world what life after cancer looks like.

Every first Sunday in June marks National Cancer Survivors Day (NCSD) – “a celebration for those who have survived, an inspiration for those recently diagnosed, a gathering of support for families and an outreach to the community.” According to the NCSD Foundation, nearly 14 million people are living with a history of cancer, and some of those survivors include our resilient and courageous wish kids.

Jun 02, 2014

Celebrating Life with Wish Kid & Past Make-A-Wish Intern Erika Moul

Erika and family in Hawaii
Did you hear? There was a worldwide celebration – a Celebration of Life. Millions of survivors united this past Sunday to show the world what life after cancer looks like.

Every first Sunday in June marks National Cancer Survivors Day (NCSD) – “a celebration for those who have survived, an inspiration for those recently diagnosed, a gathering of support for families and an outreach to the community.” According to the NCSD Foundation, nearly 14 million people are living with a history of cancer, and some of those survivors include our resilient and courageous wish kids.

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: Wish Kid Jared Fulfills Wish to Visit Pearl Harbor

Jared and USS Missouri
With Memorial Day right around the corner, we thought of the perfect wish to share with you: 13-year-old Jared, a military history buff, recently returned from his wish-come-true as he toured Pearl Harbor in Hawaii.

May 21, 2014

Wish Wednesday: Wish Kid Jared Fulfills Wish to Visit Pearl Harbor

Jared and USS Missouri
With Memorial Day right around the corner, we thought of the perfect wish to share with you: 13-year-old Jared, a military history buff, recently returned from his wish-come-true as he toured Pearl Harbor in Hawaii.

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.

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.

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 Rd
Oakwood Center, 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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