Return to mobile version

Wish Impact and Facts

The Dr. Patel Wish Impact Study

What if a wish could improve the health of a child fighting a critical illness?

We’ve known anecdotally about the transformational power of a wish, and now a first-of-its-kind study from Nationwide Children’s Hospital (NCH) is opening the door to possibilities of medical and financial benefits.

A team of researchers, led by Anup Patel, MD, director of the Complex Epilepsy Clinic at NCH, examined quality of life and health care utilization among patients who received a wish and a control group who did not. The study found patients who were granted a wish were more likely to have fewer unplanned hospital and emergency department visits. 

Watch the video below to hear Dr. Patel talk about the true power of a wish and learn more about the study here.

What is a Wish?

When we first meet a wish kid, we ask, “If you could go anywhere, have anything, give anything, be anything or meet anyone, what would it be?” When a child answers this question, a wish is born.

Wishes usually fall into five categories: travel wishes, celebrity meetings, gift wishes, give back wishes and occupational wishes. However, wish choices are as diverse as the children themselves. Children can wish for anything from a Caribbean cruise to being a superhero for a day. We put few parameters on wishes, encouraging kids to use their imagination and “think outside the box.” For many of our wish kids, their wish is a a life-changing experience that strengthens their families, brings happiness back into their lives and also marks a turning point in their child’s battle against his or her critical illness.

JaMar's New Playset

Important Things to Know

To qualify for a wish, children must be diagnosed with a critical illness, should be over the age of 2 ½ and under the age of 18 at the time of referral and must not have received a wish from another wish-granting organization.

Following a referral, a certified medical professional must verify that the child has a critical illness.

We begin the wish process as soon as we receive the health care professional’s approval.

We don’t care if the family is rich or poor.

We fulfill each wish at the family’s convenience.

We don’t refer to our children as “dying” or “terminal.” In fact, nearly 80% of our wish children are still living.

Charlee's Smile

Wish Impact

We open up a world of possibilities for our wish kids and ask them to dream the unimaginable. And then we make the impossible happen -- a magical wish that improves the quality of life for the children and their families. For many of our wish kids, their wish marks a turning point in their fight against their illnesses.

Things like this make such a big difference for families, for any family going through something like this. ”

— Dr. Lisa Maurer, Eddie’s doctor

Did You Know?

98% of wish parents felt the wish experience gave them an opportunity to be a “normal” family again?*

9 out of 10 nurses, doctors, social workers and child life specialists say the wish experience can influence wish kids’ physical health?*

92% of parents saw their children experience re-empowerment to take back the ability to make decisions in their lives?*

74% of wish parents felt that the wish experience marked a turning point in their own children’s battle against their medical condition?*

Wish parents, wish-granting volunteers and health professionals who treat and refer wish kids report an increased sense of compassion, greater trust in humanity, an enhanced desire to help others and a deepened commitment to philanthropy resulting from their experience with Make-A-Wish.*

Nearly 75% of wishes involve travel.

Our chapter has more than 900 wish-granting volunteers.

*Wish Impact Study Results -- Second Phase: Jan-Aug. 2011 (consolidated results), November 2, 2011

Lacqueeta and Pluto

Wishes By the Numbers

Last year, our chapter fulfilled an amazing 705 wishes with the help of nearly 900 volunteers. These wishes included going to the San Diego Zoo, donating to instruments a local high school band, being a cowgirl and going on a shopping spree. Of course, our most popular wish is a trip to the Walt Disney World® Resort, by far. Here is a breakdown of the wishes our chapter granted in fiscal year 2017…

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