Since granting its first wish in 1980, Make-A-Wish® has blossomed into one of the world’s most recognizable and most respected non-profit organizations, granting more than 254,000 wishes for children with life-threatening medical conditions. Make-A-Wish can attribute much of its widespread impact to the support and awareness generated by the medical community and other health-related resources such as Global Genes, a patient advocacy organization that aims to eliminate the challenges of rare disease.
Global Genes brings together experts, advocates, and patients, who together work to increase awareness and education of the global community for over 7,000 different rare diseases that affect millions of Americans. Some of these individuals – specifically children between the ages of 2½ and 18 with life-threatening conditions – may meet the eligibility requirements of Make-A-Wish and potentially qualify for a wish. With similar audiences and a shared desire to make life better for the individuals they serve, Make-A-Wish and Global Genes have developed a collaboration that increases support for both organizations, and in turn, improves their ability to change lives.As part of this effort, Make-A-Wish was invited to participate in the Global Genes RARE Patient Advocacy Summit in September. Global Genes also recently recognized David Williams, Make-A-Wish America president and CEO, with the RARE Champion of Hope – Public Service Award for his significant contribution toward instilling hope of children with life-threatening diseases. At this year’s Make-A-Wish national conference, Global Genes took part in two sessions to explore more ways the two groups could support individuals with rare, life-threatening diseases.
The relationship extends to the digital realm with Make-A-Wish and Global Genes cross-promoting each other on wish.org and globalgenes.org via webpages with general information and interactive toolkits for members of the public who want to get involved. Both organizations also share important messaging about one another with their respective supporters on social media.
“Make-A-Wish and Global Genes both recognize the importance of bringing strength and joy to children dealing with severe illnesses,” said David Williams, Make-A-Wish America president and CEO. “Through the relationship with Global Genes, our goal is to increase wish referrals which will allow us to grant more positive, life-changing wish experiences. With every wish granted, we get closer to our vision of one day granting the wish of every eligible child.”
“Global Genes is excited to work with Make-A-Wish and bring potential opportunities to have wishes granted for rare disease patients across the country,” said Nicole Boice, founder and CEO of Global Genes. “We believe having a wish granted is something that is truly life changing and empowering, and really necessary for kids with life-threatening, rare diseases.”
The relationship between Global Genes and Make-A-Wish began thanks to John F. Crowley who serves on the board of directors for both organizations.
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Make-A-Wish grants the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy. According to a 2011 U.S. study of wish impact, most health professionals surveyed believe a wish-come-true has positive impacts on the health of children. Kids say wishes give them renewed strength to fight their illness, and their parents say these experiences help strengthen the entire family. Headquartered in Phoenix, Make-A-Wish is one of the world's leading children's charities, serving children in every community in the United States and its territories. With the help of generous donors and more than 27,000 volunteers, Make-A-Wish grants a wish somewhere in the country every 37 minutes. It has granted more than 254,000 wishes since its inception in 1980; more than 14,200 in 2014 alone. Visit Make-A-Wish at www.wish.org to learn more.
About Global Genes
Global Genes™ is a leading rare disease patient advocacy organization. The group’s mission is to eliminate the challenges of rare disease, by providing patients with educational tools, building awareness, providing critical connections to people and resources, and through investment in technologies that will positively impact affected patients and families. Recognized worldwide by the Blue Denim Genes Ribbon™, Global Genes unites experts, advocates and patients of all ages to stand together in hope for treatments and cures for the estimated 7,000 rare and genetic diseases that impact approximately 30 million Americans and over 350 million people worldwide. www.globalgenes.org