I can understand why people typically react that way, and I love that it gives me the opportunity to explain that, as wish granters, we get to bring happiness and hope to families who have been through some pretty unimaginable challenges.
I get to tell them that, thanks to advances in medicine and technology, most of our kids survive, and many of them credit the wish as being a turning point in their battle with a life-threatening medical condition.
Most people don’t realize the entire family participates in the wish, giving them an opportunity to relax and enjoy time together, returning to a sense of normalcy.
I can tell them all of these things, but the one thing I can never adequately share are the profound rewards I’ve received from my experience as a wish granter.
I’ve volunteered on 10 wishes so far, and each child has touched my life in a unique way.
I’ve been given the title of “new best friend” from a little boy at our first meeting.
I’ve been given the opportunity to be a fairy godmother to a little girl battling cancer.
I’ve witnessed unconditional love, support, hope and human connection in a way that expanded my faith and understanding of just how incredible this world is.
Even in the one case where my wish kid passed away I was given the incredible gift of knowing that, while I have no control over the outcome of any given situation, I always have the power to do something good for someone NOW.
And that’s why I believe in the Make-A-Wish mission. Yes, we need doctors who work tirelessly and researchers committed to find cures. But with Make-A-Wish, we’re offering an immediate infusion of hope that truly does lead to healing.
And I can’t imagine anything happier than that.