Make-A-Wish was inspired by the wish of a 7-year-old boy with leukemia named Chris Greicius, who wished to be a police officer. On April 29, his mother, several friends and a group of police officers, with the cooperation of the Arizona Department of Public Safety, granted his wish with a custom-made uniform, helmet, badge and helicopter ride.
Today, we honor Chris, his legacy and all of the wishes across the globe by celebrating the mission of Make-A-Wish and all those who help grant wishes every day.
During my time at Make-A-Wish, I’ve seen and heard of many, different kinds of wishes. Whether it’s the smile on a child’s face or seeing the work of a community come together, we all have our favorite Make-A-Wish moment – the one that changed us and made us even more passionate about this mission.
Here are some favorite memories submitted by Make-A-Wish employees across the country:
“I’ve worked with volunteers at Make-A-Wish for seven years in both Arkansas and Los Angeles, and my best memories are of the magic we create in very simple moments. One of my favorite wishes was for a 6-year-old girl named Sarah. She wished for a playhouse, and we decorated the inside with a play kitchen and supplies. We even got a sign for the door to state when she was “in” and when she was “out!” She was so excited about her playhouse; she ended our visit by dancing. Aside from pictures, my memory serves well in capturing the joy on her face.”
- Felisha C. Baquera, director of volunteer services at Make-A-Wish Greater Los Angeles
“It was very exciting to know that Make-A-Wish would be featured on the Thomson Reuters board in Times Square [for World Wish Day]. We wondered where we could possibly get the best photos and remembered that one of our board members had an office overlooking Times Square. The thought was we could get some incredible shots from that vantage point. What we didn't count on was my fear of heights and having to reach out a window in order to get the shots. Needless to say, we took photos from the ground.
- Adam Fishbein, creative services & marketing associate at Make-A-Wish Metro New York
“My favorite Make-A-Wish memory is 17-year-old Chris’ wish to try out for the Los Angeles Dodgers. The wish came together quickly because Chris had just been diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor and his doctors were unsure if the chemotherapy would work. Chris went to Spring Training and actually worked out with the Dodgers team in his very own uniform. He threw a bullpen session, fielded grounders, went through defensive drills and took batting practice. One year later, Chris was declared cancer-free and the Dodgers invited him to come back and reunite with his “teammates”. The spirit and determination I saw in this young man continues to inspire me every day.”
- Shaina Reeser, senior manager of entertainment & sports relations at Make-A-Wish America
“One of my most memorable Make-A-Wish moments was when 6-year-old wish kid Brady made his wish to have playground equipment for kids with special needs donated to his local fireman’s park. Brady was there to see the playground equipment installed and even put his hand prints in the cement of a special walk way. Brady passed away just two days before the dedication of his new playground, but his family decided to still have a celebration in honor of his wish and his life. More than 300 people from the local community came out for the dedication. For me this wish embodied the idea that a wish has a ripple effect, not only impacting the child and his or her family, but entire communities.”
- Forrest Doolen, public relations manager at Make-A-Wish Wisconsin
“Volunteering at Make-A-Wish New Hampshire has been one of the highlights of my community service experience. The staff members and volunteers there are some of the nicest people I know, and I admire their dedication to making the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions come true. Out of all the tasks I do as an office administrative volunteer, my favorite project is writing wish stories and grants. I enjoy sharing the Make-A-Wish mission and knowing that the work I do will help inspire others to support the organization. I'm proud to volunteer at Make-A-Wish New Hampshire and hope that I can continue helping Make-A-Wish for many years to come.”
- Dawn Ely, office administrative volunteer at Make-A-Wish New Hampshire
Celebrate World Wish Day and Help Us Grant More Wishes
World Wish Day celebrates these memories and the memories to come. You can support our mission and help grant wishes by donating your airline miles today! For more information, please visit wish.org/miles.