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Wish Nation

From Cinematographer to Wish Granter

Linda and Chris the day he received his uniform and wings.
Ever since I heard about how Make-A-Wish was formed, it has always seemed more like fiction than truth. The plot was too unfair - a 7-year-old boy knew that his illness would soon take his life. The characters were too good - friends who worked together to give one day of hope to a mother and her son. But it's real. All of it. Kenny Yanga, a cinematographer and editor with Relentless, Inc., can tell you for certain because he met the people whose actions have impacted the lives of millions of others all around the world.

More than a year ago, Relentless, Inc., led by Kenny, started a project: He would share the story of how Make-A-Wish began in the founders' own words. The result is a 10-minute video that brings viewers back to a time when nothing like Make-A-Wish existed. Then, kids with life-threatening medical conditions had no organization that could inspire them and care for their emotions as they fought for their lives.

If you don’t know the story yet, I’d rather not give away too much. Even though I know the story by heart and have told it many times in my own way for the past 11 years, watching Kenny’s video was like hearing it again for the first time. 

Make-A-Wish® Foundation - 35th Anniversary Founders Documentary from Relentless, Inc. on Vimeo.

I’ll divulge a spoiler or two about the next video, though. Kenny’s work helped win a 2016 MarCom Platinum Award. And hearing the founders tell their stories inspired him to become a wish-granting volunteer.

“I fell in love with their mission,” Kenny says. “I even signed up to be a wish granter. I believe in what they do.”

Well, Kenny, we believe in what volunteers like you do. The founders you interviewed were also volunteers – everyday people who cared enough to take action. That’s been true of every volunteer in our history. Thanks for the great video, and thanks for being a volunteer.

You can join volunteers like Kenny all across the nation in helping wish kids live with – or even overcome – their illnesses today.

About this Blog

Wish Nation gives you a behind-the-scenes look at Make-A-Wish®. See how wishes come together and how they change lives forever. Hear directly from those who work or volunteer here, or those who have been transformed by a wish. And learn why we are so committed to someday granting the wish of every eligible child, every year.

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