Our History 

For children diagnosed with critical illnesses, a wish come true can be a crucial turning point in their lives. A wish can be that spark that helps these children believe that anything is possible and gives them the strength to fight harder against their illnesses. This impact is why we are driven to make every one of these wishes come true.  

How It All Started: Chris' Wish  

Make-A-Wish traces its inspiration to Christopher James Greicius, an energetic 7-year-old boy battling leukemia who wishes to be a police officer. In 1980, his Phoenix community came together to make his wish come true. Little did Chris know that his wish would create a movement that would transform millions of lives.   

Today, Make-A-Wish has granted hundreds of thousands of life-changing wishes to children battling critical illnesses. Wishes that give families hope through dark times, strength to persevere and experiences that forever change their lives.   

Thank you to his mother, Linda Pauling, the Greicius family and the founders for their tireless dedication to our mission 

Make-A-Wish Greater LA 

Make-A-Wish® Greater Los Angeles was founded in 1983. Since that time, we have granted life-changing wishes for more than 10,000 children with critical illnesses.  

The idea to form Make-A-Wish Greater Los Angeles was generated from an article in the TRW Company Newsletter. Los Angeles sales representative Michael Lewis was waiting for his meeting to begin when he read the article about a charity in Phoenix, Arizona that was doing wonderful things for sick children. He rushed home and gathered together a group who began working with the Phoenix office to set up a chapter in the Greater Los Angeles area, which was incorporated as the 15th chapter in the national network on April 1, 1983. 

In that first year, 12 wishes were granted, including our chapter's inaugural for 11-year-old Gary from Ventura who wished for a VCR of his own. Volunteers presented the new VCR and one year of complimentary video rentals to him while he was still in the hospital. His smile became the first of many for Make-A-Wish Greater Los Angeles. 
Nearly forty years later 6-year-old Joselin, who was diagnosed with a gastrointestinal disorder, was granted our chapter’s 10,000th wish. The exciting "I wish to be a gymnast" wish was granted at UCLA by the Olympic gold medal-winning womens’ gymnastics team! Joselin got her own custom gymnastics jumpsuit (in Make-A-Wish blue!) and got to practice routines with the team. She even got her own gold medal and her face on a Wheaties box like a true champ.