A side-by-side comparison of two photos. The left is of wish alum Emily as a young child undergoing treatment; the right is of Emily in her career as a professional photographer.

Where Are They Now: Emily Capisciolto

Emily in the hospital during treatment (left) and Emily as a professional wedding photographer (right).

During the week, Emily works as a pediatric oncology and bone marrow transplant nurse at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital where she received cancer treatment as an 11-year-old child. On the weekends, Emily has a front-row seat to document some of people’s most important moments as a wedding photographer.

Emily’s medical journey with acute lymphoblastic leukemia along with her Make-A-Wish experience sparked her desire to pursue both career choices. In 2010, Emily wished for the ultimate portable photo studio, which included a DSLR camera and a laptop with editing software.

Because of her wish experience, Emily initially went into college as a declared photography major. 

“As I explored options for the future, it was clear that my desire to be at the bedside with kids going through diagnoses and treatment that resembled what I had been through was becoming more real so I did switch to nursing after my first year,” Emily explained. “With that said, I have photographed over 100 weddings and documented countless families and am continuing to do so. Those experiences may not have happened without Make-A-Wish and my first camera.”

My life was very significantly impacted by this foundation, and I can’t ever express how grateful I am.
Emily, wish alum

With her camera, Emily built a business and was able to help put herself through college with income from her photography business.

Now 26, Emily remembers the joy and hope she felt when she started to dream about what her wish would be and thinking about the future. She looks back with amazement at how her wish impacted her long-term career aspirations.

“I just want to say thank you for the work you guys do at Make-A-Wish,” Emily said. “I know you don’t always get to see the lasting effects of each wish—but know they are there and they are important. My life was very significantly impacted by this foundation, and I can’t ever express how grateful I am.”