Dr. Pope Shares How Wishes Give Children Life Beyond Illness
"For me, the impact of a wish is enormous,” explains Dr. Jennifer Pope, an oncologist at Levine Children’s Hospital in Charlotte, NC. “What I see as a physician when a child describes the wish planning, and then experiences the wish, is a child without the burden of disease.”
Dr. Pope’s passion for Make-A-Wish has been prevalent for most of her medical career – since she first learned about the organization when she was a hematology-oncology fellow – and she encourages others to get involved in Make-A-Wish as soon as possible: “Don’t overthink it, just do it. It will absolutely change your life by showing you how much your time and energy can help the community’s most deserving children.” For her, Make-A-Wish is a fun conversation that she gets to have with families after she’s had “downright terrifying” conversations in her first visits with patients. “It is so nice to have a conversation that has nothing to do with medicine. I love talking about the wish process, and hearing my patients brainstorm about the endless possibilities.”
When asked about her favorite wishes, it is no surprise that Dr. Pope says she cannot pick just one out of the hundreds she’s seen come to fruition. Instead, she says that she loves the wishes “that match perfectly with a patient’s personality and passion,” and that her favorite part of the wish process is hearing about the wish afterwards.
Dr. Pope not only makes a significant impact on wish kids by making referrals, she also volunteers her time to speak about the impact of Make-A-Wish at events and even raised over $12,000 as part of the W.I.S.H. Society.