• Who is eligible?
  • Who can refer a child?
  • What's the process?
  • What can a child wish for?
Who is eligible?
Giliani in the snow

Who is eligible?

A child with a critical illness who has reached the age of 2½ and is younger than 18 at the time of referral is potentially eligible for a wish. After a child is referred, Make-A-Wish® will work with the treating physician to determine the child’s medical eligibility for a wish. Our vision is to grant the wish of every eligible child. While more than 15,400 wishes were granted across the United States last year alone, this reached only half of the potentially eligible children diagnosed with a critical illness.

Who can refer a child?
Nominee wished to be a vet

Who can refer a child?

Every day, we rely on wish referrals from caring individuals to help us reach more kids with critical illnesses and grant their life-changing wishes. Learn more about the requirements for referring a child.

Please note: if you are not an approved referral source (see below), the form you complete is not an official referral – it is a request to receive additional information. Make-A-Wish will only call the families of approved referral sources.  If you are not eligible to refer a child, please share the referral inquiry form with the family or ask them to visit our website.

To respect the privacy of families we serve, children who may be eligible to receive a wish can be referred by:

  • Medical professionals (typically a doctor, nurse, social worker or child-life specialist)
  • Parents/legal guardians of the potential wish kid
  • Potential wish kids
  • Family members with detailed knowledge of the child's current medical condition
What's the process?
wish kid

What's the process?

Do you know a child battling a critical illness who could benefit from a life-changing wish? There are two ways to refer a child: you can submit an online referral or share the referral inquiry form with the family. Please note: if you are not an approved referral source, the form you complete is not an official referral – it is a request to receive additional information. 

Outside of the U.S.? Learn more about referring a child residing outside the U.S. here.  

What can a child wish for?

What can a child wish for?

The child's imagination is always the driving force in determining, designing and coordinating a life-changing wish experience. Whether it’s a wish to be a superhero, a wish for a treehouse or a trip to scuba dive a coral reef, each wish is only limited by the child’s imagination.

Make-A-Wish has the unique ability to transform a child and family’s life during some of their most difficult trials. A wish helps a child look past his or her limitations, it helps a family overcome anxiety and brings entire communities together in an experience of hope and joy. That is why wishes matter. That is why we grant wishes.

How Wishes are Transforming Lives


Dominic hosts a Night of Gratitude and finds his voice 

For Dominic, 14, an Oscar-inspired awards ceremony thanking his biggest supporters was the celebration he dreamed of.


Amelia takes care of the world

How an 8-year-old girl inspired thousands to take care of the world.

Tyren the firefighter

Tyren the firefighter inspires a community

Brave 3-year-old Tyren dreamed of being a firefighter. Making his wish come true, inspired a community.

Shore feels strong in the ice.

Shore finds hope in the snow

Trading Hawaii and her medical treatments for a day in the snow, the 9-year-old discovers renewed resilience.

wish kid Kyer

Kyer’s wish takes flight

How an 8-year-old’s dreams of changing the world led him to flying a Cessna.

wish kid Camille

Camille strikes a pose and sparks generosity

What teenager doesn’t want to be a model for a day? Camille takes on her dream and inspires fashionistas.

Start the Referral Process