Too often, I get the impression they have been cut out of wish stories. This could be for many reasons, such as their association with the difficult aspects of treatment or the assumption that their significance is obvious and not in need of mention. It seems as if they are left behind in the consideration of the wish kid’s future, even as they diagnose, treat, care, refer and approve a child for a wish.
I was searching for new wishes in the news when I came across one out of Mississippi about 7-year-old wish kid Evan, who was invited to be a part of ‘throwing the switch’ for a holiday-themed light event.
The story focuses on Evan and his path from ordinary toddler to wish kid and his family’s perceptions of his illness. What caught my attention though were the brief references to the multiple doctors who took part in diagnosing, treating and eventually referring Evan for a wish.
Though unnamed, they were crucial to the journey that led Evan to the happy moment of turning on holiday lights.
Evan was referred for a wish by his doctor, who must have realized how much excitement it would bring him during treatment. His diagnosis required the opinions of multiple professionals who eventually discovered what was wrong.
This reminds me of a wish a few years ago, where Dhanush, also 7 at the time, wished to visit the doctor who saved his life. Like Evan, Dhanush’s illness took a while to be diagnosed, as he had to see multiple doctors before Dr. Carmen Weeber-Morse figured out that he was sick with a rare illness.
Dhanush and Dr. Weeber-Morse kept in touch even though he moved away. His wish enabled him to visit her and give her an award for being a great doctor. It's the sort of recognition that takes into account how doctors impact the lives of children with life-threatening illnesses beyond treatment.
Many wishes begin with a referral from a medical professional who believes it will be something hopeful to look forward to during or after treatment. Once they send in the referral, the process of bringing a wish to life involves volunteers and the support of family.