Wish fulfillment organizations offer children and adults with a chronic or advanced condition, such as cancer, the chance to take a break from the challenging experience by allowing them to have their wishes and dreams come true. Such dreams … big or small … may include taking a family vacation, attending an event, purchasing a desired item, or meeting someone special. Whatever the wish, wish fulfillment organizations aim to help people with advanced illness enrich the quality of their lives and create meaningful memories.
Various organizations have differing eligibility requirements and limitations regarding the types of wishes they grant. If you or a child or an adult you know has a wish they would like granted, consider contacting one of the following organizations.
A Special Wish Foundation
This foundation grants wishes for infants, children, and young adults younger than 21 years old who have been diagnosed with an advanced illness. Wishes fall into three categories, including a special gift, (computers, televisions, stereos, video games, even a puppy are included among the wishes we have granted). These wishes can captivate children and help take them away from the pain and uncertainty caused by their disorder. In the category, a special place, (whether it’s a visit to a special friend or relative, amusement park, or other wish destination. A Special Wish Foundation, Inc. handles complete travel and lodging arrangements for the child and members of the immediate family. This includes air transportation, hotel expenses, meals, spending money, and all other aspects of the travel wish). The category “a special hero” is for the many children who dream about someday meeting their special hero, whether it be a sports figure, government leader, rock star or other entertainer. A personal visit is a true morale boost for the child, as well as a memory to hang on to during unsure times ahead.
Childhood Leukemia Foundation
Mission to educate, empower and raise awareness and the necessary funds to support programs that benefit children living with cancer. Programs improve health literacy, increase self-esteem and empower cancer victims with hope. CLF believes that by working together, we can make a difference one child at a time.
- Hugs U Wear offers human hair wigs to young cancer patients who have lost their own hair due to chemotherapy treatments. The Hug U Wear is a 100% human hair wig that is sewn into a lightweight cap and comes with a detachable hat. The child can choose from several styles to help deal with the stress and embarrassment of hair loss.
- Wish Baskets help lift the spirits of these young cancer patients during a particularly difficult time in their lives. The baskets are filled with age-appropriate items such as pajama bottoms with a matching pillow case, an MP3 player, individual games and a $50 Gift Card to purchase wish item(s) of their choice.
- Hope Binder helps mprove a patient’s level of health literacy. Pediatric oncology patients and their families are often overwhelmed with the amount of medical and insurance information associated with a chronic illness such as cancer. The Hope Binder has 12 sections to reference and record, in their own words, medical information regarding the child’s treatment. The binders also include an assortment of informational booklets regarding pain management and dietary tips, as well as, a 75 minute pre-paid telephone calling card to keep in close contact with friends and family.
Children’s Wish Foundation International
From tropical vacations to shopping sprees, this is the stuff of dreams!
Our Wish Coordinators craft extraordinary Wishes for children and their families. We create detailed itineraries that include arrangements for travel, accommodations, tickets, expense money, volunteer support, and child-specific surprises along the way.
We believe a Wish should be the child’s heartfelt Wish, in a time and place that suits the child. Our team is prepared to work quickly for the child who needs to go NOW, between treatments, because the future can be uncertain. We also understand that some families don’t have the resources for things like suitcases. And no girl can go to Disney without the requisite princess dress! We’ve got them covered.
Every wish is made possible by the ongoing support of individuals and committed organizations that are passionate about making a difference in the lives of children.
Since CWFI’s inception in 1985, we’ve granted thousands of once-in-a-lifetime wishes for children in 53 countries.*
Our Wish Fulfillment program is open to any young person under the age of 18 and who has been diagnosed with a life-threatening illness. Anyone can refer a child – simply contact our office with basic information on the child, and we will immediately begin working on initial steps to fulfill the Wish.
What qualifies as a Wish from Children’s Wish Foundation?
We only ask that the Wish must truly be the child’s Wish, allowing them to fully experience the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity of their dreams.
What can a child Wish for?
We never put our Wishes into categories and no two Wishes are ever alike! Our Wish Coordinators make up a professional team with over 20 years of experience in creating unique, handcrafted Wishes. Every Wish includes all travel arrangements, accommodations, tickets, detailed itineraries, expense money, volunteer support, carefully planned presentations to fit the family’s schedule, and the promise of child-specific surprises along the way. Every detail is planned to perfection, allowing the family to enjoy “Family Time” and create precious memories to cherish forever.
What if a child is not old enough to write their wish?
For those children who are unable to verbalize their Wish because of their age or cognitive level, we’ve created our Young Minds Program to fit their needs. If your child falls into this category, please call our headquarters for more information or read an overview about the Young Minds Program.
To refer a child, please fill out this form – We’ll take care of the rest.
Clayton Dabney For Kids with Cancer
Clayton Dabney for Kids with Cancer provides needy families, with children in the last stages of terminal cancer, assistance in creating everlasting memories by providing last wishes, gifts, special events, family travel and financial assistance with household expenses. Our assistance is arranged through the parents and is anonymous to the child.
The Dream Factory is the largest all-volunteer driven children’s wish-granting organization that does not limit its mission to children who have life-threatening illness. The organization believes children with chronic illnesses and disorders also suffer from substantial emotional and physical pain.
Providing free laptops, iPads, robots and internet access to seriously ill children for educational purposes.
We envision all seriously ill children in America continuing their education uninterrupted despite their medical condition or financial limitation. We provide the the tools and support needed to connect children, face-to-face with their classrooms and teachers, family and friends and medical teams.
Give Kids the World
Give Kids The World Village is an 84-acre, nonprofit resort in Central Florida that provides weeklong, cost-free vacations to children with critical illnesses and their families.
The Village and its community partners provide children and their families accommodations in fully-furnished villas, transportation, tickets to theme parks, meals, daily entertainment and much more.
Each year 27,000 children in the United States are diagnosed with a critical illness. Half of all children eligible for a wish through a partnering wish-granting organization choose to visit Central Florida and its collection of theme parks and other attractions.
Our goal, quite simply, is to provide everything these deserving families need to make their trip the vacation of a lifetime. Since 1986, more than 165,000 children and families have had their dreams fulfilled in a whimsical Village unlike any other place on earth.
Go 4 the Goal
Our primary goal is to assist families with financial and logistical burdens so that they are able to focus all their energy on their child. By working with social workers and hospital staff, Go4theGoal responds to ALL requests for assistance within 24-hours.
Medical & Household bills
Travel for Treatment
Tuition Assistance for Education and Enrichment Activities
And so Much More!
Granting a wish is a simple and rewarding way to lift a child’s and family’s spirits or give them a chance to create lasting and positive memories. Wishes can range from tablet requests to VIP experiences. Due to our quick response to requests, we have also become a resource for end-of-life wishes in order to give families a positive experience with their child and create memories that last a lifetime.
Connects homebound children to their classmates and family at no cost to the participant or school via web cameras, internet and laptops. Child must be in active treatment and in grade Pre-K through 12th grade.
This charity hosts regular events and activities (a never-ending wish) that help restore hope for the future. Hope Kids also provides a support community for children with advanced illnesses and their families.
We believe that hope is a powerful medicine. Most of us cannot imagine the costs, fears, emotions and isolation that hospital stays and surgeries impose on families. Parents often become overwhelmed with treatment and finances. Siblings can experience confusion, fear, and resentment as normal life activities and parental attentions are replaced with a difficult medical journey.
HopeKids hosts highly-anticipated, free, fun events for families who have a child with a life-threatening medical condition. From live entertainment to private movie screenings and amusement parks to sporting events, we offer a wide variety of activities for the whole family. We want to keep children and their families focused on the future rather than dwelling on what they are dealing with now (i.e. needle pokes, chemotherapy, blood transfusions and other painful experiences.)
“I can say with full confidence that HopeKids has changed my daughter’s life
in ways that I could have never imagined.”
Numerous studies reveal that hope and anticipation directly impact health and well-being. One study published in the Journal of the National Medical Association found that “Hope can increase one’s overall ability to cope with stress by reducing fears and anxieties.”
Jack & Jill Late Stage Cancer Foundation
JAJF’s mission is “Treating families to WOW! Experiences®, giving children who will lose their Mom or Dad to cancer a timeout to create memories as a family… while they can”.
JAJF has become exceptionally, even profoundly important, because of the lives we are ALL truly impacting across the United States. When a parent is diagnosed with late-stage cancer, a family’s world is immediately turned upside down. Our supporters appreciate these children who are facing the imminent loss of their Moms and or Dads deserve a timeout from cancer to create cherished, lasting memories as a family.
JAJF has now treated families from 44 states. We gain our families strictly from oncologist referrals.
Jason’s Dreams for Kids
Jason’s Dreams for Kids grants wishes to children diagnosed with a progressive, degenerative, or malignant condition in the Nw Jersey area. The organization relies on medical professionals and parents for referrals and determines medical eligibility with the help of the treating physician.
Bringing a little happiness and putting a few smiles on these children’s and their parents’ faces is our goal. Jason’s Dreams for Kids, Inc. grants wishes for children in the New Jersey area.
Kids Wish Network
We grant wishes to children between the ages of 3 and 18 who are in the fight of their lives, battling a life threatening medical condition. We customize every wish to the interests of each child. Our professional and caring wish coordinators are enthusiastically involved in every aspect of the child s extraordinary experience and work closely with the family to make the entire wish adventure one that the Wish Kid and their family will treasure forever. And we take the time to get to know each child so we can create a personalized, unique wish experience just for them! Whether it’s a wish to visit Florida Theme Parks, take an exciting trip to a special destination, meet a favorite celebrity, or be pampered on a personal shopping spree, we make sure every moment is what the child has dreamed of… and more!
We grant Hero wishes to children who have faced life-altering circumstances with extreme bravery and courage. We award these young Heroes in the care of hospitals, shelters, and other facilities nationwide with special Hero bears, t-shirts, certificates, and, best of all, a gift card to spend however they choose.
Kids Wish Network’s original mission was to grant wishes only to children with life-threatening conditions. In doing so, it became apparent that there were so many children in circumstances that deserved to be recognized, but did not qualify for our original program. We then developed our Hero of the Month program to honor the children who did not have a life-threatening condition but who bravely faced some very tough and often tragic situations. These special wishes are called “Hero Wishes.”
If you know of a pediatric care facility or hospital that may benefit from our Hero of the Month program, please contact us.
The nation’s largest wish-granting organization, Make-a-Wish fulfills the wishes of children between 2 1/2 and 18 years old with life-threatening medical conditions, aiming to enrich the human experience with hope, strength, and joy. The organization accepts referrals from health care professionals and parents, and children can even nominate themselves. After evaluating medical eligibility, a team of volunteers meets with the child to help identify the child’s true wish.
A wish come true helps children feel stronger, more energetic, more willing and able to battle their life-threatening medical conditions. For many, the wish marks a turning point in the fight against their illnesses. Doctors, nurses and other health professionals say that the wish experience works in concert with medicine to make their patients feel better emotionally and even physically. That is why wishes matter. That is why we grant wishes.
We don’t grant wishes for short-term smiles. We grant wishes to positively impact long-term health results.
Make-A-Wish was the subject of a study to measure how wish-granting experiences influence the medical outcomes of children with cancer. Sixty-six children were evaluated using three different verified, respected, widely used assessment tools. The tools quantify hope, positive emotions, health-related quality of life and anxiety.
“It is possible that wishing enabled these children to dream about what seemed unobtainable, out of reach, and thus created an experience of achieving the impossible,” researchers wrote.
And if the impossible can happen once, kids can believe in their ability to live with or even overcome their illnesses. That’s the real purpose of a wish.
Marty Lyons Foundation
Founded by professional football player Marty Lyons after serving as a surrogate father of a three-year-old boy with a life-threatening illness,.
The Marty Lyons Foundation (MLF) was established in 1982 to fulfill the special wishes of children, ages 3 to 17 years old, who have been diagnosed as having a terminal or life-threatening illness by providing and arranging special wish requests. We are unique in that we will grant a second wish to a deserving child.
The Foundation has 10 Chapters granting wishes in 13 states – Alabama, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas and Virginia.
Incorporated as a not-for-profit, tax-exempt 501 (c)(3) organization, MLF has granted over 7,300 wishes and is dedicated to making more dreams come true for our children.
This organization helps grant wishes to children from Michigan facing an advanced illness. To qualify, children must be between 2 1/2 and 18 years old, live in Michigan, be diagnosed with an advanced illness, and have the diagnosis verified by a physician. In addition, they must not have received a wish fulfillment from any other organization. Medical professionals, parents or guardians, and children may submit wish requests.
This foundation is committed to fulfilling the dreams of children 3 to 18 years old who have advanced cancer. Sunshine Foundation’s sole purpose is to answer the dreams of seriously ill, physically challenged children whose families cannot fulfill their requests due to financial strain.
Mission to bring joy and a unique experience to pediatric cancer patients by matching them with a “warrior” horse. Matches pediatric cancer patients with a horse that participates in the show ring. Patients may visit their horse in person or virtually, and follow the horse’s journey in competitions.
This charity grants wishes to children with life-threatening illnesses who are between 3 and 21 years old and live in Eastern and Central Washington and Idaho. Children do not have to be terminally ill to qualify. We foster hope, community, and lasting memories by granting wishes for children and supporting their families beyond the wish.
Ally’s Wish, Inc. is a nonprofit organization based in North Texas devoted to granting the last wish to young, terminally ill mothers with children. Inspired by the late Allyson Hendrickson, Ally’s Wish provides a memory for the family that will last a lifetime. Wishes are granted in the form of services, gifts, transportation, lodging, or any other wish the mother may have, and a typical wish granted is approximately $5,000. Since inception, 114 wishes have been granted to families across North Texas and the U.S.
Deliver the Dream
Deliver the Dream organizes monthly three-day, two-night retreats. Each family that attends has a child or parent with cancer, autism, a blood disorder, spina bifida or multiple sclerosis. Our program invites up to 15 families, free of charge, to one of our retreat locations so they can relax, enjoy time together, forge new friendships and create support groups with the other families dealing with the same illness or crisis.
The Dream Foundation fulfills the wishes of adults suffering from advanced illnesses. The foundation seeks to help adults find peace and closure with the realization of a final wish. Dream Foundation grants requests to adults older than 18 years old whose life expectancy, confirmed by their physicians, is one year or less. They must also confirm that they have limited resources. Provides end-of-life dreams that offer inspiration, comfort and closure.
James Bess Foundation
The vision and goal of the James Bess Foundation is to encourage people to search within themselves and uncover dreams that have become lost due to life’s difficulties and then grant such dream to the best of our ability. The James Bess Foundation is based out of Nashville, TN. We grant wishes to terminally ill adults living in the United States. Our mission is to provide a gift of hope wrapped with joy to adults and their families going through the difficulties of a terminal illness. Our age range is 21-65 and most of our clients have a life-expectancy of less than one year. It is time for adults to dust away the cobwebs of life and start dreaming again!
Nikolas Ritschel Foundation
Provides enrichment opportunities and encouragement to young adult cancer patients, ages 18-24. Apply online to request a wish for respite, travel, technology or other needs.