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.
Through the Medicine of the Heart program, this foundation anonymously grants wishes to children with advanced cancer who come from financially needy families. A health care provider, such as a doctor or nurse, must nominate the child.
The Give Kids the World Village is a 84-acre resort in Central Florida that offers accommodations, entertainment, and other attractions for children with life-threatening illnesses. The charity provides children between the ages of three and 18 and their families free, one-week vacations to help create long-lasting memories. A child must be sponsored by one of more than 250 wish-granting organizations in the country or a children’s hospital affiliated with Give Kids the World.
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.”
Jason’s Dreams for Kids grants wishes to children diagnosed with a progressive, degenerative, or malignant condition. 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.
The Kids Wish Network grants wishes for children who are between 3 and 18 years old. The organization’s Our Hero program also provides wishes for children who have overcome life-altering circumstances and endured great pain and suffering. Anyone can refer a child, including a family member, friend, nurse, doctor, or social worker.
We grant wishes to children 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!
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 that 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.
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 foundation helps grant wishes for children with advanced illnesses.
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 two and a half 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 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.
This foundation is committed to fulfilling the dreams of children three to 18 years old who have advanced cancer. Sunshine Foundation’s sole purpose is to answer the dreams of chronically ill, seriously ill, physically challenged children ages 3 to 18, whose families cannot fulfill their requests due to financial strain.
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.
This organization provides families living with an advanced illness, whether the illness involves a child or a parent the chance to relax, enjoy time together and forge bonds with others during a three-day retreat. Health care providers or one of Deliver the Dream’s partnering organizations are responsible for recruiting the family for participation.
Deliver the Dream organize monthly three-day, two-night retreats. Each family that attends has a family member, whether it’s a child or parent, living with an illness/crisis such as 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. Serving terminally-ill adults and their families by providing end-of-life Dreams that offer inspiration, comfort and closure.