Make-A-Wish Definitely Helps

November 15, 2018

Wishes do come true!

A recent study from the Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio shows that participation in the Make-A-Wish program may give ill children better quality of life and reduce hospital visits and healthcare costs.

The Make-A-Wish Foundation is a non-profit organization whose goal is to provide children aged three to 17-years-old who have progressive, life-limiting, or life-threatening medical conditions, with experiences known as “wishes.” These wishes may include meeting a celebrity, going someplace special, getting a special gift, or being someone for a day, like a superhero.

According to Dr. Johanna Kreafle with the ABC News Medical Unit, patients who received a wish were 2.5 times more likely to have fewer unplanned hospital admissions and 1.9 times more likely to have fewer unplanned emergency department visits compared to patients of similar age, gender, disease category, and disease complexity who would also quality for a wish but did not receive one.

The Make-A-Wish Foundation was founded in November 1980 and the first wish was granted in the spring of 1981 to Frank “Bopsy” Salazar, a seven-year-old who had leukemia. Bopsy had three wishes: to be a fireman, go to Disneyland, and ride in a hot air balloon -- all of which were granted to him. Since then, more than 285,000 children in the United States and its territories have benefited from experiencing their wishes. The foundation granted 15,300 wishes last year alone; which means on average, a wish is granted every 34 minutes.

The foundation is funded by contributions from individual donors, corporations, and other organizations -- in the case of “superhero” wishes, whole cities get involved, as they did when one wisher wanted to be Batman.

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