Thursday, January 29, 2015

I wish I wish my wish comes true. That is what I would say closing my eyes as tightly as I could possibly make them close. With every turkey made we would save the v shaped wish bone and dry it for that occasion. I did that throughout my childhood and could never figure out why my wishes never came true. It is good to know that a hero stepped forward and created the highly successful real Make A Wish Foundation that did not exist when I was growing up. It is a team of people that make the wishes of sick children come true whenever they can.

Most of the children would like to wish their illnesses away if that was at all possible. The Foundation deals with these kids first because quite often there is no cure or the illnesses give the children great pain. The Foundation is headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona. So, when their illnesses cannot be cured, they ask again, what else would you wish for? Some want to be a baker, ride an elephant, be a park ranger, work in a pickle factory or just go to Disney. Now we are talking about somewhat manageable things we can do. There is a lot more to Make A Wish than just sending a sick kid to an amusement park. It is not a dying wish or a last wish, in many cases it gives kids hope, a reason to get better because they have now something they have to do.

 Make A Wish does not just make wishes come true for kids with a terminal disease. Any child with a potentially life threatening condition is eligible. There are kids that just want to be far away from the white walls and fluorescent lights of big city hospitals. For once, the kids want to do all the poking and prodding in the outdoors in a park setting. Of course everyone’s first wish is to survive their illness and we all know that some kids do and some don’t.  The experiences had with the second wish of all can help to be one of the most treasured memorable weeks in a kid’s short life.

It all started with one sick child 35 years ago. His name was Chris Gracious who was diagnosed with Leukemia and was given just three years to live. Growing up he always played games where he was a police officer and wanted to become one when he grew up. Back then there were no fund raising organizations or volunteers and it crushing once he found out that in all likelihood he would never be alive to become an adult and a police officer.  There were only a few Arizona Department public safety workers who took interest but before long the managed to make the 7 year old Chris in 1980 an honorary rank of Patrolman.  As his illness worsened they arranged for Chris to take a ride in a Police helicopter and got him a uniform complete with a badge. Tailors made sure the official uniform was just small enough to fit him properly.    

Make A Wish was born after seeing the pride in the child’s face. No fear, no pity no pain. It all gave Chris a reason to still live. Two days after getting his official uniform Chris died. It was as if he achieved what he wanted on earth and now it was ok to leave. He was laid to rest in his uniform. . His Mom said that it all gave him more enjoyment than he had had in a long time. 35 years later his Mom is still in tears now for many reasons. One in being that he got something that she was helpless to do by herself for the child.  That was 250,000 wishes ago. Now actors and Broadway shows and organizations of every type participate in making wishes come true. Some kids get better and their illnesses go into remission and every one of them help out with the organization to help younger kids.

Be thankful for all you got but also be thankful that in your generation there is a place that makes wishes come true every day.

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