Make-A-Wish Orange County and the Inland Empire
We grant wishes for children with critical illnesses between the ages of 2.5 and 18 who reside in Riverside, San Bernardino, and Orange Counties. Children are energized by these wishes. They can anticipate, describe, imagine, plan and eventually rejoice in its fruition. By demonstrating that a wish can come true, Make-A-Wish encourages a child to envision a positive future and to remain an active partner in treatment when courage and hope begin to fade. A wish is something we provide when doctor’s and medicine have nothing else to give.
As a loved one’s attitude often impacts the child’s state of mind, it is important for families to maintain a positive outlook as well. In granting a child’s wish, the organization provides children and their families with a chance to forget about the pain and fear caused by an illness, and to instead focus on the joy and hope of having a wish granted. Both parents and physicians confirm that wish experiences play a unique role for critically ill children. Wishes encourage these children to focus on the future, which gives them something other than illness to think about. This in turn helps sick children overcome depression and can ease the anxiety that accompanies thoughts about an unknown future. For a Wish Child and their family, anticipating or recalling a wish and interacting with other Wish Children and Wish Granters has many benefits, including:
• 89% of health care professionals surveyed say they believe that the wish experience can influence wish kids’ physical health.
• 96% of parents said the wish strengthened their families.
• 81% of parents observe an increased willingness by their wish kids to comply with treatment protocols.
• 99% of parents reported that the wish experience gave their children increased feelings of happiness.
• 74% of wish parents observed that the wish marked a turning point in their children’s response to treatment.
• 97% of wish families observe increases in their wish kids’ emotional health.
According to a recent study by the CDC, there are nearly 700 children in Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino counties who are diagnosed with a critical illness each year. While this is a sad statistic, our dedication to serve these children and their families has not changed. Last year (2018), Make-A-Wish Orange County and the Inland Empire granted 340 wishes to local children and provided assistance for 696 wishes from other chapters because those wishes could only be made possible in our region. That means every day, about three children’s wishes are coming true right around you.