Make-A-Wish Foundation Offers Hope, Improves Health Outcome for Local Kids

The Make-A-Wish Foundation of Metro New York and Western New York is our local chapter of an international organization that makes unique and life-changing wishes come true for children who have been diagnosed with life-threatening illnesses. In 2017 alone, the Metro New York and Western New York chapter impacted the lives of 985 wish children and their families.

The gift of a wish gives more than just a special moment or experience. 89 percent of doctors, nurses, and health professionals say that a granted wish can positively influence a child’s physical health. Children are more willing to comply with medical treatment, are more energetic and enthusiastic, and often experience a turning point in their treatment after a wish is granted. The families of wish kids say that their experiences have had the power to repair and re-establish their family bonds during the stress of a child’s illness and treatment.

Every wish begins by asking a child: If you could wish for anything, what would it be?

Jake would go to St. Martin

Jake, an 11-year-old diagnosed with malignant neoplasms, wished to take his family on vacation to St. Martin. The family had vacationed on the island when he was a young child and, inspired by those memories, Jake chose to revisit those adventures and happy times. Jake’s trip gave him the opportunity to swim and to explore the island by car. Most importantly, it gave his family the chance to make happy memories that brought them closer and have continued to be a source of connection and joy as they are relived again and again.   

Read more about Jake...

Lily would visit Columbia University

While nearly 70% of wish experiences involve travel, wishes granted closer to home are no less impactful. Lily, a child diagnosed with Leukemia, was inspired by her battle with cancer to become a doctor. She wished to visit Columbia Medical School in Manhattan, where she met faculty and was invited to try out many of the medical simulators and technologies. Lily’s experience made her feel hopeful and excited about the future after years of fighting for her life.

Lauren would give to others

Some wishes are big, and some are small. 4-year-old Lauren’s little wish came from a huge heart. Comforted through chemotherapy, radiation, and nights in the hospital by her favorite stuffed bunny, Lauren wished to give a bit of that comfort to every child in her hospital. Make-a-Wish provided Lauren a cartload of stuffed bunny blankets, each of which she personally delivered with a hug. And a great big dose of inspiration for all her family and the hospital staff who witnessed her acts of kindness.

Read more about Lauren...

Aiden would meet the New York Yankees

Aiden was only 8 years old when doctors diagnosed him with a brain tumor and quickly faced debilitating medical treatments. Aiden’s trip to meet the New York Yankees put a new spring in his step! Aiden was invited to walk out onto the field, get autographs and photos with the players, and even meet team manager Joe Girardi. He and his family finished their trip with a special night out in New York City, the perfect end to a trip that allowed Aiden to simply be a kid again.

Read more about Aiden...

Making NYC Dreams Come True

New York is the city we all call home, and it’s only natural that we sometimes forget its magic in the everyday bustle around town. Make-A-Wish Metro New York partners with individuals, companies, and organizations in the metropolitan area to give kids one-of-a-kind experiences that could only happen in the Big Apple. In 2017, Make-A-Wish and their partners gave wish kids who had always longed to visit the bright city lights not only a stay in the city, but a front row seat to watch the iconic Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in the heart of Manhattan. For each of these children, New York was a wish come true.

Make-A-Wish Metro New York and Western New York provides once in a lifetime opportunities for children defying odds and fighting life-threatening illnesses every day. If the stories of their work inspire you, join in by volunteering your time, making a donation, or learning more at

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