1984 is a very significant year for us too, because it’s the year the Greater Bay Area chapter of a then four-year-old organization called Make-A-Wish, was founded. Inspired by the very first wish granted nationwide, for Chris, a seven-year-old boy from Phoenix who wanted to be a police officer, Make-A-Wish Greater Bay Area granted its first wish in 1984.
That wish was for J.D., a four-year-old boy suffering from muscular dystrophy, who wanted to ride in “Kitt,” the talking, flying car from the Knight Rider TV show car. In that first year, our chapter granted 27 wishes. We have now granted over 8,000.
Every year, hundreds of children around the Bay Area are diagnosed with a life-threatening medical condition. All of them go through painful, debilitating treatments. Many lose their hair, fall behind in their schoolwork, are forced to give up some of their favorite activities, and feel isolated from their peers. During that period, it can be a struggle to stay strong. Our volunteer wish grantors change all that.
Once a child is referred to Make-A-Wish, a team of trained volunteers is assigned to work with that child and their family, and begins the process with them of envisioning a brighter future. Our volunteer wish granting teams have done this over 8,000 times in the last 33 years, and today we have more volunteer wish granters, and serve more children, than ever before.
So while there are still so many children we need to reach, we celebrate the 8,000 who have been through incredible challenges, and found strength in having their one true wish granted. Children like Matthew, who in 2002 became our 3,000th wish child. Matthew’s wish was to visit his uncle in New York.
Or children like Dayssi, our 4,500th wish child, who in 2007 wanted to be a ballerina.
Our 8,000th wish child, Francesca, just returned from her wish in April. She and her father, Hossein, mother, Senta and sister, Bella, went to Barcelona, a place Francesca had dreamed of visiting.
Making a difference in the lives of 8,000 brave local children is no small feat, and one we could never have accomplished without your support. To all those who volunteer their time, provide referrals, support us financially and help spread the word about our mission, we are eternally grateful to you. On behalf of the children we serve, thank you.
You can help us on the path to granting our next 1,000 wishes by referring a child you know who is living with a life-threatening medical condition, becoming a volunteer wish granter, joining our mailing list to stay updated on our chapter’s news and events, or making a donation today. Thank you for supporting Make-A-Wish!