We could tell you all about the fun parts of 17-year-old Lindsey’s wish—how she learned to surf, rode an ATV, went ziplining and to a luau. But that wouldn’t tell you what the best part for her was. It was simple, actually—"being able to feel normal for once.”
Those activities also wouldn’t tell you how, when Lindsey was isolated, in pain, and enduring difficult side effects of her treatment for a rare autoimmune disorder, the prospect of a wish gave her a goal to get healthy, and it motivated her to work with her doctors and be responsible in all her treatments. Being granted a wish was the first positive thing she had experienced since becoming sick.
“Everyone treats me differently, like I am fragile. While I was in Hawaii, I got to make the rules and decide how far I could go. No one else got to dictate what I was capable of. I got to surf, drive an ATV, and zip on a zipline. The wish pushed me outside my comfort zone in a good way. I learned that I was capable of so much more than I have been told for so long. I am capable of being a happy normal kid.” Her family witnessed it too. “When she stood up on a surfboard and rode a wave to shore she was able to put aside her disease and just be happy.”
Granting wishes like Lindsey’s starts with a referral. Lindsey’s referral came from a social worker at UCSF named Caroline Hill, who sees firsthand the impact a wish can have. “The wish experiences create long lasting joyful memories for our patients and their families who are living with hardship and challenge on a daily basis” says Caroline. Help us make more children experience that feeling of being a “happy normal kid” again. If you know someone who might qualify for a wish, let us know!