She granted her first wish in 1995, and has since granted an astounding 59 wishes, helping to transform the lives of wish kids, their families, and her community.
She’s helped wish kids become astronauts and meet their idols. She’s gifted incredible shopping sprees, entertainment systems, and computers. She’s helped bring life-changing trips to life, from Germany to Hawaii, from the San Diego Zoo to Pixar Studios. And she’s helped celebrate countless journeys to Disney theme parks, where wish kids experience magic up close and meet and hug their favorite characters.
"I love meeting the kids and seeing their excitement,” Hummel says, “especially when we deliver a wish.”
She recalls a wish kid who dreamed big and wished to meet his hero Robin Williams. “I talked to the family afterwards and they said he was amazing,” she says. “He was totally concentrated on the boy. They had talked about video games, and then afterwards he sent him a whole box of video games.”
Hummel also really appreciates the impact a wish has on the entire family. She has seen that parents and siblings are incredibly moved by the wish experience as well.
For parents, the wish experience is a break from the harsh responsibilities they face as the caregiver to a sick child. “To not have to plan anything, to not have to set anything up, to not have to pay for it,” says Hummel, “that’s a huge gift for them.”
And for siblings, it’s always a memorable experience to be a part of the wish. “They probably feel left out of a lot, or feel like they’re overlooked,” Hummel explains. “It’s a huge blessing for them as well.”
As an advocate for Make-A-Wish, Hummel works to clear up the common misconceptions she hears about the organization. “When I tell people that I volunteer, a lot of them say ‘oh, that’s so sad–I don’t know how you can do that,’” she says. “And I say, ‘well, it can be sad. I’ve had interviews that I’ve walked away and I’ve just sat and cried because it’s sad to see the kids that way. But don’t let that deter you, because it’s ultimately very uplifting, happy, and fulfilling.’”
For most of the wishes that Hummel has granted, the children go on to beat their illnesses and live happy, healthy lives. Their wishes are awe-inspiring, uplifting experiences–and can often be the turning point in a child’s medical journey, a catalyst to better health. That’s what keeps Hummel and other volunteers like her granting wishes for so many years and for so many wish kids.
A wish positively impacts the life of a child—and will forever enrich yours. Your help can transform the lives of children with critical illnesses in your community, just when they need it the most. Learn more.