In honor of our 35th Anniversary in 2019, we will be focusing on some of the more than 8,600 wishes we have granted in our history. Here is an update on a wish we granted back in 2006.
In 2004 at 10 years old, Corinne was diagnosed with a gastrointestinal disorder, and just one year later she was also diagnosed with kidney cancer. Now a healthy 25-year-old, Corinne still remembers the day she learned about her diagnosis and that she would be receiving a wish. She often referred to her wish as a light at the end of the tunnel. “After a few years of what felt like nonstop surgeries, hospital stays and aggressive drug treatments, Make-A-Wish was just that; this really light, positive beam of hope.”
The idea for Corinne’s wish began after she saw the movie Big; one of her favorite scenes took place at the FAO Schwartz toy store in New York City. With the goal of helping other kids who were receiving medical treatment, Corinne wished to go on a shopping spree at FAO Schwartz and buy toys to donate back to her hospital. Corinne remembers running through the store pointing at the toys like a professional shopper. “It was any kid's dream! And then to have it all coordinated to come back to my hospital and deliver those gifts to kids who were also going through hard times, it was the best feeling I could imagine.”
For wish kids like Corinne, the joy that comes from receiving a wish does not just last a moment, a day, or even a month. It marks the beginning of a new journey of toward optimism, bravery and courage in the fight against illness. After her wish was granted, Corinne stayed involved with Make-A-Wish. “I wanted to replicate that feeling of positivity and hope that my wish gave me, so I began fundraising for Make-A-Wish at local schools, dance recitals and community events.”
“While the trips and wishes themselves are so memorable and special, I think the lesson of hope Make-A-Wish gives kids is the real gift,” says Corinne, “[The] wish itself lasted a few days, but the hope and understanding that good things will always come is a pretty spectacular, lifelong gift that Make-A-Wish gives to kids.”