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 1992.
As a 10-year-old, Nick never suspected anything was wrong. He and his mom simply thought he had a lazy eye, and it wasn’t until an eye doctor referred him to a specialist that they discovered he had a brain tumor. At the time, Nick had never heard of Make-A-Wish, but when he found out there were people who would be granting him a wish, he knew just what he wanted. From an early age Nick had been fascinated by special effects and knew that when he grew up, he wanted to have a career in something similar. Taking inspiration from the original Jurassic Park movie, he would even build miniature models and create sets of his own. While his friends hoped he would wish for an arcade game, Nick’s passion for special effects was the true inspiration for his wish to have a computer, and even became the inspiration for his career many years later.
Fast-forward to today. Nick is now working in the video game industry and designing—just how he had dreamt as a little boy. In addition to seeing his career dreams come to fruition, Nick is also now a volunteer wish granter, and gets to relive the magic of a wish over and over again.
“When you're a kid, you believe in Santa. You wait up on Christmas Eve, hoping to see him, but when you wake up in the morning there are a bunch more presents under the tree, and Santa came! It's this kind of magical experience,” Nick explains. “But then, when you get older, the roles get flipped and suddenly you're the one playing Santa. You get to put the presents under the tree and witness the elation they feel when they wake up and see them. You don't get the credit, but you get to relive that magic through the kids' enjoyment.” Nick compares this experience of playing Santa to the experience of being able to deliver pure joy and excitement to kids as a wish granter.
“As an adult, I get to go help other kids get their wishes. And while they aren't my wishes, I get to recapture that magic a bit by helping to make their dreams come true.” Nick’s wish happened more than 20 years ago. While he says the memories do fade a bit, the experience remains: “My wish will always be with me. I will always be a wish kid.”
Volunteer wish granters like Nick are essential to fulfilling each child’s wish. Working in teams of two or three, wish granters meet with the wish family, help the child determine his or her heartfelt wish and help plan and fulfill the wish. While our chapter is fortunate to have more than 700 dedicated volunteers, we still need more wish granters in some regions. In particular, we are seeking Spanish speakers. Because we lack bilingual volunteers, our Spanish speaking families often wait twice as long for their wish interview. One out of every five of our wish families is a Spanish-speaking family so we have an immense need for fully fluent/bilingual volunteers.Your skills and time can bring joy to kids in your community who are battling critical illnesses. Learn more about wish granting and how to get involved.