A 7-Year-Old’s Dream Impacts Half a Million Children
Make-A-Wish has granted wishes to nearly 500,000 children
Forty years ago, a Phoenix family was facing some of their darkest days. Their 7-year-old son, Christopher, was battling leukemia with no hope for recovery. Little did they know that all around them, stars were beginning to gather power and shine for their young son. Having heard that Christopher always dreamed of becoming a police officer, members of the Arizona Department of Public Safety came together to make his wish come true.
On April 29, 1980, Christopher was flown in a helicopter from the hospital to the Department of Public Safety headquarters, presented with a badge and sworn in as the first honorary officer. Over the next few days, other officers arranged for a police uniform to be made for Christopher, set up a motorcycle course for him to complete on his battery operated bike and presented him with special motorcycle officer wings.
After Christopher died, the same people who helped him achieve his lifelong dream decided they wanted to provide wishes to other children battling critical illnesses. Together, they aligned their time, talents and resources to found Make-A-Wish®. Forty years later, Make-A-Wish has grown to include 62 chapters in the U.S. and 40 international chapters. In every chapter, individuals and organizations have harnessed their own star power to grant wishes to nearly 500,000 children – and bring joy to millions more.
Stars Shine Bright in Colorado
Make-A-Wish Colorado, founded in 1983, was one of the first Make-A-Wish chapters. Joan Mazak formed the chapter after witnessing the joy her 7-year-old daughter who was battling liver disease experienced when a local radio station mascot, the KIMN Chicken, visited her home.
Since then, Make-A-Wish Colorado has granted 5,500 wishes including:
- A wish to play baseball with the Minions
- A wish to be the blue Power Ranger and save the city
- A wish to provide teddy bears to every inpatient at Children’s Hospital
- And, the 5,280th wish granted last summer – a wish to be a garbage man and clean up the Mile High City.
Each wish is made possible by the alignment of individuals and organizations who provide resources, funding, talent and time to bring joy, strength and hope to a child battling a critical illness. And those same feelings are then transferred back to everyone involved in granting a wish.
April 29th is World Wish Day and all around the world there are wishes waiting to be granted. To learn how you can help make a child’s wish come true by donating or volunteering, please visit colorado.wish.org.